The Sauber Mercedes team had won the opening round of the 1988 Sportscar World Championship and reigning champions Silk Cut Jaguar were keen to take the second round at Jarama. Jochen Mass, Jean-Louis Schlesser and Mauro Baldi who had powered the five-litre C9-88 Mercedes to the chequered flag at Jerez weren't intending to let the Jaguars balance that out only a week later. Could the seven-litre non-turbocharged Jaguar XJR8-187 produce the goods in round two? Martin Brundle and Eddie Cheever had one car, Johnny Dumfries and Jan Lammers a second, and John Watson, Andy Wallace and John Nielsen the third. So there was no shortage of driving talent.