Jaguar XJR-9 #2 Sieger 24h LeMans 1988 Lammers, Dumfries, Wallace
It's 1988 and everyone is already fed up with Porsche's domination of France. But who are the people who can finally dethrone the Germans? One of the challengers was the 'in-house' Sauber-Mercedes duo with the C9, the other was Jaguar, who returned to Le Mans in 1984 with the no small ambition of finally getting back on top after 1957.
The British wonder weapon was the Jaguar XJR-9, the LM version of which was also the Jaguar. The XJR-9 was Jaguar's FIA Group C and IMSA Camel GTP race prototype sports prototype race car, which debuted and won the 1988 24 Hours of Daytona. The model was an improved version of the XJR-8, designed by Tony Southgate and built by Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR). The car was powered by Jaguar's 7-litre V12 buffalo engine. And the XJR-9LM was developed specifically for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where the Mulsanne straight required a low-drag aerodynamic package.
The 56th Le Mans 24 Hours was held between 11 and 12 June 1988. The drama had already begun before the race. In qualifying, the Sauber C9 tyres were unable to cope with the rigours of the track and one of their cars crashed badly. This made Peter Sauber's car too dangerous to start the race, so they withdrew. This left Jaguar as Porsche's only serious challenger.
The 24-hour race looked as if the trio of Jan Lammers, Johnny Dumfries, Andy Wallace would take the win in front of 280,000 spectators, including 50,000 British fans, but then suddenly trouble struck. The No. 2 Jaguar was suffering gearbox problems, causing Lammers to keep the car in 4th gear to prevent further damage to the gearbox. It looked as if victory would fall into the lap of the Bell, Stuck, Ludwig Porsche 962C, but then fate intervened again. With Ludwig running out of fuel, they wasted a lot of time getting back to the pits to refuel. The victory went to Jaguar, ending Porsche's 7-year reign at Le Mans.
The IXO commemorates this great Le Mans victory with this 1:43 scale model car (with factory Silk Cut decals!).
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