LOWNDES SAMPLES GROUP A JAGUAR

Craig Lowndes behind the wheel of Roland Dane's new Jag. Photo: Roland Dane Instagram (robin.reliant)

CRAIG Lowndes is synonymous with racing V8-powered Commodores and Falcons across his Supercars career, but this week he tasted some V12 Jaguar power.

The seven-time Bathurst 1000 winner slipped behind the wheel of a Group A-specification Jaguar XJ-S touring car recently acquired by Triple Eight boss Roland Dane.

Dane purchased the car from Christchurch in New Zealand last year and Lowndes and the car’s new owner jumped behind the wheel at Queensland Raceway this week to give it a blast.

The Red Bull endurance driver also spent time at the Ipswich circuit assisting Triple Eight Super2 driver Angelo Mouzouris.

“Ultimately, it’s got a bit of a fuel pressure issue that I am sure will be easily fixed, but it was really fun to drive,” Lowndes told v8sleuth.com.au today of his Jaguar experience.

“It’s very basic in terms of the ergonomics. The gearbox is a four-speed, but the team thought it might have had a six speed in it – you can’t find the gears! 

“I did about 10 or 12 laps and then Roland got a couple in before it started to have some fuel pressure issues. It should be fairly simple to fix.

“I got up to using about 6500 revs but the range is about 4500 to 6500, we’re still working out how much further we can rev it to! The V12 was really smooth in terms of its power delivery, very linear.

“I’d never driven a Group A touring car (of the era) before. I’m looking forward to a re-run knowing the baseline now.”

The car was raced in Group A period in New Zealand in the Nissan-Mobil 500 events of the 1980s and is currently presented in the livery it was raced in period by Kiwis Allan Prince and Mike Hourigan.

The car competed in the 1986 Nissan-Mobil 500 at Wellington and was a non-starter in the ’87 Nissan-Mobil 500 the following year.

It’s been raced in recent years in Kiwi Historic competition by former Team Kiwi Racing V8 Supercar driver Angus Fogg and was acquired by Dane last year.

ORDER NOW: There’s plenty of photos of Craig Lowndes in our new ‘Racing The Lion’ book, an illustrated history of Holden in Australian motorsport. Pre-order the 400 page, hardcover book here now!

With over 20 years in the Australian motorsport industry, Noonan is the head of V8 Sleuth. He’s held a range of roles including working in television with Seven and Ten, print media and public relations. With a specialty in Australian motorsport history, he’s known around racing paddocks as ’the Sleuth’ and started his motorsport media career in 1997.