“Gentleman” Jack Sears had been a team driver in the Lotus-Cortina in 1964 and drove the Willment Galaxie 500 in ’63 when he was asked by Colin Chapman to do the development driving for the Series 2 Lotus 30s. Jack says that he liked the Series 2 cars:
“Quite a pleasant and pretty car and the fastest thing I had ever driven up to that time…”
On September 24, Sears was testing the Lotus 40 at Silverstone:
“We were running back-to-back tests between Dunlop and Firestone tyres. I remember we ran the Dunlops in the morning and then the Firestones after lunch. I found the Dunlops quite progressive, giving plenty of warning as they proke away but it was quite difficult to maintain the car in a slide or drift, it was certainly very twitchy – but very powerful and very fast. The Firestones then appeared to give more grip but much less warning as one approached breakaway.
“On one lap through the fast left-hander at Abbey it just let go and floated out to the right-hand verge. I got onto the grass there and then the tail came round and it spun back across the road to the left-hand side… the next thing I recall is waking up in the ambulance on the way to hospital…”
Jack’s left arm and neck were injured so severely that he spent the next 14 weeks in the hospital and then nine months in recovery. Jack missed the entire 1966 season and he eventually decided in ’67 against a racing comeback.
Jack recalled his experience in the Lotus 40 less favourably than the 30 S2, “Hard work – a very highly-strung and twitchy car…”
Classic and Sports Car, July, 1992.
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