Our first track day of the year at Brands Hatch and spring arrived early …
On 22nd February we had a rude awaking with a 4.00am alarm call to get us to a misty Brands Hatch in Kent for the first Jaguar Enthusiast Club track day of the year. With the 8.30am drivers briefing completed and the mist cleared the glorious undulating curves of this famous circuit were revealed in fabulous February sunshine. This is where Nigel Mansell battled teammate and arch rival Nelson Piquet to win the 1986 British F1 grand Prix and in 1988 a victorious Jaguar team returned from Le Mans with the XJR-9 to win again driven by Martin Brundle, John Nielsen and Andy Wallace, this is hallowed racing ground. So, with hope to do justice to our surroundings we brought our own track rocket, our Palmer Jaguar JP1 powered with its Jaguar V6 Cosworth.
We were in pretty good company with a wonderful array of machinery, including a very impressive XE Project 8 chassis number one no less, sporting a sexy matt grey livery, the Project 8 is the current four door saloon car record holder at the Nurburgring Nordschleife with a lap time of 7min 21.2sec. Completing the Jaguar fast fleet were a handful of stunning F-Types and a beautifully presented XFRS as well as XKR’s, XK8’s, XJ’s, S-Types and a more historic MkII’s and an E-Type. Non-Jaguars were also on track to with a range of BMW’s and Mercs and the oldest car of the day a race prepared 1920’s Riley TT.
After losing a little track time due to the need to slightly modify our exhaust to keep it under the strict decibel limit, we managed to put in some quality laps, the JP1 gradually found increasing grip. Exiting Paddock Hill bend and being willing to plant the throttle pedal as you drop down the steep hill takes a level of courage even for the seasoned racers let alone the track day enthusiasts and then in the blink of an eye, you’re braking for Druids hairpin, this is an exciting track to drive and a perfect place to explore the JP1’s capabilities.
We were pleased to welcome JEC members Marisca and Ronald Urbanus from Holland for their first track day with their BMW Z3 ‘Dirk’ and we were delighted to be able to give them the full track day experience when Tom took them for some high-speed laps in the JP1, we think from the look on their faces they definitely enjoyed it.
With more tack days planned for later in the year keep an eye on website for future dates, or if you would like to discuss how we can prepare your car for track use or performance upgrades please feel free to get in touch.