Legendary BTCC and rally driver Jack Sears has died at the age of 86 as the touring car community pays tribute to the iconic British driver.
Sears became the first champion in what used to be known as the British Saloon Car Championship in 1958 before its BTCC rebranding, before taking a second title in 1963.
The Northamptonshire-born driver, who also co-drove a Ferrari 330 LMB with Mike Salmon to fifth place in the 1963 Le Mans 24 Hours, has become an integral part of the BTCC after the 'Jack Sears Trophy' was launched which Jack helped to nurture and support young drivers coming into BTCC.
BTCC organisers have confirmed a minute's silence will be held at the upcoming round at Knockhill as a mark of respect to Sears and series director Alan Gow has paid tribute to the two-time champion.
“It is with great regret and genuine sadness to learn of Jack's death,” Gow said. “I really liked Jack a lot, not only as an extremely talented and inspirational racing driver, but more importantly as a hugely popular, humble and impressive human being.
“Jack loved this championship and 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.”