Bob Tullius Jaguar XJR5 was fast and beautiful.
||Group 44, Winchester VA
||Sheet Aluminium semi monocoque by Dave Klym, with honeycomb floor panels, tubular reinforced steel bulkheads, integral steel roll cage.
||Kevlar and carbonfibre body panels.
||Upper and lower wishbones, Koni coil/damper units, anti rollbar.
||Hewland VGS200 5 speed.
||60 degrees V12 SOHC 5,3L up to 6,5L|
Bob Tullius formed Group 44 in the early sixties with partner Brian Fuerstenau. He would remain loyal to the marque during two decades. He wanted to have his own car and go back to Le Mans someday. So he had his car built by Lee Dykstra and backed by Jaguar Cars Inc. Mike Dale. Jaguar new charmant John Egan would not take long to approve the project. By 1982, the car would be ready to race. The design was à sheet aluminum monocoque with a honeycomb floor section and tubular reinforced steel bulkheads. The coachwork was in kevlar and carbonfibre and the suspension was traditional double wishbones front and rear, with the rear coil/damper mounted high above the upper wishbones.
The V12 would be a 5,3L developing some 530hp. A gradual refinement was planned and by 1985 about 99% of the components had been redrawn. The XJR7 then took over. Meanwhile, the engine displacement would climb to 6,0L with Lucas/Micos engine management. Several victories were to be garnered by the team, which was composed of fine drivers such as Bob Tullius, Bill Adam, Doc Bundy, Brian Redman, Hurley Haywood, John Morton and Chip Robinson. Derek Bell would test the car at Silverstone in 1983, and the final green-light was given for Le Mans. One victory was grabbed in 1984 as well as 1985. The XJR7 was to do the job and was lighter, had more downforce and lower drag. The chassis had machined aluminum floor and side panels and composite materials were used more widely. Lightened suspension components had been incorporated for a car that was more driver friendly. The story would last until the beginning of 1988, when TWR entered the IMSA series and fielded a trio of XJR9 cars, penned by Tony Southgate. It was then clear that the Jaguar factory cash would be moving back to England and Tom Walkinshaw's squadron. The support had been withdrawn from mid 1987, and Bob Tullius knew that the dream would soon be over. Two more victories were to be recorded this year at Riverside and West Palm Beach.