Legends Jack Sears & Jason Plato ..

take to the track at Silverstone

 Silverstone Circuit has  made a wish come true for two legends of British motor sport. 

Inaugural  British  Touring  Car  Champion  Jack  Sears,  who  won  the  first  ever  driver’s  title  in  1958,  and 2001 Champion and current BTCC driver Jason Plato swapped saloon cars from their respective eras as part of a  unique  celebration  to  mark  the  50th,  60th  and  80th  anniversaries  of  the  British  Touring  Car  Championship (BTCC), Silverstone Circuit and British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) respectively.

1958 British Saloon Car Champion (as the series was formerly known), Jack Sears, and current SEAT Sport UK driver Jason Plato, were given the opportunity to take to the famous Silverstone track after expressing a wish to drive a car from each others respective eras when they met at the circuit back in June. BTCC legends Jack Sears and Jason Plato (l to r) prepare to drive Sears’s 1958 Austin Westminster A105 BTCC car and the SEAT Leon Cupra at Silverstone

Both  drivers  were  invited  to  the  Home  of  British  Motor  Racing  to  jump  behind  the  wheels  of  an  Austin Westminster A105 - the car Jack Sears drove during the 1958 season - and a 2008 SEAT Leon Cupra SCC. Speaking after his experience behind the wheel of the SEAT Leon Cupra,

Jack Sears said, “Today has been fantastic  -  we’ve had an absolute ball. Jason drove the SEAT for the first three laps and showed me how it’s done,  and  how  he  wins  races  in  today’s  championship.  These  young  guys  really  can  drive,  but  I  loved  being given the opportunity to drive the SEAT myself. “Driving on slick tyres was a new experience for me and I was surprised by just how fast you can go through the corners.  It  is  a  lot  quicker  and  you  can  really  feel  the  g-forces  at  times.  You  can  see  why  the  drivers  are strapped in so tightly. In my day we raced on a bench seat and half the battle was to stop yourself sliding from side to side.  We didn’t have seat belts or roll cages either, but the racing was great fun.

 “I  have  thoroughly  enjoyed  this  experience  today  -  I  still  love  to  drive  and  I’ve  always  loved  racing  here  at Silverstone.  It was wonderful to have the chance to drive my 105 again. I last raced this car in 1958, wearing just trousers, a sports shirt and tie. I tucked the tie into my shirt to make sure it didn’t get caught up in the wheel - we didn’t have anything like race overalls.”

Jason  Plato  was  equally  thrilled  to  drive  the  Austin  Westminster  A105  with  Jack.  The  SEAT  Sport  UK  driver joked,

“I would love to race in a sports jacket and tie, but I think I would get fined if I turned up for a race like that! “I’ve  loved  it  today.  It  is  a  special  experience  driving  such  an  iconic  car  alongside  a  Touring  Car  legend  like Jack. The great thing about today is that Jack and the 105 have been reunited, and the two are back out on the Silverstone track where they belong. It was great fun driving the 105, which was a serious bit of kit in its day - and you can’t beat that smell of old wood and leather.

 “Jack was great behind the wheel of the SEAT. I hope I have the same passion and thirst for motor sport when I’m his age. Motor racing is in our blood - it’s a passion. The BTCC has been one of the most iconic saloon car series in the world and it has come along way in fifty years. It was interesting to drive both cars and see just how far the technology has come.”

Speaking  ahead  of  Silverstone’s  round  of  the  HiQ  MSA  British  Touring  Car Championship, on 30-31 August, Plato added, “We will be back at Silverstone for the penultimate round at the end of August and it’s going to be a great day. It’s an event the drivers look forward to and always produces exciting racing. “ Silverstone  is  now  looking  forward  to  the  BTCC’s  return  to  the  Home  of  British  Motor  Racing  on  Sunday  31 August,  when  some  of  the  greatest  touring  car  legends  and  their  competition  saloon  cars  will  be  reunited  to mark the three anniversaries. Both current and former BTCC drivers will be available to meet with fans and sign autographs throughout race day, while a range of winning BTCC competition cars, spanning the five decades of the series, will also be on display next to the open paddock.

Tickets for the Silverstone round of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship (30-31 August) have been priced at an attractive £15 for the Saturday (qualifying) and £23 for the Sunday Raceday (if booked in advance). Sunday tickets will cost £30 if purchased on the day.

Meanwhile, Weekend Tickets, which can only be booked in advance, offer great value at £27 for both days. To book tickets to the penultimate round of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship on 30-31 August, or for further information, visit silverstone.co.uk or call 08704 588 260.

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