Today’s short film is a study in commitment.
TWR team leader, owner and lead driver Tom Walkinshaw takes his Group-A XJ-S by the scruff of the neck setting pole for the 1985 James Hardie 1000 at Bathurst, Australia.
For a model line never intended as a sports car, the Jaguar XJ-S acquitted itself rather well as a racing machine. Nevertheless, it’s evident just how hard Walkinshaw had to work to keep its not insubstantial mass from succumbing to the unyielding laws of physics, to say nothing of the armco barriers.
Walkinshaw took pole in that blistering lap, but could only finish third in the race itself. However, the sister car of Armin Hahne and Aussie race legend, John Goss took a famous victory at the fabled mountain circuit. The Jags faced a degree of antipathy by fellow competitors; TWR Racing seen as playing fast and loose with the regulations and viewed as over-confident, over-funded and over there. The fact that Goss, a well respected local took the flag, mollified opinion somewhat.
TWR-Jaguar had already taken the European Touring Car Championship the previous year, so by 1985, the XJ-S’ racing days were drawing towards a close. So as we commemorate the XJ-S’ launch this week, lets salute the bravery and brute strength of the men who raced the last of the big cats.
Video via Youtube