Jaguar classic challenge season gets off to a dramatic start

  • First race of the 2017 season sees the 37-strong grid featuring a diverse mix of classic Jaguar racing cars
  • E-types lock-out the podium spots, with Gary Pearson first, newcomer Ben Short second, father and son duo Graeme and James Dodd third
  • Racing continues at the Legends of Brands Hatch Superprix on 1-2 Jul

A quality grid of race-prepared pre-1966 racing machines and a Who’s Who of historic motorsport competitors ensured the first Jaguar Classic Challenge race of the 2017 season starred at the Donington Historic Festival on Sunday.

The third season of the Jaguar Classic Challenge began in perfect conditions at the Leicestershire circuit, with the front runners locked in combat from the off. Championship newcomer Ben Short forced pole-sitter Gary Pearson to push on the ragged edge for the first 10 minutes of the 40-minute race, before Pearson settled into a rhythm and pulled out a 14-second lead to win the 29-lap encounter.

Gary Pearson, race winner, said: “I am absolutely delighted to win the first event of the season in what was a great race and the perfect start to the season. I pushed hard for the opening laps, which paid dividends at the end. It was truly exciting racing against Ben Short, he is an excellent driver and is learning how to race E-types very quickly. He will no doubt be a threat throughout the rest of the Jaguar Classic Challenge season.”

Tim Hannig, Director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic, said: “There were some epic battles throughout the field at the Donington Historic Festival, which was a fantastic event for us. All our drivers put on a thoroughly entertaining show for spectators and I’d like to congratulate our top three on a superb result.

“The strong field of drivers shows how prestigious the Jaguar Classic Challenge has become in its third season. We look forward to welcoming yet another fantastic line-up of historic Jaguar racing machines at the next race: the HSCC Legends of Brands Hatch Superprix in July.”