One more gearchange, and Jaguar's comeback victory would have been derailed at the 1988 Le Mans 24 Hours. The British manufacturer came that close to losing its first win in the French enduro since 1957 in the final hour. That the winning Tom Walkinshaw Racing Jaguar XJR-9LM lasted the course owed everything to the mechanical sympathies of lead driver Jan Lammers, and perhaps to some kind of sixth sense.
The Dutchman, who shared the victorious Jaguar with Andy Wallace and Johnny Dumfries, knew he had a gearbox problem as the 24 Hours drew to a close. He'd listened to team-mate Raul Boesel explain the demise of his own Jaguar in the small hours, as he tied his bootlaces before his stint in the penultimate hour. And when the symptoms described by the Brazilian appeared to be manifesting themselves right behind him, he took a bold decision that ultimately secured himself a place in the history books.
Lammers left the car in fourth and didn't touch the lever again - he didn't change gear from shortly before the end of his penultimate stint through to the end of the race. Thanks to the massive torque of the seven-litre Jaguar V12, he was able to continue at a decent lick in a gear designed to send the car down the Mulsanne Straight, then unsullied by chicanes, at 200mph.