The challenge: A proper 100-mile (12-lap) endurance race at Le Mans in GT Sport – exclusively for the Jaguar E-type that Norman Dewis developed – with pit stops, fuel strategy and tyre swaps. And there are prizes for winners...
On 3 August 2020, legendary Jaguar test driver and development engineer Norman Dewis OBE would’ve celebrated his 100th birthday – an occasion he hoped to celebrate by driving a Jaguar at 100mph once more. Sadly, he missed that milestone by just 14 months, passing away on 8 June 2019, aged 98.
Norman was responsible for developing some of the most iconic Jaguars ever: saloons, sports and racing cars including multiple Le Mans 24 Hours-winning C-types and D-types, the E-type, and mid-engined XJ13 prototype. He also played a key role in the development of the game-changing disc brake pioneered on road cars, following race development, by Jaguar.
It’s reckoned he covered more than a million miles above 100mph during his 33-year Jaguar career, including racing a works D-type at Le Mans in 1955 (clocking 192mph on the Mulsanne Straight), an 11-hour overnight dash from Coventry to Geneva in an E-type for its launch in 1961, and cheating death during a 135mph crash in the un-raced XJ13 at MIRA in 1971.
To commemorate Norman’s centenary, 27Racers – supported by Jaguar Classic – will stage a 12-lap (100-mile) all Jaguar E-type event at Le Mans on Gran Turismo Sport.
Qualifying for a place on the grid in the main race room will be via a lap time challenge for N400-tuned E-types. And, this is one race you’ll definitely want to be part of. Thanks to Jaguar Classic, we have some incredible prizes for those who make it onto the podium.
The top three in the main race will receive complimentary tours of Jaguar Classic’s state-of-the-art Classic Works facility at Ryton-on-Dunsmore in Warwickshire – the largest of its kind in the world – plus a passenger ride in a D-type Continuation and an E-type drive (once social distancing allows).
After retirement in 1985 Norman continued to be a global ambassador for Jaguar and a great friend to the brand, which saw him consulting with the Jaguar Classic team on the 2014 launch of the ‘missing six’ continuation Lightweight E-types, a car he originally helped develop in the 1960s.
Norman was a familiar face at Classic Works, always taking a keen interest in how the manufacturer he loved most was continuing to care for its heritage. And, never turning down a nice cup of tea.
Classic Works opened in 2017. This is where original E-types are lovingly restored to better-than-new Reborn condition, a run of 25 brand-new 1955-specification D-type Continuations is in build, and examples of almost every Jaguar Norman developed are taken care of, from routine servicing to restoration.
If your 3.8 E-type is missing its original toolkit, or even needs a new engine block, Jaguar Classic has reintroduced those parts, among many others, too.
Set a leaderboard lap time in your N400-tuned Jaguar E-type by 7.30pm on Thursday 6 August. The fastest 16 will be drafted into the main race room at 8pm that evening for a 12-lap (100 miles) endurance race round the Circuit de la Sarthe No Chicane. None of that TCS, ABS or stability management nonsense either.
You can select any compound of tyre but we'll be running 15x wear, so you'll have to factor in stops depending on rubber choice and how you drive. Similarly, we'll run 3x fuel depletion, so your driving style (and rich/lean fuel settings in-game) will also need some thought. And, remember, whichever tyre you choose to qualify in will be the rubber you start the race with.
Please be sure to display all race information in leaderboard videos – this allows those verifying lap attempts to see assists are switched off. Thanks!
It wouldn't be a 27Racers challenge without them! We're looking for recreations of classic or modern Jaguar liveries – be as left field as you want – and it doesn't have to be specific to the E-type.
In addition to the feature race next Thursday, we'll be running a practice session to test tyre and fuel settings on what would have been Norman Dewis' birthday – Monday 3rd August. Please register to take part via Racemaker.
In case you skimmed it above, here's that prize detail again: those who finish in the top three in the main race on Thursday 6th August at 8pm will receive complimentary tours of Jaguar Classic’s state-of-the-art Classic Works facility at Ryton-on-Dunsmore in Warwickshire, plus a passenger ride in a D-type Continuation and an E-type drive (once social distancing allows).
Please note: terms and conditions apply.