Jaguar racer John’s dream season

By Milton Lindsay

Jaguar enthusiast John Burton has enjoyed a vintage racing season at the wheel of his iconic E-Type at home and abroad.

John, from Fritton near Yarmouth, recently won the Valletta and Mdina Grand Prix in Malta to crown a successful year which also saw him pick up a top prize at the Jaguar Heritage Awards ceremony in London.

John enjoyed his success in Malta racing his 1961 3.8 litre E-Type coupe. It was the 58th car ever made of the marque which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. On its release in 1961 it was dubbed 'the most beautiful car ever made,' by Enzo Ferrari.

'The car was a race car in the 1980s and 90s. It was standing for 10 years and I bought it from a chap that retired from racing after racing it all over Europe. I rebuilt it and did a couple of races in it last year just to see how it was,' said John.

John, who has been racing jaguars for 12 years, also tasted success in the 2011 Jaguar Challenge, coming top in his section for steel E-types. He enjoyed three wins, three second places and a third in an eight-race series which saw him compete at Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Oulton Park and Germany's Nurburgring.

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In a busy year he was also in action in his Mark 7 1950 jaguar, managing to complete the epic Mille Miglia in Italy – a 1,000 mile road race from Brescia to Rome and back over three days. John was delighted to complete the epic event in which only around 200 out of the 350 cars managed to finish.

He is now living the dream after a love affair with Jaguars which began as a boy.

'I was given a Jaguar by a friend's father who gave me an S-Type when I was 15. I started fiddling around with it dreaming that I would would own an E-Type but never thinking I would get there. Thirty-five years later I have a collection of jaguars,' said John, who owns gas equipment business Continental Product Engineering in Loddon.

Although the racing season is over for this year, John won't be resting on his laurels as much of the winter will be devoted to getting his magnificent machines in order for next season's challenges.

He is hoping to compete in the Classic Le Mans event; the Mille Miglia, the E-Type series and the Valletta and Mdina Grand Prix, which he also won last year in his XK 120.

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