Jaguar Builds First GT Racer In 50 Years For New Team Of Wounded Vets

It took a very special project to get Jaguar involved in GT racing once again.

Jaguar has converted two F-Type SVR coupes to GT4 specification at the behest of Invictus Games Racing, a new outfit that’s the brainchild of James Holder, co-founder of clothing brand Superdry, according to a press release. IGR is set to enter its first season in the British GT Championship in 2018, and plans to compete in the series again in 2019.

In addition to partnering with Jaguar Land Rover to start the team, Holder — who funded the project — joined forces with the Invictus Games Foundation, which is an international competition for injured military veterans. Holder said he got the idea to collaborate with the foundation to run a motorsport program in 2016, when he was driving in the British GT series, after he watched the Invictus Games in Orlando.

“We are not under any illusions. I know personally how difficult this level of racing is and we’re a brand-new team starting out,” Holder said in a statement. “In the first season we will primarily be competing between each of our own cars, but we will take every opportunity to finish as high up the pack as humanly possible in every race. Our shared desire and goal is to ultimately win races.”

Mission Motorsport, which has helped Formula 4 driver Billy Monger rehabilitate after his double-amputation, has spent six months working with IGR to select the four individuals who will drive the cars: Royal Air Force Sgt. Ben Norfolk, Royal Air Force Sgt. Basil Rawlinson, Royal Marines Maj. Steve McCulley and Royal Marines Commando Paul Vice MC.

Norfolk and Rawlinson will split time in the No. 22 car, while McCulley and Vice will wheel the No. 44 car. Both driver pairings will be paired with a professional driver who will mentor them in their rookie years, with Jason Wolfe assigned to the No. 22, and Matthew George to the No. 44.

The two GT4 cars, assembled by Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division, are the first in-house GT racers that Jaguar has built since it stopped making the E-Type Lightweight in 1964.

Thumbnail photo via Jaguar

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