15.March, 2007 @08:03     Coupe News
Andy Wallace, winner of the 1988 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as countless other races with the TWR-built Jaguar XJR range of the 80s and 90s, was behind the wheel of the new sportscar for its first running laps at both the recent official FIA test sessions in Monza, Italy and Nogaro in South Western France.JAGUAR XKR GT3 1

While running time was hampered by new car teething troubles, Wallace gained a very positive first impression. “It’s a lovely car to drive, nicely put together, and will be perfect from a customer’s point of view. It’s extremely stable, and doesn’t do anything odd or unexpected, plus it sounds good and is absolutely beautiful!”

Apex Motorsport Team Principal, Richard Lloyd, acknowledged that there was still a lot of work to do before the car makes its racing debut at Silverstone on the 5th/6th May. JAGUAR XKR GT3 2

“To be in Monza for the official Championship launch at the end of February was, for us, like a victory in itself. The car ran for the very first time so we viewed it as just a shakedown. Since then we’ve done the two days at Nogaro and, in spite of not much track time, we learnt a lot about the car so feel that significant progress has been made.

“We built this car in only three months, so it was a great challenge to get to this stage. We would have liked more time, of course, but we are where we are – no excuses. We know from the last test that the car responds incredibly well to suspension and set up changes, and next time out we will get the chance to put the car through its paces at speed so we can get some feedback on the engine performance.”JAGUAR XKR GT3 3

Apex Motorsport’s next test dates have not yet been finalised, but the car will likely be seen clocking up the miles on a British race track in the very near future with a fresh engine and exhaust system