Welcome to Mat Moran Motorsports
This web site is about my on-going attempts to race the 2001 Jaguar XJR that you see to the right.
I hope you enjoy it.
In case anyone else is mad enough to try this, I’ve included lots of information about the modifications that I’ve tried, to make the car faster and/or more consistent. I’ve also included information on bracket racing (the type of drag racing that I do) in case you’re wondering how vastly different cars can race against each other without it being obvious who is going to win.
Why drag race a Jaguar ?
Like most people, I first went to the drag strip just to see how fast my car would go. It was fun and I wanted to get more runs but unfortunately, if you lose, you don’t get to have another go so it became increasingly important for me to win.
Now it’s all about winning.
Of course I could go a lot faster and probably spend less money if I had a dedicated race car but I don’t have room for another car and anyway, there’s something very cool in a weird sort of way about a luxury cruiser that’s faster than most sports cars. If I get beaten by a Porsche or a Corvette then nobody thinks anything about it but when I beat them (which happens a lot) it’s something remarkable.
Unfortunately, there’s a price to pay for being different. There are things that you might be prepared to do to another car that you wouldn’t do to a car like this. e.g. rip out the seats and all that heavy interior trim or maybe rivet on a big hood scoop to make it go faster.
My goal is to keep the car looking as though I just drove it off the showroom floor but otherwise make it as fast and as consistent as possible. That way, I can win races during the day and still use the same car to take my wife to the opera in the evening.
How fast is it ?
When I first started racing, the car would typically complete the quarter mile in a little under 14 seconds. That’s faster than most, but especially on hot days, it was inconsistent and often one or two tenths of a second faster or slower than I expected. After countless hours of work and many thousands of dollars, it’s now quite a lot faster but more importantly it’s much more consistent. Consistency is even more important than speed to a bracket racer.
Typical quarter mile times are now in the mid to high 12 second range (my best so far is 12.41 at 109 mph). On a given day it’s usually predictable to within two or three hundredths of a second. If I’m lucky enough to get a good reaction time at the start, that’s a combination that should be difficult to beat.
There are still a few more things that I could do to make it a bit faster but I’m going to try to resist the temptation to keep working on it because it’s honestly fast enough and I’ve already spent more money than any sane person would think is reasonable.