AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix visitors strolling from the Historic Paddock to the Grand Prix Paddock at the Nürburgring are initially welcomed by Jaguar. The British premium brand forges links between the past and future with its appearance this year, for one celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Jaguar XJ launched in 1968 and for the other featuring a central display of the I-Pace, the car to be fielded in the world’s first all-electric one-make cup to be held as part of the FIA Formula E supporting programme starting next year.
The Britons’ appearance at the AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix attracts a large number of visitors and is a crowd-puller particularly during the interview and autograph sessions when ex-Formula One driver Christian Danner answers questions with equal personal and professional aplomb. TV channel RTL’s Formula One expert is also at home in current motorsport like few others and serves as chief instructor of Jaguar’s in-house Driving Academy. “The programme affords participants an opportunity to develop their skills on all possible performance levels,” Danner reveals. “From entry-level courses through to ice training or the Nordschleife course, there’s something for everyone. We even offer a children’s programme for 11- to 17-year-olds.” In view of his motorsport background, Danner is obviously in a position to share some information about the sporty UK brand’s ‘youngest child’ during the interviews at Jaguar as well. “Here at the ‘Ring’ we are showcasing the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy which we will field in a one-make cup as part of the Formula E supporting programme starting next season. A touring car series using electric powertrains has never existed before.” Jaguar – represented as a manufacturer in Formula E since 2016 – thus again does pioneering work that may prove to be trend-setting for motorsport as a whole. “Electric mobility is at least an important element of future motor racing,” says Christian Danner. “Although I personally doubt that we will exclusively be driving electric vehicles one day, a significant proportion of cars will no doubt be using electric drive systems.”
Proud brand history
Obviously, the brand’s history plays a major role at the Nürburgring this weekend as well. A milestone in Jaguar’s history – the XJ6 launched in 1968 – is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The model range was continued up until 1992 and for a long time the XJ12 – ultimately delivering 295 horsepower and speed of 245 km/h – was regarded as the ‘world’s fastest saloon’. But that is not the only reason for the Britons to have a party. “We are delighted that we are able to celebrate two exceptional anniversaries at this year’s AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix: the Jaguar XJ has turned 50 and the Land Rover brand 70. The visitors get to see historic highlight models such as the XJ6 of Jaguar’s founder Sir William Lyons, the Queen Mother’s XJ12 and the pioneering ‘Range Stormer’ Land Rover concept,” says Christian Löer, Director Marketing at Jaguar Land Rover Germany. “However, at the Jaguar Village, we are also showcasing current models such as the I-PACE, Jaguar’s first electric car, and the Range Rover Sport PHEV which as a plug-in hybrid combines a petrol engine and an electric motor. As a result, our numerous visitors get to experience the impressive history as well as the future of Jaguar and Land Rover.”