The Jaguar's Roar - REVIEW BY RICK WILSON
I can still see it now; the three XJR-9LMs, line astern, cruising through the Ford Chicanes for the last time. The chequered flag poised, the ecstatic crowd bursting by the track's edge, Union flags everywhere and the mechanics exhausted but delirious on the pit wall. The celebrations were the likes of which I had never seen here before and have not seen since. This was the finish of a truly legendary race, a titanic battle between two of sportscar racing's most famous marques. This was the 1988 Le Mans 24 Hours...
Produced in 2008, the 20th anniversary of this incredible race, this DVD is absolutely fantastic. For those of us lucky enough to have witnessed the events first hand, the memories will simply come flooding back but for those who were not, this is a fabulous look back at the events that led up to and unfolded that memorable weekend.
Using contemporary bespoke filming as the very chassis (488) is prepared for a return to Le Mans for some demonstration laps during the build up to the 2008 event, it gives a fantastic insight into the car, the drivers, the management, the mechanics and the rivals.
With extensive archive footage from the event, clever graphics and in depth interviews with all the key personnel, this is a must for any Le Mans enthusiast; there is no need to be British to fully appreciate this, just to be a true sportscar racing enthusiast!
The film explains how Jaguar and Tom Walkinshaw Racing first worked together, the input of the American Group 44 team getting the marque back to Le Mans in 1984, then the TWR project development. It's all there with some fabulous anecdotes and memories, first hand.
The then Jaguar Chairman, Sir John Egan, Tom Walkinshaw himself, Tony Southgate (Chief Designer), Alastair Macqueen (Chief Engineer) and all three winning drivers (Jan Lammers, Andy Wallace and Johnny Dumfries) as well as the legendary five-time Le Mans winner Derek Bell who drove the chasing Porsche that year, all contributed hugely to the production.
Every winner of this fantastic event needs a little luck. With a chasing rival running out of fuel, a little help from the American IMSA regulations and a secret kept from the team by one of the drivers, the no.2 Silk Cut TWR Jaguar certainly had that ... but you'll have to buy the DVD to find out more!
The main feature lasts nearly 2 hours, but there are 'extras' too! Tony Southgate takes us on an extensive 'tour' of the car, Jan Lammers, Andy Wallace and Derek Bell describe a lap of the circuit in detail, and there is on-board footage from the car during it's pre-return shakedown run .. worth it for that glorious engine sound alone!
All in all, a quite stunning presentation. Is it worth it at £18? Every penny! Go straight to www.jag88.com to get yours!
PHOTO BY ANDREW TURNER © MAISON BLANCHE