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A tour along memory lane

PUBLISHED: 15:53 26 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:25 12 August 2010

HEAD-TO-HEAD: Jack Sears (left), Tommy Sopwith and a 1.5 litre Riley race car.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: Jack Sears (left), Tommy Sopwith and a 1.5 litre Riley race car.

FIFTY years after they battled for the inaugural drivers crown, Jack Sears and Tommy Sopwith met again at Brands Hatch to celebrate the anniversary of the British Touring Car Championship

FIFTY years after they battled for the inaugural drivers' crown, Jack Sears and Tommy Sopwith met again at Brands Hatch to celebrate the anniversary of the British Touring Car Championship.

In 1958, Sears and Sopwith ended the season at Brands Hatch in joint first place. To decide who lifted the trophy, the two drivers went head-to-head in 1.5 litre Rileys, with Sears taking the honours.

The two relived that historic moment by going out on track again in two cars almost identical to the Rileys they raced 50 years ago, to recreate their famous title-decider.

Sears even tucked in his tie just as he had done 50 years earlier "so it wouldn't get in the way of the steering wheel."

"It's brought it all flooding back - a truly amazing experience," he added. "Setting off from the line in those two Rileys was just fantastic.

Sopwith said: "They don't call him 'Gentleman Jack' for nothing. It's been a delight driving with Jack again and I don't think either of us can quite believe it's 50 years ago as that day is still very fresh in the memory.

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