Legends of Motorsports to Sanction 3-Race Series

MAHWAH, N.J., June 24, 2011 The North American arm of Jaguar Cars, in conjunction with Legends of Motorsports, has announced a three race series for Jaguar vintage race cars including a points championship specifically for those racing E-Types.

The Jaguar North American Challenge Series, part of the year-long global celebration of the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the E-Type, will be a race within a race. While all Jaguar race cars will be eligible to compete for wins, only the E-Types will be eligible to accumulate points towards the E-Type championship. The E-Type championship trophy, along with The Spirit of Jaguar and Drivers Choice Awards, will be presented at the season finale at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut, at the tracks Historic Festival 29 Presented by Jaguar, on Labor Day weekend.

The Jaguar North America E-Type Challenge Series will launch its championship at The Kohler International Challenge with Brian Redman at Road America July 14-17 and continue over the course of two additional events: The Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca August 19-21 and culminating with the crowning of a challenge series champion at Lime Rock September 2-5.

Vintage racers and car collectors are among the most passionate automotive enthusiasts in the world and Jaguar cars have always stirred that kind of intense passion," said David Pryor, Brand Vice President, Jaguar North America.

"With the Jaguar North America E-Type Challenge Series we will celebrate Jaguars heritage of performance and design leadership with fans and drivers alike, at a series of vintage racing events across the country. It will be tremendous fun for all those who are lucky enough to be there.

The E-Type was launched in 1961 and caused an immediate sensation for its breathtakingly good looks and affordability. One of the true supercars of its time, it remained a smash hit for its 14 year production run, he added. "Now, some 50 years later, the E-Type continues to create a sensation at historic racing events throughout the world.

The Jaguar E-Type, known in North America as the XK-E, was introduced to the world at the 1961 Geneva auto show. The E-Types affordability coupled with its top speed of 150 mph, made it an immediate sensation. Its beauty, however, prompted no less an expert than Enzo Ferrari to call it the most beautiful sports car ever made.

Introduced to the North American media and public on March 15, 1961 at the New York International Auto Show, the Jaguar XK-E was an instant success, the first years production having been sold out within days.

While the E-Type was never designed to be a race car, its racing roots were readily apparent. So much so that Enzo Ferrari was spurred on to order the development of what many consider his seminal sports car racer, the 250 GTO.

Then, exactly one month after their introduction at Geneva, two virtually showroom stock E-Types right down to the cigar lighter took to the track for the first time at Oulton Park in the UK and won. E-Types have been racing successfully ever since.

Much of the E-Types initial success came in North America where Merle Brennan won an astonishing 39 out of 43 races in one of the Sports Car Club of Americas (SCCA) production car racing class.

Greater success followed in the 1970s when two Series III V-12 E-Types fought it out for the SCCAs National Championship. Together, the Huffaker Engineering and Group 44 cars accumulated a total of 8 wins in 1974 and in 1975 the Bob Tullius piloted Group 44 car scored 7 more wins on its way to become the SCCAs B Production National Champion.

This was not E-Types competition swansong however. In 1980, Fred Baker drove a 1965 4.2 liter 6-cylinder E-Type to the SCCAs C Production National Championship, soundly defeating the Paul Newman driven and factory supported Datsun 280ZX.

Additional information regarding participant registration for the Jaguar North American Challenge Series is available at www.jaguarchallenge.com.