Stars & Cars

16th August 2013

jack-sears

sir-john-whitmore

Casting a keen eye over proceedings will be former Team Lotus Cortina drivers Jack Sears and Sir John Whitmore.

Jack in fact debuted the Lotus Cortina at the Oulton Park Gold Cup meeting almost exactly fifty years ago, on 21 September 1963.

Jack had already secured that seasons’ British Saloon Car Championship title before the Lotus was homologated, driving both Ford Cortina GT and Ford Galaxie for the Willment team, so was allowed to drive for Team Lotus at Oulton. He and team-mate Trevor Taylor qualified third and fourth overall behind the mighty Galaxie’s of Dan Gurney and Graham Hill, finishing the race in the same order.

Jack frequently drove for Team Lotus in subsequent seasons but Sir John soon became a stalwart of the rival Alan Mann Racing Team, for whom he took the famous red and gold colour scheme to the European Touring Car Championship title in 1965.

It’s not just drivers you’ll need to look out for either, for veteran Team Lotus chief mechanic Bob Dance will be busy in the pit lane. Bob was responsible for the Team Lotus Cortina’s back in the day and even though he had moved on to Formula 1 by the time the Mk2 Cortina took to the tracks he will be busy this weekend fettling Jost Wildbolz’s ex Team Mk 2 for the Cortina races.

…and the drivers in those races had better behave themselves too, for Jack was rather scathing of the stock-car tactics engaged in by the current BTCC brigade at Snetterton!

Photos from The Peter Darley Collection at coterieimages.com