Jaguar We were there

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Tiff Needell “I suppose my first thought is that it must have been extremely dangerous, because Flux was driving one! But, in truth, it was absolutely great fun – though they were wild, wild machines.”

Ian Flux “They were, but I managed to finish all three races – more importantly, I never damaged the car once, despite spinning through the swimming pool section at Monaco.”

TN “That Monaco lap was certainly busy – the tunnel certainly wasn’t taken flat and we had to apply opposite lock in the middle.”

IF “When I went off, I somehow managed not to hit anything, then had to do about a 12-point turn to rejoin. That was during the race, must have cost me about half an hour…”

TN “What!? You never put a scratch on your car? Neither did I, I was just savaged by other people… Actually, that’s not quite true, there was an incident at Spa. In qualifying your best lap was usually your first, because after that the tyres went away – we all knew that, so I did one warm-up lap, stormed down to Eau Rouge and slightly overestimated the speed at which it was capable of going up the hill. I’d run out of talent – and grip – by the time I got to Raidillon. I felt very guilty at costing the owner what must have been a fortune.”

IF “I wasn’t far behind and the dust was still settling when I drove past. I thought, ‘Blimey Tiff, that one looks a bit expensive’.”

Motor Sport “Did you chuckle all the way up to Les Combes?”

IF “Yes, and all the way back to the finishing line…”

TN “As cars they were great to drive on their own, but that changed a little when you had to race them and start worrying about other stuff. When your tyres went you were completely screwed, so you had to manage that aspect quite carefully, especially as we had only one new set per weekend.”

IF “Unless you happened to be a TWR driver… allegedly!”

TN “The cars were also incredibly hot inside – particularly for those of us who were perhaps a little less fit by that stage.”

MS “When you see the XJR-15 today, does it inspire fond memories?”

TN “Mostly, though mine are probably slightly mixed because of the occasional trauma.”

IF “Absolutely – in more than 40 years at the wheel, it was the most I’ve ever been paid to race, so I loved it.”

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