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Jaguar Expert Panel Announced for 2024 Philadelphia Concours d'Elegance

This year's panelists include Chip Robinson, who raced Jaguars for the highly-successful Group 44 in the 1980s; Michael Dale, former President of Jaguar North America, who was responsible for the company's decision to race its cars; and Dean Cusano, well known for his knowledge of Jaguars as a collector and restorer.


Shared via video will be Group 44's owner and driver, Bob Tullius; Tom Walkinshaw Racing's Tony Dowe; and Neil Smith, author of "ON THE PROWL: The Definitive History of the Walkinshaw Jaguar Sports Car Team" – each discussing the incredible history of the marque and sharing the back stories only insiders could relate.


Chip Robinson: 


In 1984 Robinson joined Group 44 in the IMSA GTP Championship, sharing a Jaguar XJR-7 with Bob Tullius for much of the season, finishing fifth in the points and competing in his first 24 Hours of Le Mans. He drove one more year for Group 44, scoring his first GTP victory in the season finale at Daytona.



Michael Dale:


Dale was President of Jaguar North America from 1990-2000, responsible for British Leyland's and Jaguar North America's racing activities, which involved joining forces with Group 44 to achieve numerous SCCA National Championships and bringing Jaguar back to its racing roots at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.



Dean Cusano:

Cusano has been in the automotive restoration world for over 45 years, is certified by Jaguar Clubs of North America to judge Concours and is the New England Regional director of JCNA. He has been responsible for the restoration and distribution of more than 225 E-type Jaguars worldwide. He is the CEO of Motorcars Incorporated and a vintage Jaguar racing hobbyist.


Virtual:




Bob Tullius:

(image: Bob Tullius, left, with Kas Kastner, the U.S. Director of Motorsports for Triumph Motor Company in the 1950s and '60s.)

Tullius founded Group 44 Inc. in 1965 with fellow racers Brian Fuerstenau and Dick Gilmartin, competing exclusively for Triumph, MG and Jaguar until 1988. The team won 14 SCCA National Championships, three SCCA Trans-Am titles, and has more than 300 race wins – 11 in IMSA GTP. The team’s self-built Jaguar GTP car won four races in 1983. He drove competitively until 1986. Group 44 closed in 1990.


Tony Dowe:

Dowe was the managing director of Tom Walkinshaw Racing's successful American operations in the late 1980s/early 1990s, running the Jaguar sports car racing programs and earning victories in the prestigious Daytona and Le Mans 24-hour events.






Neil Smith: 

British-raised and living in California, Smith attended his first Group C race in Brands Hatch in England at age 9, eventually becoming a scholar of sports car racing and its history. His fascination with Group C and IMSA GTP was the catalyst for the research that led to writing his debut book, "ON THE PROWL: The Definitive History of the Walkinshaw Jaguar Sports Car Team." He has worked as a journalist and co-drove in a U.S. national rally championship.



Harry Hurst (moderator): 

The panel discussion will be moderated by writer/historian Harry Hurst, who is the Director of Programs at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum, an institution he helped Dr. Frederick Simeone launch in 2008. Hurst has published three books about races in the “Glory Days of Racing.” His photos and articles have appeared in numerous books and magazines. Hurst is the founder of the Facebook group, “Glory Days of Racing.”

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