There are some car models that have truly fascinating stories to tell. One great example is the Porsche LMP1-98. Interestingly enough, this model has actually also been classed as both a Jaguar and a Mazda at various times throughout its history. Very few cars throughout history can claim to have passed through the manufacturing plants of three separate, and highly prestigious, automobile brands. The LMP1-98 is therefore quite a unique model and we’ll be taking a look at its story today.
The journey of this car began back in 1991 in the form of the Jaguar XJR-14. This was actually a prototype model that had been exclusively manufactured to compete in the World Sportscar Championship for that year. The car was designed by Ross Brawn in order to comply with a new set of regulations introduced for the championship event. Three examples of the XJR-14 were manufactured and the car had some great technology inside it. A Ford-Cosworth V8 engine helped to power the car to plenty of race wins and a driver’s championship title.
After that, Jaguar decided to take a break from European racing events for a while and the XJR-14 was forgotten. By 1994, only one of the three XJR-14s still existed, and it was located in California. The chassis of this vehicle was eventually sent over to Porsche, where it was used to create the WSC95. Porsche had high hopes for the model and planned to see it make its racing debut at the 1995 edition of 24 Hours of Daytona. Unfortunately, some rules changes meant that Porsche had to withdraw the car from a variety of events.
Despite a run of bad luck, all was not lost for the WSC95. A man named Reinhold Joest believed that the car could still be successful and decided to enter it into the 1996 Le Mans event. The WSC95 defied the odds and won the event. Not only that, but the car came back and won again in 1997, with that original Jaguar chassis becoming the only one to ever win this event twice. For 1998, a string of modifications were made which led to the car being renamed as the LMP1-98, and it was then retired.
So where does Mazda come into all of this? Well, the Japanese company actually communicated with Jaguar and had its own set of XJR-14 chassis manufactured. These chassis went on to be used in the company’s MXR-01 model. The MXR-01 was used in a variety of racing events in Japan and the rest of the world. Unfortunately, it couldn’t quite manage a victory but earned some respectable finishes including second place at Silverstone. The LMP1-98 name will live on in history, but it’s intriguing to look at the ways in which the original chassis has been used and renamed throughout the years. Porsche, Jaguar, and Mazda all benefitted from the original XJR-14.