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Discover a different side to Eva Green | Will your next taxi be a self-driven Jaguar I-PACE? | What it takes to break a lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife | The petrolheads racing in Jaguar’s new all-electric race series | Up close with the latest special edition of the XE and XF: the 300 SPORT



RECORD BREAKERS constantly having to strike the balance between making specific areas of the car look attractive while also optimizing those surfaces for drag, downforce and lift.” All essential ingredients for getting a car round the Nürburgring as quickly as possible. “We had a really tough few weeks leading up to Vincent getting the record,” adds Jack Lambert, Junior Vehicle Dynamics Engineer for the Project 8. “We were hindered by bad weather at the Nürburgring and we had to work out fixes for a few problems with the car. Essentially our job was to ensure that the steering and handling were as good as they could possibly be. There were a lot of late nights in the workshop last November,” he laughs. But all that hard work wasn’t to be in vain. Having already firmly thrashed the ‘Ring times set by the Project 8’s nearest rivals by lunchtime on the third day of testing, Vincent and the engineering team decided to do one final run that afternoon. At 3 pm, thanks to a combination of perfect track conditions, tire temperatures and a near-flawless drive, he successfully beat his own record-breaking time on the last lap of the last day of the season, one hour before darkness fell and the Nordschleife closed for the winter. A most satisfying Hollywood-style ending to the Project 8’s mighty achievement. That it was a standard development car on normal road tires just added to the legend. “Getting over the line at the Nürburgring in that time was huge for all of us,” says Project 8 Vehicle Engineering Manager Adam Jones. “The car had been in development for just over a year at that point, but we already knew that it could better our rivals’ lap times. The performance targets we’d set for the car, and achieved, made us very confident of that. When it beat the nearest competitor by nearly 11 seconds, it was great to see what the Project 8 could actually do. Essentially this car is a technology demonstrator for us; it shows what Jaguar is truly capable of producing.” Even with the record set, Special Vehicle Operations engineers continued fiddling with the Project 8. “Since last November we’ve fine-tuned every element of the car to get it to 100%. We’ve added stiffer engine mounts to improve handling, changed the damping, the transmission shifts and the throttle pedal response,” says Adam. The result is a car that’s even better, and faster, than it was a year ago. Which is good news for Vincent Radermecker. “I was very proud of the record and I was also very proud that Jaguar gave me this opportunity,” he smiles. “But you always feel that in some parts of the lap you could have gone just a fraction faster... If you put all parts of a lap together, getting all the corners just right, you can achieve the ideal lap time. For me, in the production-ready Project 8, that would be a sub 7:20 time. I’m sure it’s totally possible.” As Vincent zips up his race suit and heads purposefully down the stairs to the test center’s spotless garage and his next 15 laps in a next-generation, track-hardened Jaguar, you get the impression that another Project 8 Nürburgring record is probably in the works. THE JAGUAR 41

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