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online the story of my visit at Don Law Racing UK

XJ220 1992 - 1994

online the story of my visit at Don Law Racing UK

Old 04-06-2018, 05:01 AM
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Old 04-09-2018, 06:02 AM
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For those with less than fluent Italian (and that includes me) this is Luca's story:

Don Law Racing, the den of the Jaguar XJ 220
Every car manufacturer that follows the production cycle has at least one "special" that has nothing to do with normal production.

Something that is done in a separate shed, with special people, closed to the rest of humanity, where the only contact with the outside world is the door from which these supercars emerge.

At the Jaguar in the 90s was the "Saturday Club", formed by a group of employees (including engineers, workers, mechanics, designers) who went unpaid to work on Saturday to give vent to their creativity trying to create something unique.

Led by Jim Randle, it give birth to the XJ220, the car born to beat the Ferrari F40, the Porsche 959 and the Bugatti EB110.
Of that historical car there are only 275 examples, but in the world there is only one specialized company that takes care of all these cars: Don Law Racing.
Lost in the Staffordshire countryside, you find it hard to find it even if you have the address because it is intentionally anonymous.

Quality craftsmen (the real ones)
The brick buildings (probably an old cheese factory) do not give the impression of being the most important place in the world for these cars!

But as soon as you stop and look around, you see behind a door 2 coachbuilders who are repairing an XJ220, and beyond a window where you see incredible cars and motorcycles, a kind of museum that only a few have the privilege of touching, then you understand that you have arrived.

My visit begins like this, an anonymous day at the end of July, suddenly transformed into a legendary day for me!

Following the directions from the coachbuilders, very kind, I found the entry: no signage, no indication on the road. But as soon as I cross the threshold, on the left I can see the shape of an XJ220 LM raised for maintenance. By and ... Yes. I'm in the right place!

Before me at least 15 XJ220 between LM, S, C, Martini Racing and standard: it is the first time in my life that I see the XJ220 live, and at the same time I see in front of me all versions, with right hand drive and left, modified and standard, in short, I have a heart that beats at 1000!

I am immediately welcomed by Justin Law, very kind and very helpful, owner and very well known and well-established driver. Let's start with a tour of the workshop where I see disassembled cars, engines on stands ready to be installed, a frame with the structure in sight hanging from the ceiling and an endless series of these cars in addition to 6 very rare XJR-15 (yes, you have understood correctly ... 6 of the 50 produced). and in the center an E-Type coupé completely restored as if it were new. Gorgeous!

The contrast between the E-Type and other cars is evident, but she is there to show that the history of the Jaguar brand is made of unforgettable objects, of sinuous shapes like the E-Type and of streamlined and aerodynamic lines like those of the XJ220 .

Justin immediately proves to be very helpful and even tries to speak in simple English helping me to understand well what he tells me. He explains to me that his clients are international and that some of these cars are also coming from Italy!

After seeing almost all these beasts close up, we go outside where one of his 2 cars stands. It is a 220 C completely modified and used for competitions. It has about 800 HP and digital instrumentation in front of the steering wheel. Many of the details (like the doors) are made of carbon (unlike the standard model that has them in aluminum) just like the LM. He shows me the engine. It makes me notice some details like the 2 intercoolers covered in black ceramic, to isolate them from the heat of the engine.

The beast is unleashed
After a while, seeing my irrepressible enthusiasm, Justin looks at me and with a hint of a smile he tells me: "I'm going to wash my hands and then go for a ride".
I cannot believe that, after having dreamed for years just to see one live, I would also have had the opportunity to try it with a driver who can push hard and get to the limit of the potential of this car! Instead it happened!
Within. The interior is wide and for the passenger also unexpectedly spacious. Start up. The V6 does not seem to like it because in the first few minutes it crackles and limps. it also needs to get warm to run well ... just like the competition cars! In fact it is the one from the Jaguar XJR-10 and prepared by Tom Walkingshow Racing: http://www.alastairbols.com/resource...9e7dad5660.pdf

We turn onto the road. English roads are very narrow and with a car more than 2 meters wide, it is very very demanding. Justin is still waiting for a moment to see that the temperatures are at an acceptable level and then ... .. it is unleashed! Bumps, bends, compressions, the car takes turns at a crazy speed and tackles everything, anything, without breaking down. It holds the line without any problems and the thrust of the engine with the 2 turbochargers in action is amazing! I try to remain impassive but I have a smile on my face that I can not contain. You feel the back of the seat pushes and hugs you as if to accompany you in another dimension. The road, pointed, seems to be only curves without straights.

But the straights are there ... it's just that they end immediately!
In release, the wastegate opens and an impressive breath pervades the cockpit while at the same time you hear an explosion like a bomb that bursts behind your ears!
They are the exhausts that, while generating this sound, spit flames from the back.
In front of us there is a group of cars that we pass at an impressive speed of 1 cm from the verges. But the straight is over! The entrance to the narrow curve to the left after overtaking challenges the g-force limits because I feel the cheek move to the outside of the curve. The car follows the trajectory as if it were on rails without feeling for a moment a screech of tires while I have heart, lungs, liver and everything else moved to the right of the body, restrained by the seat and the belts that press on the chest.
I'm sitting on the side of the roadside and I see the plants pass by a hair from my face with the rear wheels that often go slightly off the tarmac while Justin continues to press on the gas and the huge turbines compress a quantity of impressive air inside the 3.5L V6.
About ten minutes of interminable and adrenaline where, on return, you also appreciate the comfort (unexpected) of the XJ220 at low speeds. Considering that the suspension arms are uniball and the torsion bars have to be huge as you do not move a millimetre in the corners on the limit, feel that 130 is comfortable, it's really amazing!

Dreams end at dawn
On our return I climb out while I feel the exhausting creaks trying to cool down and I still have in my eyes the corners we just drove. I receive a DON LAW RACING T-shirt as a present and, after a last look, I leave this incredible place sad.

Sad because I wanted to stay there for 2 days, see what they do, stay silent on one side when they fit the new forged pistons forged in the engine, make a drain. But my time has ended.
I have to thank God for letting the sun out that day so I can push the car close to the limit (it often rains in those areas). I thank William Alain Jones of the Jaguar Club of Wales for accompanying me on this incredible adventure.
And above all, I thank Justin for the unforgettable experience he gave me.

That was clearly a very exciting and memorable day.

The following 3 users liked this post by GGG:
deuce2000 (04-09-2018), ronbros (05-05-2018), sklimii (04-09-2018)
Old 04-09-2018, 07:02 AM
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