25 YEARS ON, DAVY JONES REUNITED WITH HIS ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA WINNING JAGUAR XJR-9
Nearly 25 years after having driven the Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) Jaguar XJR-9 to victory in North America’s most grueling endurance race, Davy Jones was reunited with his race-winning number 61 on January 24 as part of “The Legends of Daytona” celebration, prior to this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Jones, who was thrilled by the opportunity to be reunited with
the “Big Cat” that took him to one of his most
memorable wins, cut short a family vacation to Hawaii to once
again, slide behind the wheel of one of the most successful Jaguar
Race Cars ever built.
“It’s not often that you get the chance to drive an
old friend like this again,” mused Davy, himself a Jaguar
racing legend. “Jaguar Land Rover called and asked if
I’d like to drive her as part of the ‘Legends of
Daytona’ event and I jumped at the chance. Who
Jones, now the Lead Instructor of The Jaguar Performance Driving
Academy, piloted the Castrol-sponsored Jaguar for a series of
parade laps prior to this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, as part
of this year’s heritage celebrations and in commemoration of
the 25th anniversary of the Jaguar win there.
He even managed to find his old driving suit, “and it
still fits, even after 25 years,” he added.
The XJR-9 was designed by the famed Tony Southgate and built by
Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR), and featured a Jaguar 7.0-liter
version of the 5.3-liter V12 found in the production Jaguar XJS
Sports Coupe and Jaguar XJ12 Sedan.
Intended for use in IMSA Camel GTP racing, it debuted at the
1988 Rolex 24 at Daytona, where chassis number 288, the only other
IMSA-spec XJR-9 built, won the endurance classic in its first
The XJR-9 went on to have a highly successful career in North
American racing, with this particular car, chassis number 388,
making 14 podium appearances in three years and winning the 1990
Rolex 24 at Daytona. Having been upgraded to XJR-12 specification,
chassis number 388 set a record for most distance covered in 24
hours, going 2,709.16 miles (4,359.970 kilometers), a record that
stood until 2012.
After taking part in the Daytona 24 Hours test in 1991, chassis
number 388 was retired from active service as Jaguar’s V12
era came to an end, and TWR shifted its focus to the Turbo Charged
V6 powered Jaguar racers that would carry it to several additional
Being the only surviving IMSA-spec chassis, 388 (288 was
converted to International Group C specification and was raced
extensively in Europe) has not been raced since its retirement
after the 1991 Daytona testing session.
Since then, it has been a part of a number of prominent car
collections and was recently treated to a total restoration and
rebuild by experts, Lanzante Motorsport Limited of Petersfield in
It’s current owner, an aficionado of Group C and IMSA GTP
racers, chose the 25th anniversary of its Daytona win to bring
chassis number 388 back to the United States, the first time it has
seen action in North America in decades.
When asked how the Jaguar XJR-9/12 felt, Davy summed it all up, "Handling great, brakes are fabulous and the motor is really crisp and responsive - Let's go race it!"