For Sale: Jaguar XJR-9
1988 and a Porsche has won every 24 Hours of Le Mans since 1981, when Jacky Ickx and Derek Bell won the iconic race in their Porsche 936. Few others had even wrestled a spot on the podium from them.
Jaguar had been strong in 1987, winning the World Sportscar Championship with their XJR-8. They debuted the XJR-9 at Daytona in the IMSA GTP series, where it won. Its real successes, however, would come in the World Sportscar Championship.
Sauber-Mercedes took the first round of the season at Jerez, followed by the Silk Cut Jaguar. At Jarama the Jaguar was victorious – the start of a four-race winning streak. The fourth race? The 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Porsches took the top spots in qualifying, but were unable to match the race pace of the XJR-9 which, piloted by Jan Lammers, Johnny Dumfries and Andy Wallace, broke Porsche’s 7-year winning streak. Another XJR-9 came home in fourth place, the rest of the top 10 occupied by Porsche 962s.
It was the first time a Jaguar had won the 24 Hours of Le Mans since Ron Flockhart and Ivor Bueb won the 1957 race in their D-Type. The 1988 race was one of the longest ever, and the XJR-9 had to cover 936 kilometres more than its predecessor to secure its win.
This particular XJR-9, adorned with the iconic Silk Cut livery, is chassis J12-C-688. It ran at six events during the 1988 season, opening with a third place at Masaryk. Its best result came over 1000 kilometres at Spa, where Martin Brundle and Jan Lammers brought it home in second.
Images via Fiskens