XJS V12 TWR, Michael Turner - Copyright

TWR XJS – 1984 Spa 24 Hours, Michael Turner, 1984

The Artwork

This is one of six paintings by artist Michael Turner in the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust’s Collection, and depicts the TWR XJS, Car #12, at the 24 Hours of Spa race on 29 July 1984.  This was one of the races in the 1984 European Touring Car Championship and the XJS is leading Car #1 of team BMW Italia  driven by Dieter Quester / Hans-Joachim Stuck / James Weaver and Car #2 of the Bastos Juma Team driven by Thierry Tassin / Alain Cudini and Dany Snobeck.

The TWR XJS Car #12 won the race completing 453 laps, covering 3,147.897 kms (1,926 miles), at an average speed of 131.091 km/h (81.46 mph) ahead of the 2nd place BMW of Tassin / Cudini and Snobeck covering 450 laps.

The race started in light rain which continued for much of the race, deteriorating for a couple of hours into fog which slowed the proceedings considerably, and Turner vividly captures these conditions.

The painting is currently on public display in the Collections Centre at the British Motor Museum at Gaydon.

The Artist

Michael Turner was born in Harrow, Middlesex, in 1934. Raised in the suburbs of London during the Second World War, he was inspired by the exploits of the R.A.F. and developed an early talent for aircraft recognition, drawing aeroplanes in his school exercise books to the chagrin of his teachers. This enthusiasm for aviation found a parallel passion in the thrill of motor racing after a holiday visit to the Isle of Man in 1947, where he chanced to see the first post war revival of the British Empire Trophy Race. From that moment, with the indulgence of his parents until he reached driving age, he attended as many motor sport events as possible, including the first ever meetings at Silverstone and Goodwood and the Jersey Road Races.

After completing his formal education, he spent a year at Art College followed by two years National Service with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. Three years in advertising studios in London provided valuable experience and in 1957 he went freelance. With a strong belief that there is no substitute for first hand involvement in order to portray such demanding subjects with authority and feeling, he travelled to the world’s major race tracks to satisfy his need for authenticity, and he continues to visit several Grand Prix each year.

His interest in aircraft led him to become a founder member of The Guild of Aviation Artists, of which he has twice been Chairman and is now President, and an Honorary Fellow of the Guild of Motoring Artists. His clients include many racing drivers, teams, sponsors, pilots, motor and aircraft manufacturers, R.A.F. and Army messes, museums and private collections worldwide. He held one man exhibitions in London, New York, Australia and the U.S.A., and participated in specialist shows in the U.K. and Europe. He had six books of his paintings published covering aircraft of the Royal Air Force and Luftwaffe, Formula One Motor Racing, Aviation Art, Monaco Grand Prix and Motor Sport Art.

The Car

In the painting the car, Chassis #007, is depicted showing its Spa race number of #12. This car is now owned by the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust sporting race number #1.

It is maintained in running condition by our technicians at Gaydon and is regularly used for ‘demonstration’ purposes at Historic Races and club events, including Coventry Motofest. 

Tom Walkinshaw Racing – TWR

Tom Walkinshaw had a fine track record with Rover, Ford, Mazda, and BMW, and approached Jaguar with a proposal to enter the European Touring Car (ETCC) Championship of 1982.  The regulations prompted him to search for a car with the widest possible tyres and independent suspension.  Although the XJ-S was heavy, it fitted the bill.  Its fuel injection was an advantage, due to restrictions on altering the engine intake manifold.  It won its first race before the end of the season, and came second in the championship.

The 1983 season was even better, as the Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) Jaguar team at one time led BMW with five wins to four, and only narrowly missed winning the championship. 

A three-car team ran in the 1984 season, and this time, the Jaguars were unassailable.  Of seven race victories, the most memorable was in the 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, by Walkinshaw, Hans Heyer and Win Percy – the first victory in a 24-hour race for Jaguar since the 1957 Le Mans.

Walkinshaw won the championship, the first Jaguar driver to do so since Peter Nocker in 1963.

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