CWN - News & Information for Coventry & Warwickshire 20x21spacer.gif (59 bytes)What's New?Search CWN
MIRA / McLaren Speed Record Fact File

This is the second proving ground record set by McLaren. At VW’s Wolfsburg test track 0n 31 March 1998 an F1 piloted by race driver Andy Wallace clocked 240.14 mph (386.7 km/h) on the 9km-long straight.

The same car, XP5, was used for the MIRA speed record and is the fifth (and final) pre-production prototype which was built to production specification and is finished in British Racing Green.

XP5 is the hardest-worked of all the prototypes. It has clocked up more than 50,000 miles (80,000 kms), many thousands of those at MIRA. It has been round the world three times to various shows, exhibitions and events promoting McLaren’s world-beating engineering.

All 100 McLaren F1s have been built, sold and delivered. Of the 100 cars, 64 were F1 road cars; five were F1 LM versions (built to commemorate victory at LeMans in 1995); three were F1 GTs and the remaining 28 were F1 GTR cars built for customers competing in the FIA GT racing championship and the 24 Heures du Mans.

Driver Peter Taylor is an ex-Jaguar vehicle engineer who now runs Peter Taylor & Associates — his own vehicle test and development company serving the automotive industry.

Peter Taylor was a Jaguar apprentice working for Norman Dewis, Jaguar’s legendary chief test driver at the time David Hobbs set the original MIRA High-Speed Circuit record in the XJ13 in April 1967. Dewis is also credited with having driven the XJ13 round MIRA at similar speeds to the record which was officially listed in the Guinness Book of Records.

Unlike the XJ13, which was designed and built specifically to race at Le Mans and reinstate Jaguar’s name in the history of the French 24-hour endurance classic, the F1 is a purpose-designed road car. Indeed, it was driven via the M25 and other roads to MIRA for the customer option development sessions during which the timed record runs were staged.

Jaguar’s plans to return to Le Mans were canned before XJ13 had a chance to race. It was wheeled out to be filmed at MIRA just before the launch of the V12-engined E-type in the early 1970s. The footage was to be part of the E-type launch material.

While being driven rapidly on the High-Speed Circuit it crashed. Driver Norman Dewis (who is built like a National Hunt jockey) emerged from the badly-damaged car claiming that his life had been saved by his diminutive stature. He was able to ‘shrink’ himself into the cockpit as the car rolled off the banking into the grass infield. Wheel break-up was blamed for the accident.

XJ13 was mothballed in its damaged state. Body formers for the car were believed to have been scrapped. However, the formers were later discovered and Jaguar’s then boss Lofty England ordered the car to be rebuilt. It has subsequently revisited MIRA on a number of occasions. Its future is now as a significant part of Jaguar’s history and heritage.

The future for McLaren’s XP5 prototype is, on the other hand, likely to be continued hard work. The car remains a company promotional vehicle and development test-bed for customer options. It is maintained in pristine condition and shows no signs of being pensioned off!

Jack Poyser celebrated his 65th birthday on Monday 21 December 1998, two days after officially retiring from MIRA. His role as Proving Ground Manager has now been incorporated into a restructured MIRA position embracing the Proving Ground, Test Facilities Engineering and a number of related areas. Dr Viv Stephens, previously Manager of Vehicle Programmes at MIRA, has been appointed to this new position. Dr Stephens, himself an enthusiastic follower of motorsport and an ACU competition licence holder, was one of the first to congratulate McLaren and Peter Taylor after the new MIRA High-Speed Circuit record was set.


For further information contact:
Keith R Read, Corporate PR Manager - MIRA
Tel: +44 (0)1203 355455 (direct) Fax: +44 (0)1203 355050

Paula Webb, PR & Marketing - McLaren Cars Limited
Tel: +44 (0)1483 750341 Fax: +44 (0)1483 724547

1x22rule.gif (89 bytes)




Click for details of Harry Shaw trips and tours

Coventry and Warwickshire Savers

Brooklands Grange Hotel & Restaurant

CWN / Motoring / Newswire / MIRA / 7 Jan 99

1995-2000 Coventry Internet Developments Ltd

This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM