Jaguar D-type. Mike Hawthorn. A Trip Around Le Mans in 1956

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With a week or so to go until one of the greatest races of the year is upon us, I thought I’d take a couple of minutes to look back at Jaguar and their return to the hallowed tarmac of Le Mans.

As we have posted before, Jaguar will be returning to Le Mans this year with the Jaguar XKR RSR GT2. A car that is still progressing through its development stages, however one that is already showing great pace. I suppose one of the most exciting things to look forward to is a grid of BMW, Jaguars, Porsches, Astons, Ferraris and Spykers thundering down the Mulsanne!

The names of Jaguar and Le Mans are inextricably linked and as surprising to some of you as this may be, Jaguar racked up a total of seven wins between 1951 and 1990, making it the single most successful British team in the history of the race. The desire to win and compete in the famous race lead to the creation of some of the most iconic cars and technological innovations in the history of motoring. Disc brakes for instance…pioneered by Jaguar Cars and rapidly adopted by carmakers the world over.

One of the marques most famous cars and drivers was the stunning Jaguar D-type, steered by Mike Hawthorn. The D-type was a devastating car in its day and along with its predecessor, the C-type, racked up five outright victories between the,

So it is with Mike and the D-type that we take you for a ride around the famous French track. As you will see, times have changed since 1956. Practice with bread vans and cyclists just wouldn’t happen these days.

Turn it up and revel in this great piece of historical video.

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