The Jaguar XJR-9 is a sports-prototype race car built by Jaguar for both Group C and IMSA Camel GTP, debuting in at the 1988 24 Hours of Daytona.
An evolution of the design for the XJR-8, the XJR-9 was yet again designed by Tony Southgate and built by Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR), and featured a Jaguar 7.0-litre V12 based on the production 5.3-litre engine used in the Jaguar XJS road car. A variant of the XJR-9, the XJR-9LM, would be developed specifically for the 24 Hours of Le Mans where the requirement for high straight line speeds on the Mulsanne straight necessitated a low-drag aerodynamic package.
In the United States, the Castrol sponsored XJR-9s debuted at the 24 Hours of Daytona, with the car taking the overall win. However, throughout the rest of the IMSA Camel GTP season the XJR-9 was unable to gain another win until the final race of the season, meaning the team had to settle for third in the constructor's championship. Over in the World Sportscar Championship, the XJR-9, running Silk Cut sponsorship, met with more success. The XJR-9 was able to take six victories, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, over the eleven race season and clinch another world championship. Jaguar's success at Le Mans marked the first time since 1980 that Porsche had not won Le Mans, and the first Le Mans victory for Jaguar since 1957.
For 1989, the XJR-9 was again campaigned in both IMSA Camel GTP and the World Sportscar Championship. However, the XJR-9 was by now dated, and in IMSA was being repeatedly beaten by Nissan, leaving the XJR-9 with only a single win on the season. This led to Jaguar introducing the XJR-10 midway through the season, which met with slightly better success having two wins on the season and usually placing higher than the XJR-9 it ran with. At the end of the season, Jaguar finished 2nd in the championship.
A similar story occurred in the World Sportscar Championship, with Jaguar not able to score a win at all over the entire season against the likes of Sauber-Mercedes. Again, midway through the season the XJR-11 was developed to replace the XJR-9, although both finished out the season. This disappointment led to Jaguar finishing 4th in the teams championship that season.
Within months of Jaguar's 1988 Le Mans victory, TWR would use the XJR-9 chassis for the development of the R9R prototype which, by 1990, had evolved into the XJR-15 supercar and spec-racer.
The XJR-9 also features in Gran Turismo 4 and Gran Turismo 5. It appears in GT5 both as a Standard Model (essentially copied over from GT4) and latterly as a highly-detailed Premium Model, as part of a DLC add-on pack.
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