Jaguar R Performance Academy: Learning to drive your Jaguar R car fast…for free*

Jaguar R Performance Academy is held rain or shine.

Jaguar R Performance Academy is held rain or shine…or deluge, as shown at Monticello Motor Club.

Five hundred and ten horsepower isn’t to be trifled with, but one of the best way to de-trifle the driving the Jaguar XFR sedan and the XKR coupe and convertible is Jaguar’s R Performance Academy.

The competence of the Jaguar XFR and XKR is a given. More than just pretty faces, the R Jaguars are powered by supercharged V-8 engines rated at 510 horsepower and 461 lb-ft of torque spread over a 3000 rpm range, starting at 2500 rpm–or in the case of the XKR-S, 550 horsepower. Sophisticated suspension and an aluminum-intensive chassis are matched by huge 15-inch brake discs that won’t be fazed by lap after lap on a race track.

But fully utilizing capabilities of the XKR and XFR requires competence on the part of the driver and an understanding on the driver’s part of just what the Jaguar XKR and Jaguar XFR can do.

That’s where Jaguar’s R Performance Academy comes in. The R Performance Academy is a series of one-day events intended to make better drivers out of Jaguar R owners, making them better able to appreciate the cars they own and to do so in a safe manner. It’s also a way for owners to drive fast in Jaguar R’s in a controlled situation while receiving instruction from, well, famous racing drivers who are also great driving instructors. *And the school is included in the purchase price of a Jaguar R model.

The roster of said instructors is impressive, a veritable autograph fest in its own right, including retired Formula 1 driver Roberto Guerrero. Then there’s Davy Jones, with a career that includes being one of only seven Americans to win at Le Mans¬† plus an ultra-close second place at the Indy 500. Also on the roster are Adam Andretti, of the famous racing family and current sprint car racer, plus Morgan Cavanaugh, Mike Finch, Mark Wolocatiuk, and Wes Hill, all bringing a rich diversity of driving and teaching talent. Lead instructor and curriculum developer for the Jaguar R Performance Academy is Chris Munro.

The schedule for the R Performance Academy packs a lot into a single day, starting with short classroom session, explaining the “key principals of performance driving”, covering vehicle dynamics, pitch and roll, understeer and oversteer and skid correction. It’s not as dry and/or confusing as it might seem, Munro pacing it well for novice and experienced driver, lacing the chart talk with just the right amount of humor.