Jack Sears 1930 – 2016

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

scrupu­lously po­lite, with a slow and mel­low voice, he was known uni­ver­sally as ‘Gen­tle­man Jack’.

As well as his tour­ing car suc­cesses, Sears was a top GT driver. He drove AC Co­bras for John Will­ment, win­ning the fi­nal Au­tosport 3 Hours at Snet­ter­ton in ’64.

Hav­ing de­buted at Le Mans in 1960 with a works Austin-healey 3000, his first in­ter­na­tional race in a Fer­rari net­ted a class-win­ning fifth at La Sarthe in Maranello Con­ces­sion­aires’ 330LMB in ’63, driv­ing with Mike Salmon. As a Shelby Amer­i­can (Ford-con­tracted) team driver he also won the big GT class in ’65.

Sears raced works Lo­tus Corti­nas in 1965, win­ning the Nur­bur­gring 6 Hour race with Sir John Whit­more, but re­tired fol­low­ing an enor­mous test­ing ac­ci­dent in a Lo­tus 40 sportscar at Sil­ver­stone that Septem­ber. He was for­tu­nate to sur­vive and re­cov­ery took a year, by which time he re­solved to con­cen­trate on farm­ing in Nor­folk.

In later years, Sears ap­peared at many events, and the Jack Sears Tro­phy has been awarded for a va­ri­ety of achieve­ments in the BTCC.

The cham­pi­onship will mark his death with a one minute’s si­lence at its Knock­hill round this week­end.

BTCC se­ries di­rec­tor Alan Gow said: “It is with great re­gret and sad­ness to learn of Jack’s death. I liked Jack a lot – not only as an ex­tremely tal­ented and in­spi­ra­tional driver, but more im­por­tantly as a pop­u­lar, hum­ble and im­pres­sive hu­man be­ing.

“Jack con­tin­ued to play an ac­tive part in the BTCC right up un­til his pass­ing. He will be sorely missed by ev­ery­one in­volved in the BTCC, but our im­me­di­ate thoughts are with his fam­ily and clos­est friends at this time.”

Sears re­tained a love for the sport. Be­low, win­ning 1958 ti­tle

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