The long-awaited competitors debut of the brand new E-type Jaguar has been made ultimately. Two of the magnificent Coventry machines appeared in the primary race of the day on the British Vehicle Racing Membership nationwide assembly at Oulton Park.
Their first look was a formidable one, each vehicles being in just about normal trim and main the race in procession till two laps from the tip, when Innes Eire squeezed previous Roy Salvadori to take second place in John Ogier’s DB4 GT Aston Martin.
Graham Hill, who received the race within the Equipe Endeavour automobile, drove brilliantly, and expressed himself as being extraordinarily proud of the brand new automobile.
He took the lead from Salvadori, in John Coombs’s E-type, on the 13th lap of 25, to win by one thing like 150 yards (5.6 seconds). The Ferraris of Jack Sears and Graham Whitehead took fourth and fifth locations – positions they held all through the race.
If, as appears probably, the 1962 Producers’ Championship ought to be fought out amongst Grand Touring vehicles, Britain’s hopes are as brilliant as they could possibly be, for the brand new Jaguar ought to be greater than a match for the beforehand pre-eminent 250 GT Ferraris.
Salvadori leads Hill within the early levels, BARC Oulton Park 1961
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The primary occasion
The large race was the primary attraction for the 45,000 individuals who crowded the circuit on a brilliantly sunny, heat spring day. The Jaguars had recorded third and fourth quickest occasions in apply, and accordingly sat on the entrance row of the grid – each immaculate and intensely good.
In pole place was Eire within the Essex Racing Workforce Aston Martin – one of many vehicles used for final yr’s Vacationer Trophy race. Subsequent to Eire on the grid was the Equipe Endeavour Ferrari, pushed by Sears.
On the drop of the flag it was – and it’s cheap to say that it was a lot to the shock of most individuals – the Jaguars that rocketed into the lead. As the sphere streamed into Previous Corridor the order was Jaguar, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Ferrari – Salvadori, Hill, Eire and Sears.
Eire started to extend the stress, and drew ever near Salvadori’s gray Jaguar. On lap 24 he slipped previous to take second place, however Hill was properly forward and couldn’t be caught
Certainly this might not final! But at Knickerbrook – about midway spherical – the order of the leaders remained the identical. Behind them streamed Whitehead, John Wagstaff (Workforce Elite Lotus Elite), Peter Arundell (Workforce Elite), Dickie Stoop (Porsche) and Richard Shepherd-Barron (Morgan).
By the tip of the primary lap the order was but the identical, Salvadori having accomplished the standing lap in 2m04s. Behind him got here Hill, Eire, Sears, Whitehead, Wagstaff, Arundell, Stoop, Mike McKee, within the UDT-Laystall Lotus Elite, Invoice Allen (Workforce Elite) and Pat Fergusson in his Turner-Climax, which was extremely quick and had overhauled Shepherd-Barron’s Morgan.
On the third lap Salvadori and Hill each lapped in 1m59s, and each Jaguars had by now opened up a substantial lead over the remainder of the sphere. On the fifth lap got here one other quick lap – once more arrange by each vehicles – in 1m58.6s.
Roy Salvadori E-type, 1961 BARC Oulton Park
Picture by: Motorsport Images
After eight laps some three seconds separated the Jaguars and Eire’s Aston. Sears remained in fourth forward of Whitehead, whereas sixth, seventh and eighth – and operating in numerical order – have been the three Workforce Elite vehicles of Wagstaff, Arundell and Allen, with McKee by no means letting Allen out of sight.
On the 13th lap Hill, who had been edging nearer to the chief for a while, slipped previous him at Knickerbrook to take management over the race. He quickly opened up a lead of one thing like three seconds and by no means regarded like being challenged. On lap 18 he and Salvadori once more recorded quickest lap with 1m58.2s (84.69mph).
Eire, nevertheless, now started to extend the stress, and drew ever near Salvadori’s gray Jaguar. On lap 24 he slipped previous to take second place, however Hill was properly forward and couldn’t be caught.
The three Workforce Elite vehicles of Wagstaff, Arundell and Allen got here house in sixth, seventh and eighth locations – 1-2-Three of their class – and Wagstaff and Arundell shared quickest lap in 2m02.2s (81.34mph).
Within the 1000cc class victory went to Ian Walker, in an Austin-Healey Sebring Sprite entered by John Sprinzel Ltd. Second and third went to Paddy Gaston’s Sprite and Ok W Mackenzie’s Turner, Walker making quickest lap in 2m09s (77.05mph).
Graham Hill E-Sort victory Oulton Park BARC 1961
Picture by: Motorsport Images
The view from 2021
The E-type went on to change into probably the most well-known highway vehicles of all time and did rating some motorsport successes, however not at worldwide degree.
Ferrari remained on prime because the world sportscar championship moved to GT rules for 1962. The famed GTO was out of the E-type’s attain, Ferrari scoring virtually 3 times as many factors as Jaguar.
Two privately run E-types completed fourth and fifth general on the 1962 Le Mans 24 Hours, however they have been overwhelmed by two GTOs. Ferrari’s domination of the bigger-capacity GT class would proceed till the problem of the Shelby Cobras arrived in 1964.
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The recognition of the E-type and tunability of the XK engine has nonetheless lately made it a formidable competitor in pre-1966 historic GT racing. Amongst its many successes are 10 RAC TT Celebration victories at Goodwood, whereas there shall be particular occasions in 2021 to have a good time its 60th birthday, together with two races on the Silverstone Basic.
Gordon Shedden E-type, Goodwood Revival 2017 Royal Auto Membership TT Celebration
Picture by: Jeff Bloxham/Motorsport Images