Jaguar V8 Supercars tilt "insane"

words - Feann Torr
British prestige brand Jaguar courted by V8 Supercars teams to enter the Australian motor racing series
British prestige car maker Jaguar has told local media it was approached by two teams to jump on the V8 Supercar bandwagon, but declined without much consideration.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) Asia Pacific Managing Director David Blackhall said it would be "insane" for his company to enter the championship.

The news comes just weeks after Volvo confirmed its $6 million assault on the V8 Supercars Championship in 2014, where it will join Ford and Holden and newcomers Mercedes-Benz AMG and Nissan.

"We have been approached by two teams," said Blackhall. "We took a look at the economics and the demographics, and we briefly discussed it with Adrian [Hallmark, Jaguar Global Brand Director].

"But the business decision around that is frankly insane," said Blackhall.

Jaguar could have used several body types to contest the series, the most likely candidate the XFR-S (pictured) sedan.

"One of the teams even said 'you can use our engine, just put a Jaguar cover on it' but it's not where we want to be as a brand," said the regional Jaguar boss.

Blackhall said that if Jaguar wanted to "mix it on the front of the grid" in V8 Supercars, the cost would have been "astronomical".

Jaguar's Asia Pacific boss also questioned the logic behind AMG's participation in the series, and said Volvo wouldn't get much out of it either.

"I don’t know what it does for AMG to get flogged by a V8 Commodore week after week, but it's their brand, their issue. And the same thing will happen to Volvo to be honest.

"You've got a 20-year-old Yamaha V8 you want to convert to racing mode. Good luck with it, it's a five year project, but it's millions and millions of dollars that I'd rather spend on something that I know is going to probably generate a better brand image and strengthen our potential to sell to people we want to sell to," he stated.

The British car maker could have created a strong connection between the race car and its road cars, as it offers 5.0-litre V8, rear-wheel drive vehicles, the same layout used by V8 Supercars. Blackhall explained: "For that reason we looked at it seriously. But if we ever turned a wheel in anger as Jaguar ... I'd love to do it with an F-Type," he said.

Jaguar's global chief Adrian Hallmark said domestic racing series do not provide the global coverage his company would be seeking, instead fragmenting coverage "nation by nation" which becomes expensive.

"For us, the only bet is F1 if you really want to get media coverage on a global level," said Hallmark. "We've been there. And the fizzy drink that took over [Jaguar's F1 team] is not doing too bad. But we wouldn't go back again."

Published : Wednesday, 26 June 2013
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