The entry list consisted of two race-bred Jaguar XK120s, an Austin Healey 100S, a Costin Lister and, of course, the famous Fangio C-typeRacing driver Alex Buncombe took two victories in the Plateau 2 class in the Fangio C-typeJD Classics has now won at the Monaco Historique, Goodwood 72nd Members’ Meeting, Donington Historic Festival, Autosport Three-Hour race and Le Mans Classic in 2014
With an entry list of five of its most celebrated cars, seasoned racing drivers at the wheel and arguably the best pitlane technical team in the historic racing world, JD Classics pulled out all the stops at this year’s Le Mans Classic.
Making the trip from Maldon to the famous circuit in France were two of JD Classics’ most famous Jaguar XK120s, an Austin Healey 100S, a Costin Lister and the 1952 ex-Fangio Jaguar C-type driven by Alex Buncombe – a combination of car and driver which recently stormed to victory at the Monaco Historique.
Buncombe flew in qualifying, taking pole with the only sub-five minute lap of the whole 80-car field in Plateau 2 (1949-1956). John Young put the Austin Healey 100S in eighth place with the XK120 Ecurie Ecosse ‘LXO 126’ and ex-factory Works Competition car ‘JWK 651’ in 17th and 26th respectively. In Plateau 3 (1957-1961), Jeff Lotman, Donny Edwards and James Burke solidly qualified the Costin Lister.
For the first of three Plateau 2 races, Buncombe immediately pulled away to take a superb win while John Young and the Austin Healey 100S finished 9th. Having run a steady race, XK120 ‘JWK 651’ finished within the top half of the large field and although XK120 ‘LXO 126’ ran well, its race was ended in a collision.
The second Plateau 2 race took place on a wet circuit at 3am on Sunday morning. Despite the conditions, Alex Buncombe took victory by over three minutes while the remaining three JD Classics cars all finished within the top 20. In Plateau 3, James Burke raced the Costin Lister for the entirety, starting from 21st place and, in spite of the treacherous conditions, finished 11th out of 75 cars.
Severe rain battered the circuit for the final Plateau 2 race, but Alex Buncombe maintained his lead throughout and was only thwarted from making it a hat-trick by a sheered half shaft in the rear axle on the final lap.
Both the Austin Healey 100S of John Young and the XK120 ‘LXO 126’ of Jarrah Venables performed well both finishing the final race in the top ten. The XK120 ‘JWK 651’ of JD Classics Managing Director, Derek Hood, also finished in the top half of the field.
All five JD Classics-entered cars achieved impressive overall results for the weekend with the Austin Healey 100S and the Jaguar C-Type finishing in 4th and 5th place respectively, while XK120 ‘JWK 651’ finished in 16th and ‘LXO 126’ in 24th place. On their first competitive event in the car, Jeff Lotman James Burke and Donny Edwards drove the Costin Lister to an overall result of 28th within Plateau 3.
Derek Hood, JD Classics’ Managing Director, commented: “The Le Mans Classic is becoming as popular as its 24-hour sister event – and rightly so. Every race has some of the world’s most revered classic competition cars and the standard of the teams and drivers is absolutely world class.
“With two outright victories and all four JD Classics cars in Plateau 2 achieving total overall scores ranking them well within the top half of the large field, I am a very happy man. As ever, the race team worked with passion and boundless energy in challenging conditions. They did a superb job – and I can’t wait for the next event on the calendar, the Silverstone Classic.”