The famous burgundy red Mk II Jaguar, which featured in the hit ITV television series Inspector Morse, is among the entries for the road going element of RB12, a unique 10-day marathon for cars, boats and aircraft, which starts on 21 June 2012. Starting and finishing at the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy, venue for the 2012 Olympic sailing events, it will be the first time 50 cars, 50 boats and 50 aircraft will compete in a 10-leg circumnavigation of Britain’s coastline simultaneously.
Now owned by Australian publishing company International Publishing Group, the iconic 1960 car, was driven by the late John Thaw CBE in all 33 episodes of the popular detective series, in which he starred as grumpy super-sleuth Inspector Morse. Based on the novels of Colin Dexter, the series first hit TV screens in 1987 and went on to become one of Britain’s best-loved programmes, with the final three episodes shown in 2000 watched by over 18 million people. The immensely popular Inspector Morse series ran for 13 years and saw John Thaw win a Best Actor BAFTA in 1990 and a second BAFTA in 2001.
The distinctive car remains housed in the UK and is set to feature in a cameo role in an upcoming prequel to the series, timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the first episode, in an ITV production entitled ‘Endeavour’. Set in 1965, Shaun Evans plays Morse as a junior detective who’s just dropped out of Oxford University and is investigating the disappearance of a schoolgirl. John Thaw’s daughter Abigail will star alongside Shaun in the one-off drama due to hit the screens early in the New Year.
The Mk II Jaguar will be one of a maximum of 15 entries to participate in the Classic class, one of six categories within the LAND element, which caters for 1931-1970 cars. The five other classes include Vintage (Pre 1931 motor cars), Luxury (Post 1971 motor cars) and SUV (21st Century large SUV/4×4 motor vehicles) categories, with entries limited to a maximum of 10. The remaining two classes Supercar (21st Century two-seat, 400+bhp sports cars) and Green (21st Century EV, HEV, PHEV and Low CO₂ICE motor cars) will allow 15 in each class.
RB12 LAND, open to manufacturers, corporate teams, private teams and individuals, will see the Mk II Jaguar’s owner Philip Greader and his co-driver Joanna Lambert-Smith pit their skills against their rivals over 10 port to port legs, with stop-over locations at each. At each stop-over port all participants will enjoy invitations to the RB12 Evening Receptions where they, together with special guests, will enjoy a social evening with supper and awards, presented to class and overall winners.
Two challenges will face the land participants at the start of each day. These will be unique to each of the six classes and individually tailored to the class/cars performance, to test competitors’ skills and vehicle ability. The first will be a Daily Time Trial Challenge, which will be issued prior to the event, and consist of a time window for participants to reach each day’s destination. The second will be a Daily Event Mystery Challenge, which could incorporate driving ability tests and/or a route quest!
Participants will accumulate points from both daily challenges to establish class winners at the end of each day, and an overall winner to be announced on the evening of the final day. With the daily points awarded to be carefully tailored to each class, the overall winner could come from any one of the six land categories.
“I’m really looking forward to RB12, it will be a thrill to drive the car made famous by Inspector Morse around 2500 miles of Britain’s coastline. I hope it will provide pleasure to the many thousands of Morse fans in the UK,” said Greader. “As an Englishman now living in Australia, I fully understand the importance of this iconic car staying in the UK and the RB12 event offers the perfect opportunity to showcase it while ensuring myself and my partner Joanna have a lot of fun, over what promises to be a challenging but exciting ten days.”