Larry Perkins shares a moment with our editor at Le Mans in 1988

Bathurst’s 1000 kilometre race is a MUST DO every year because of the place if not the cars.

This year’s race was no exception, and you probably didn’t reality it, but Jaguar has very strong links to the Walkinshaw/Andretti Team which filled third place on the podium following an extraordinary race, even for Bathurst.

We know Jaguar inside out more than any other publication, so what are we talking about you may ask.

Tom Walkinshaw sits frustrated in his XJ-S (004) while the oil cooler is replaced.

Obviously there is the Walkinshaw connection – Tom’s TWR outfit winning the race there for Jaguar in 1985. Tom and Win Percy finished third also, after leading for much of the event, and of course, a sister TWR Jaguar won with John Goss and Armin Hahne driving.

So what about this year? Well third place-getter James Courtney was Jaguar’s first Jaguar Racing Formula 1 Test driver. He returned to Australia following an horrific crash in testing.

Young Jaguar F1 test driver James Courtney at the Australian Grand Prix representing the manufacturer.

… and his co-driver Jack Perkins? Well his very successful father drove the Silk Cut Jaguar XJR-9LM into fourth place at Le Mans in 1988, backing up the winning Jaguar.

Larry Perkins is buckled into his 4th place XJR-9LM at Le Mans 1988.

So that is it – other than the fact winning team owner Dick Johnson owned an XJ12 and worked for Jaguar demonstrating their new cars at tracks around Australia with Allan Grice, while Roger Penske competed head to head driving against the Lwt E-Type in Europe in the early 1960s.

Dick Johnson and Allan Grice recommending Jaguars.

I don’t think I can find any more associations with this year’s race!

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