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Peter James Insurance helps club partner Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club to give young drivers an experience day to remember

6 September 2022

Bicester Heritage played host to an event that was to be the first of its kind for Peter James Insurance Club Partners, The Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club. The club joined the efforts of the entire classic car movement to encourage and enable young people to get involved with Jaguars by holding a Jaguar Driving experience specifically aimed at younger members.

The day offered young people the opportunity to meet club members owning a variety of Jaguars, from all eras, and take to the Bicester Heritage test track to experience the joy of driving them.

Peter James Insurance, supported the event with advice on hand for young people looking to insure a classic Jaguar should they wish to enter ownership themselves, with special young driver insurance packages available through the club partnership with the JEC.

Classic Jaguar at Young Drivers Experience Day - Jaguar Enthusiasts Club
Garry Carlin, Head of Classic at Peter James Insurance said, “It’s important for the future health of the classic car movement to ensure we have young people coming into the community and enjoying our transport heritage. At Peter James we are working hard with our club partners to create opportunities for young people to insure classic cars through the club. Insurance is often a barrier to ownership for young people getting into classic cars and so we are proud to be supporting the club to tackle these challenges.”

The day was split into a morning session and afternoon session, with some attendees choosing to purchase packages for both to ensure they got the most out of the day! It was truly special to see so many smiles on the young faces of drivers who had never experienced driving a Jaguar before. Equally, the owners of the vehicles seemed to get a real buzz of satisfaction from passing on their advice and seeing new enthusiasts share in the experience of their vehicles.

Young Enthusiast stands beside Jaguar at Young Drivers Experience Day
Throughout the day, the trackside area at Bicester was alive with the excited chatter of young drivers who had just mastered double clutching, overdrive or driving without power steering. Equally on the newer models they were able to experience the power and use of “flappy paddle” gearchanges for the first time.

There were passenger rides available as well for the rest of the family and the Jaguars ranged from an XK150 provided by JEC Regional Ambassador Geoff Johnston, and an E-type from co-sponsors HERO-ERA, through to an XKRS-GT from Andrew Maynard, the club owned XF Sportbrake and just about everything in between.

Jaguar cars at Young Drivers Experience Day - Jaguar Enthusiasts Club
For those keen to experience the buzz of an adrenaline rush, then the Swallows Racing Team were on hand to facilitate exciting rides that will surely create memories that will last a lifetime. Supported by the Swallows Independent Jaguar crew, racer Tom Robinson and his father Gary showed budding Jaguar owners around the track throughout the day, showing what an amazing experience their immaculately prepared performance Jaguars can offer. One of the favourites of the day amongst those in attendance from Swallows Independent Jaguar was the ex-Palmersport Jaguar XK which never fails to put smiles on the faces of all who experience a drive in this brutish beast.

A huge thanks to the Swallows Independent Jaguar Racing Team for all their amazing support throughout the day.

Swallows Racing at Young Drivers Experience Day - Jaguar Enthusiasts Club
The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust also supported this event and gave attendees the magical opportunity to ride in the Nürburgring Ring Taxi XJ6.

The lucky drivers were guided around the circuit by our team of instructors, including Ray Ingman the JEC’s tamed ARDS instructor for advanced driving skills advice, Geoff Johnston who taught the drivers brilliantly on the finer points of XK150 driving, Richard West in his XJ6, Colin Porter in just about everything and Wayne Scott in the club’s XF Sportbrake. Plus of course, Gary and Tom Robinson who shared their expertise all day on both driving and car preparation for motorsport.

Watch all the action from the day here:

Here is what some of the attendees had to say:

Anthony Horobin who booked 6 experiences, “On behalf of Samantha, Alex, and Tristan, I would like to thank you, the JEC team and Swallows Racing for a fantastic day. The youngsters really enjoyed it as well as the parents and other guests.”

Mike Bailey who booked for himself and his son said, “Just catching up after a hectic weekend and I wanted to thank you for a really great day on Saturday at Bicester – worth repeating in my opinion.
We both had a great time and Phil is now coveting an E-Type …! You’ll be pleased to hear that we’re now booked for Castle Combe in October so hopefully see you again there.”

Rowan Berks who booked for his 2 sons said, “What a fantastic day! It was a true experience being able to enjoy a whole range of different style of Jaguars, and really being able to feel every aspect of the drive! There was no pressure whilst driving and all the people on site were very welcoming and created a relaxed and enjoyable environment. I really cannot fault the day and am looking forward to the next one! Thank you to everyone at the JEC!”
“Fantastic day! The instructors were top-class at guiding us around the course and teaching us about the vehicles. Felt very welcome even though I was a complete beginner to Jags. Great variety of cars to see and enjoy.”

Steve Daniels and the amazing team of volunteer marshals from the Oxfordshire region made the event run smoothly and arranged a demo of a ground-breaking electric E-type to astound those looking on during lunch. Andy Webber, Events Manager for the JEC oversaw proceedings for a well organised day. Brian Pallet, track manager at Bicester Heritage ensured everyone stayed safe with Colin Porter keeping everything running smoothly as he does with all the JEC TrackSport events.

A huge thanks to Bawns for their support of the event, and for their offer of guidance for any young person looking to avoid the pitfalls of purchasing a Jaguar in the future.

Watch this space for news of the event’s return in 2023!

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