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Good news for those who were once fans of Jaguar 24-hour Le Mans car. The “Leaping Cat” Jaguar Cars will be back in the game after a 10-year hiatus and guess who’s in charge of the revival of the Jaguar brand yet again. It’s the Tata Motors. The Indian connection for the French Le Mans seems to be right in place with the entry of Jaguar in the 24-hours Le Mans endurance race in June.
Jaguar which will be celebrating 75 years on the road this year has made a mark in the motorsports, predominantly in the Le Mans where Jaguar won five straight times in the 1950s pushing the iconic and legendary C and D type models into service.
Now with Tata Motors at the helm of affairs of Jaguar after buying the Jaguar and Land Rover brands from Ford Motors in 2008 will restore Jaguar’s rich image in motor racing by pumping in multi-crore investments. This way Tata Motors is pretty damn sure that it will promote the Jaguar brand to the hilt in the process.
As per CJ O’Donnell, Marketing Director of Jaguar Cars Global, “Motorsports has always been important to the Jaguar brand. Our domination of Le Mans in the 1950s was the foundation on which the company was developed. Returning to Le Mans will reignite excitement for the marquee across the globe.”
Le Mans is the world’s oldest sports car endurance race and has been held annually since 1923 in La Sathe, France. JaguarRSR, the professional racing team of Jaguar, will race this year in the XKR GT2. The JaguarRSR team last won Le Mans 20 years ago in the XJR-12, but after that had to keep a low profile either due to superior competition or due to inadequate funding. Le Mans is very different from other big races such as the Grand Prix as it focuses on the ability of a car company to build fast machines which are also sporty and reliable. This was done to promote the idea of fuel-efficiency while running the vehicle over a race which would last for 24-hours (with pit stops).
Winning at the Le Mans will surely help increase sale of the vehicle too. The enhancement of the brand’s strength and the sales graph moving higher seem to be the major reasons behind the project. Ford had tried the same trick in 1989. It had spent an unimaginable amount over the acquisition and again spent a few more billions to bring back the brand’s rich image. To everyone’s dismay, Ford failed. Will Tata Motors succeed this time? The Ford Motor Company had miserably lost the battle then. But now, Tata Motors seems to be full of positive hope.
Oh seems TATA is on a roll!! Good luck to them!! One of my favorite races! Came to know of this type of race after playing GRID racing game only! Wish we could take part in a race like this , can be pretty taxing though!
Le-Mans is definitely great and far more interesting than Formula 1 but unfortunately not so popular in India, This race actually tests the stamina and power of a driver. I would like to participate or watch it live once in a life. it is great that Tata has bought back jaguar to Le-Mans which was really missed earlier. now the action will begin!