NOV 19th 2014

Video: How to drive a Jaguar XJS V12 around Mount Panorama

‘Here comes the boss’ is the cry from the Aussie commentator as the late, great Tom Walkinshaw embarks on a quest to claim pole position at the fearsome Mount Panorama circuit. The event was the legendary Bathurst 1000 race in 1985 and as you’ll see from the footage Mr Walkinshaw was well-and-truly ‘on it’! 

It’s a blinding example of ten-tenths qualifying driving, accompanied by a screaming V12 which sounds as if it’s going to kick a rod out of the side of the alloy block every time the Scot goes for another gear. I reckon there are several points on this lap where fewer than four wheels were on the ground, and going through the fast McPhillamy Park left-hander he has the car on two wheels as he slides out to a perfect exit point. This clip is worth watching for that moment alone.

As the big Jag approaches Skyline we’re treated to on-board footage which we stay with for the rest of the lap as we watch Walkinshaw working the wheel hard through the plunging Esses and The Dipper before howling down Conrod Straight. And I do mean howling.

These were days before The Chase was introduced to slow the cars down before they reached the final turn, Murray’s Corner, so we’re treated to the blood-curdling scream of the big V12 going through the gears until it reaches (a measured) 170mph. Listen closely and you ‘ll hear as the rear wheels lose traction and the car ‘goes light’ over the final crest before the car is slowed down for the last turn.


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