Automotive News Marketing Seminar Los Angeles 2015
This prototype Jaguar XFR saloon is faster than the Jaguar XJ220 supercar. Inside, as it speeds across the Bonneville Salt Flats in the US state of Utah on November 8, 2008, is Paul Gentilozzi, race-car driver. His son, John, engineer at the family’s Rocketsport Racing company, talks Jaguar magazine through the record attempt.
"We took great pains to keep the car as close to stock as possible. That was our brief from Jaguar and we felt that it would be the only proper way to go at this record. The car arrived as a production prototype without most of the interior finishes. To conform to the Bonneville safety rules we would have needed to remove most of the interior anyway, although the dash and instrument cluster were identical to stock."
Although lots of the interior was removed, no doubt you had to add in a lot of safety equipment?
"The car had a full roll cage installed to meet Bonneville rules. A racing seat and a five-point racing harness were fitted. There were two fire-extinguishing systems on board, totalling nearly seven kilograms of extinguishing material. We also added a radio-communications switch to the steering wheel so that we were able to talk to Paul.
"There were only four additional aero parts added. We did not actually want to make any downforce as that always comes with a drag penalty. At best we hoped to go from the positive lift of the production car (nearly all production cars create lift), to a less positive lift or a slight amount of downforce. This was done mostly for stability. The boot extension and endplates help keep the air flow from the top of the car attached longer. The endplates specifically help prevent air from the sides of the car from curling around the rear of the car into an area of low pressure behind the trunk, which would cause drag. The flat floor was similar in function to the XFR’s stock floor, but we extended the edges to join the rest of the body. The front air dam helped prevent the front of the car from lifting at high speeds, thus improving steering. It was slightly lower than the chin spoiler fitted to the Jaguar R models. There were also two roof rails – one down each side of the roof. These are required by Bonneville rules and are designed to improve aerodynamic performance at high yaw angles. Basically, they help limit the possibility of the car rolling over if it gets sideways at high speed. You will also see them on every NASCAR race car. We also used ballast – about 113kg of the stuff, bolted to a special carrier in the spare tyre bay in the trunk. Sorry… boot. Getting traction on the salt can be very tough and this ballast provided a huge help in sticking the rear of the car to the ground. A few people saw that the car did not have an interior and immediately said that …