2013 Challenge Championship
JCNA Challenge Championship By Greg Glassner Virginia Jaguar Club Variety was the spice of life at the recent Jaguar Clubs of North Americas 2013 Challenge Championship in Richmond, Virginia. This biennial event coincided with the US debut of the exciting new Jaguar F-Type and the host Virginia Jaguar Club (VJC) put together a stunning display of Jaguar sports cars through the years to express the theme, Jaguar, Going and Coming. Event guest speakers, Jaguar Design Chief Ian Callum, Jaguar/Land Rover of North America President Andy Goss, and appraiser/author Dave McKinney of the Hagerty Price Guide all stressed the British companys rich automotive heritage. Hundreds of JCNA members from throughout the country gathered not far from the 1607 English landing at Jamestown for a rally, slalom, concours and social activities that included receptions and two awards banquets. Concours de Elegance It was an ambitious undertaking for one of the nations smallest Jaguar Clubs, and not without a miscue or two, including a torrential downpour on the final stage of the rally, but those who made the long journey to Virginia were impressed with both the quantity and quality of vintage Jaguars on display, a point Callum made when presenting the Ian Callum Designers Award to David and Judge John C. North II of Easton, Maryland for their stunning custom-bodied 1937 SS100 roadster. This sentiment was echoed by Goss as he presented the Sir William Lyons Biennial Trophy for Best in Show to Dean Boyden of Milton, Delaware for his meticulously restored 1960 Jaguar Mk IX sedan. Goss said he especially appreciated the effort Boyden went through to get the correct parts in restoring his classic Jaguar. In addition the usual JCNA classes, the concours also featured a lineup of new Jaguar models and a cavalcade of sporting Jaguars, ranging from VJC past President David Harrisons to a late model XKR convertible. This lineup also included the SS100 and a very original 1956 D-Type from the North collection, VJC President Ron Gaertners XK 120 coupe and 1961 XK 150 drophead coupe, both consistent 100-point cars, and VJC member Richard Grays 1965 E-Type. Another big hit at the Challenge Championship was the bright orange 1990 TWR R9R owned by Mike Grosso of Pinopolis, S.C. Rally The Rally, which passed through the scenic Lake Anna area of Central Virginia was won by Ed Overmeyer of Ooltewah, Tennessee and Jerry Mouton of Palo Alto, California in a 1963 E-Type in the Expert Class and Bob Matejek of Oakland, Michigan and Bruce Fahnestock of Smyrna, Tennessee in a 1974 E-Type in the Novice Class. Slalom The Challenge Championship Slalom was held at Richmond International Raceway on a cool, but sunny day. Fastest Time of Day was posted by an experienced slalom driver, JCNA President Dick Maury of Snellville, Georgia in his lightweight 1971 E-Type, with a time of 41.551 seconds, followed by the 1954 D-Type replica of Keith Bertanshaw of Rockaway, New Jersey in 44.307 seconds. Perennial class winner Mike Meyer of Sagamore Hills, Ohio turned in a very quick time of 45.168 seconds in his stock 2001 XK8 coupe, taking Class K honors over Greg Glassner of Ruther Glen, Virginia and Jeff Strassman of Glen Ridge, New Jersey. Other slalom class winners included David Harrison of Chester, Virginia, in his 1929 Austin Swallow Sports and Peter Schowalter of Richmond in a 2005 S-Type R. Andy Goss We are on a mission to replicate the 30 to 40 years of history that made Jaguar what it is, Andy Goss, the president of Jaguar/Land Rover North America, told members of the Jaguar Clubs of North America in June. Goss, who came to his position in the U.S. from a similar post with Porsche of Great Britain, said he feels honored to have been involved in two iconic car brands. Clearly my history in Jaguar is substantially les than yours, with less than three years at Jaguar. But this is my 34th year in the auto industry, Goss said. We (Jaguar) have made a substantial investment in products and drivetrains and [Ian] Callum has made a brilliant start in creating the modern Jaguar with the XK and XJ, Goss said. The new F-Type follows a long history of Jaguars like the C-Type and D-Type, Goss said, adding that it is poised to be a real serious competitor for Porsche. We intend to give Porsche a kicking. The F-Type drives like a sports car and behaves like a sports car. This is a phenomenal investment in new product development and we have owners now who put their money where their mouth is not in the future, but now. Goss pledged good, strong relationships with the clubs. We are all about advocacy. You will see us help you get new members. Ive had some good conversations and you can expect a strong commitment in this area, Goss said. Ian Callum Jaguar/Land Rover Design chief Callum also stressed his companys devotion to Jaguar heritage and new models that reflect that history in modern platforms. The F-Type is the one I am most proud of. It meets so many attributes [of Jaguar sports cars] and yet is so elegant. The atmosphere of Jaguar is very individual. Its iconic, it is about performance and prestige, Callum said, tracing Jaguars heritage and stance to the SS100 of the late 1930s, one of which was on display at that days Concours. Callum also discussed the details and form that have been carried through Jaguar models through the decades.The details of a Jaguar are very important. If you compromise form or the details, it will never work. Demonstrating with illustrations of how the new F-Type reflects its heritage as passed down through the XK 120s, D-Type and E-Type, Callum stressed that Jaguars are synonymous with a sporting, elegant look and a low, sleek profile. It is alive, glamorous and inspires desire. I always say, nobody needs a Jag, you have to want to own one. Immediatedly after the event, Callum added, Everyone I spoke to and I spoke to a lot of really passionate owners -- I tried to pass on the message that Jaguar, today, is one company with one story. The core values we put into our cars now - design, performance, agility and glamour - are the same as they were 50 years ago when Sir William Lyons was running the company. Many Virginia Jaguar Club members and other volunteers put nearly two years into planning and preparation for this major event, noted VJC President Gaertner. VJC Vice President Bruce Murff added, They gave life to the 2013 Challenge Championship.Whether it was as a runner for score sheets, manning a remote post directing traffic,recording Rally times in a monsoon, keeping track of laps at the slalom, or individually answering the same question from 250 different people, we could not have pulled it off without them. That is what makes a team, and that is what makes a club.