JD Classics’ E-Type Lightweight does the double on Tour Auto

Giant-killing Jaguar beats more powerful Ford GT40s and Porsche 911 RSRs to two overall victories and seven class wins on 2000km French rally

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Classic and sports car specialist JD Classics is celebrating a grand rallying win this week. Its Jaguar E-Type Lightweight has taken two overall victories and seven class wins on the 2018 running of Tour Auto Optic 2000 – which the company also happens to sponsor.

Chris Ward and Andy Elcomb piloted the two-time RAC TT Celebration-winning Jag to victory despite strong competition from more powerful machinery such as Ford GT40s and Porsche 911 RSRs. The victory is testament to the car’s thorough preparation, which took place at the JD Classics’ 155,000sq ft HQ in Maldon, Essex.

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This year, 239 crews took part in Tour Auto Optic 2000, which covered 2000km from Paris to Nice. It took in 14 special competition stages along the way, including closed-road routes such as La Sinotte and the Altitude 800, plus tracks including Dijon-Prenois, Circuit de Bresse and Circuit de Lédenon. The Jaguar’s win came despite a distributor-drive problem during the event’s final circuit stage at Paul Ricard.

JD Classics' founder Derek Hood said: ‘Our craftsmen and engineers went to incredible lengths to prepare the E-Type Lightweight. Judging by the incredible results from Chris and Andy – not to mention our dedicated support crew – I’m pleased to say that meticulous preparation clearly paid off. Our car was regularly beating more powerful and more advanced racers in the competition stages, and suffered only one, quickly rectified issue in over five days of extremely tough driving.’

Picture courtesy of ultimatecarpage.com

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