O’Connell and Kirkaldt Win Entertaining First Race of Jaguar Heritage Challenge

Filed under: Racing |

Martin O’Connell and Andrew KirkaldyMartin O’Connell and Andrew Kirkaldy driving a Jaguar E-type have taken the chequered flag at the inaugural race of the Jaguar Heritage Challenge at the Donington Historic Festival.

In what proved to be one of the most closely fought races of the weekend, the lead changes on several occasions before a red flag brought a temporary halt to the action as marshals cleaned up the track following an earlier incident.

After the restart the Martin and Andrew got into a rhythm and began to stretch the lead out to eight seconds. The team managed to maintain this pace for the remainder of the race, and crossed the line ahead of second-place finishers of Joaquin Folch and Martin Stretton followed by the pair of Chris Ward and John Young who finished in third.

Winning driver, Martin O’Connell said: “We are delighted with the result but for us it is fabulous to see Jaguar get behind such an exciting series and the way they have put the package together is what historic racing is all about. There is such a competitive field and it makes for some incredibly close racing. Delighted with the result and we’re looking forward to the next round at Silverstone.”

Taking class honours were Chris Scholey and Nick Finburgh (Class A), Tom Barclay in his MK I (Class B), Benjamin Eastwick driving a Jaguar D-type 'Long Nose' (Class C) and Bob Binfield in a Jaguar E-type (Class D). Meanwhile, Graeme Dodd was chosen by the race commentators as their ‘Driver of the Day’ for a stellar drive and coming home fifth after starting near back of the grid.

John Edwards, Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations, said: “We’d like to congratulate Martin O’Connell and Andrew Kirkaldy and their team on their race victory in the first round of the Jaguar Heritage Challenge. It was captivating to witness such a diverse array of classic Jaguars competing out on the track and we are looking forward to welcoming the teams, our customers and fans to the next exciting round at Silverstone."

Andy Wallace, Jaguar Heritage Challenge competitor and 1988 Le Mans winner with Jaguar, said: “This has been a fantastic weekend and it’s been so exciting to race competitively with some of the most iconic Jaguars ever made. The brand gave me the opportunity and the car to win Le Mans and it’s always a special occasion to race a Jaguar.”

The Jaguar Heritage Challenge is open to all Jaguars manufactured before 1966 including the XK-series, C- and D-types, MK I and MK II saloons and E-type. It complements the growing portfolio of Jaguar Heritage activities, which also incudes the recently launched Jaguar Heritage Driving Experiences and factory sourced Heritage Parts and restoration – all under the expert direction of Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Operations division.

Following yesterday’s action at Donington, the single-marque series heads to Silverstone for the Silverstone International Trophy on 16 and 17 May, 2015.

The remaining dates for the Jaguar Heritage Race Series are as follows:

16th– 17th May: Silverstone International Trophy (GP Circuit) 11th– 12th July: Brands Hatch Super Prix (GP Circuit) 7th– 9th August: Nürburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix 29th– 31st August: Oulton Park Gold Cup