TOURIST TROPHY Jaguar carry on
BRITAIN’S second European Touring Car Championship event of 1982 (the first was at Donington) was held over the September 11th 12th weekend and was watched with keen interest by an estimated 8,000 crowd. They were keen to acquire the taste of the Group A saloon car racing formula that will form the basis of the 1983 British Championship. As at Zolder a fortnight later. the Silverstone result of a glorious first and second Jaguar finishing order was achieved at the expense
primarily of the BMW 528i saloons that have dominated the 1982 season in terms of results. At the close of the European season Helmut Kelleners / Umberto Grano had won the title once more in a Swiss-prepared 526/. Altogether BMWs had won eight championship rounds — including the prestigious Spa-Francorchamps 24 hours where only two vehicles in the top ten were not BMWs!
Against this the Tom Walkinshaw Racing-prepared Jaguar XJ-S coupds (described in MOTOR SPORT at the start of the season) scored four outright wins, generally proved much faster than any opponent in practice and established a good reputation for reliability — particularly when Le Patron Walkinshaw and partner “Chuck” Nicholson won the German six-hour round of the Championship at Ntirburgring.
Other Jaguar wins came at Brno in Cuchoslovakia and Vallelunga, Rome. In the case of the 1-2 victories at Silverstone and Zolder in Belgium the second XJ-S home was always driven by freelance journalist Pierre Dieudonne — partnered by Peter Lovett in Britain and Jeff Allam in Belgium. Both the Britons are drivers for the works-backed TWR Rovers that have fought for the lead of the British Championship in 1982 (scoring six wins to the five of the Ford in this final season of Group 1). As far as is known Jaguar will become more involved in racing over the next two years. Already the Bob Tullius sports more with Jaguar VI2 power has notched up a third place in she USA and there are hopes that this project, or a European interpretation, may Yet mark the company’s reappearance at Le Mans and other outstanding European sports car events. Meanwhile the Jaguars look set to carry on winning in Europe, although they will face the recently announced increased opposition of BMW’s 3.4-litre 635CSi,
Incidentally MOTOR SPORT’S reporter was at the Tourist Trophy to drive a 3-litre Capri belonging to Moons of Chiddingfold. The car qualified 19th and 22nd of 43 entrants in two practice sessions, but J.W. was unable to race it as co-driver Roy Baker did not complete a racing lap owing to a clutch diaphragm failure. — J.W.