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Old 10-27-2003, 08:26   #1 (permalink)
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Jaguar Racing Engine Makes Successful Debut at Trans-Am Season Finale in Puerto Rico

The Auto Channel

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Oct. 26, 2003 -- Jaguar opened a new era for the Trans-Am Tour -- and its own competition heritage -- as Scott Pruett qualified on pole and led 21 of 55 laps in the Puerto Rico Grand Prix powered by a new, production-based, overhead-cam V8 engine. Although Pruett finished 13th due to broken right-rear-hub drive pin, the new Jaguar AJ-V8 race engine showed the power and reliability of a champion.

"The Jaguar engine never missed a beat," said Pruett, who clinched the Drivers' Championship in Miami September 28. "It's too bad we couldn't give it a win its first time out, but I'm really glad to be a part of such an important time in Jaguar's racing history. We should be in really good shape for next year."

The new race engine is based on the same all-aluminum 4.2-liter AJ-V8 that powers Jaguar's XK sports cars, the S-TYPE sedan and the all-new 2004 XJ sedan. Rocketsports engineers shortened the stroke and widened the bores to raise the stock displacement from 4.2 liters to 4.5 liters.

While the race engine retains the AJ-V8's lightweight alloy cylinder block and heads, a new heavy-duty crankshaft is fitted along with lightweight racing pistons and connecting rods. A new fuel injection system has been developed by Rocketsports and Bosch.

The Jaguar engine weighs approximately 100 pounds less than the Ford pushrod V8 that it replaces, and it will rev up to 9,000 rpm -- up from 8,200 in the pushrod engine. Both features are seen as key advantages in on-track performance.

"First, I want to congratulate Wally Castro and Tomy Drissi, who made sure Jaguar was well represented on the victory podium in Puerto Rico," said George Ayres, Jaguar North America VP of Marketing. "But Scott Pruett's performance today was no less important. His drive proved that the new engine is strong and ready to lead the field. Jaguar's racing program in Trans-Am is in a very strong position for 2004."
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