Jaguar's new XKR Coupe will be developed to race in the FIA GT3 Euro sports car Series from 2007, by English company Apex Motorsport.
Apex Motorsport, whose recent successes include winning Le Mans in 2003 with Bentley, is being relaunched with this exciting project. The team headed by Richard Lloyd now includes Lloyd's new partner Harry Handkammer, a long time friend and top Britcar racer.
"It was obvious to us that the Jaguar name was missing from the list of GT3 contenders, and we aim to put that right," said Lloyd. "We believe the new XK has huge potential, and we plan to have at least the required six race cars ready for the first event in the 2007 season." Development of the aluminium bodied, supercharged V8 engined Jaguar will commence immediately at Apex's Buckingham race shop.
The Apex race activities are independent of Jaguar - this is not a factory motorsport programme - but in accordance with FIA GT rules Apex has the premium brand's blessing to compete.
Stephane Ratel, Chairman of GT3 European Championship organising company SRO Motorsports, welcomed Jaguar to the burgeoning FIA GT3 grid, saying, "Jaguars in GT3 will further strengthen the appeal and excitement of the series, and we very much look forward to seeing them in the paddock and on the track."
Wallis Dumper, Managing Director of Jaguar in New Zealand says, "This international initiative is fantastic for motor race enthusiasts as it will reconnect Jaguar with the racing heritage we all know and of particular interest is the fact it's based on the sustainable production sports car level. So Kiwi's will once again be able to witness coverage from the European race circuits and maybe even recall the XJS Jaguar Group A touring car era or even the Denny Hulme Mark 2's of the 60's. As keen motor sport observers we know many Kiwi Jaguar owners and enthusiasts will join us in celebrating this natural extension of the Jaguar brand experience."
The XKR road car will be launched in New Zealand mid-2007.