Now this is racing of the very highest order. The Group C Racing series tours some of Europe’s finest circuits like Spa Francorchamps, Silverstone (25th and 26th of this month) and Barcelona, which is where we’re going for today’s ‘How to Drive ….’ video.
GRR witnessed the spectacle of these machines first hand at the Spa Classic and can vouch that the action is as good as it looks. The grid is made up of Group C cars from 1982 – 1992 which of course includes such favourites as the Porsche 962, Nissan R90CK, and the two protagonists in this video: the Sauber C11 and Jaguar XJR-14. Admittedly it’s a bit of a long clip, but well worth investing the time to see (and hear!)
The Mercedes-Benz powered Sauber and the Ford-Cosworth powered Jaguar are separated by only one year (1990 and 1991 respectively) but were built under very different regulations. For 1991 a change in Group C fuel consumption rules brought about a shift in aerodynamic thinking and packaging requirements. As a result for 1991 what you really needed was a small, lightweight atmospheric engine to power what was a lighter and more aerodynamically efficient car.
It is for these reasons that the clip we’re sharing here is just so good to watch. The Sauber will have had a dry weight something in the region of 900kg with its five-litre, twin-turbo V8 churning out a comfortable 730bhp, although it is likely that the driver has the option of upping the boost somewhat if necessary. The Jaguar’s weight is something closer to 750kg and it will be making do with around 100 fewer horsepower from an atmospheric, F1-derived V8, but with superior aerodynamics and grip. As a result, the Sauber manages to haul itself down the straights even harder than the screaming Jaguar (much, much harder on a few occasions), but in the braking zones and through the corners it’s a very different story …
So which will prevail; brute horsepower or ultimate cornering ability? Game on!