Jack Sears Trophy: The story so far

10th July 2024

The Jack Sears Trophy is a championship for drivers who have not stood on a British Touring Car Championship podium in previous years. Notable winners of the trophy come from the likes of multiple race winners Dan Cammish, Josh Cook and Dan Rowbottom with a notable champion in Ash Sutton also taking the honours.

Donington Park National - Rounds 1-2-3

It was Ronan Pearson who made the first move of the year, managing to qualify his Hyundai i30N in fifth place at the opening round. Race one would continue this form for the Scotsman as he would hold his fifth place with his nearest competitor being Evans Halshaw Power Maxed Racing's Mikey Doble coming home in 12th.

Unfortunately for Pearson, a power-steering issue would hinder the rest of his weekend meaning Doble would take the victory in race two of the weekend. Daryl DeLeon would make it two podiums from two moving up a step from the first race. Nick Halstead would make his first trip to the Jack Sears Trophy rostrum in 2024.

Doble would make it three races from three on the podium repeating his race two success in the final race of the day. Sam Osborne would bring his NAPA Racing UK Ford onto the second step of the podium after a crash in race one took him out of contention for race two. Alongside Osborne, Scott Sumpton would also make his first appearance on the podium in his first ever BTCC weekend.

2024 Jack Sears Trophy Standings - Event 1

1 - Mikey Doble - 572 - Nick Halstead - 413 - Ronan Pearson - 33
4 - Daryl DeLeon - 325 - Scott Sumpton - 266 - Sam Osborne - 17

Brands Hatch Indy - Rounds 4-5-6

Pearson, in the #14 Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS Hyundai, showed fine form once again, placing furthest forward on the grid in ninth. Another hindrance came for the young Scot who, after a coming together with Adam Morgan on the run up to Druids, would fall down to the back of the field.

Osborne would fight forward five positions from 17th overall to 12th overall to take home his first Jack Sears Trophy victory of 2024. As the #77 marched to the front of the class, he only finished 0.836 seconds ahead of second-place Doble. Sumpton would round out the podium making it two in two for the Restart Racing driver.

Doble continued only having one race off the top step as he sped back into action in race two. The #88, finishing in ninth overall, bringing home with the second Jack Sears Trophy win of the year. Pearson would not let bad luck get the best of him as he charged back through the field in race two to take second, finishing 11th overall. Osborne would remain in the place he finished race one overall but would fall to third in class for race two.

The reverse-grid race at Brands Hatch Indy would see another big swing. The draw for race three would mean Pearson would start the race from overall pole position. This was an opportunity the Scotsman did not pass up on and drove superbly to take home his maiden overall win in the BTCC. Sumpton would drive forward gaining six overall positions to take the second step on the podium, with Doble falling 12 overall positions to take home third place for the final race of the day.

2024 Jack Sears Trophy Standings - Event 2

1 - Mikey Doble - 1092 - Ronan Pearson - 813 - Nick Halstead - 78
4 - Sam Osborne - 655 - Scott Sumpton - 586 - Daryl DeLeon - 53

Snetterton 300 - Rounds 7-8-9

Pearson would not let his speed from Brands Hatch waver as the Saturday star once again was the fastest of the Jack Sears Trophy competitors in qualifying. Around the 2.97 mile circuit, the longest of the season, the #14 would go on to win in the JST once more, still jubilant after his overall victory last time out. In what would be the only dry race of the day, Doble would continue to be right on Pearson's heels along with Osborne completing the podium for race one.

It would be Doble to take a step up in race two whilst not taking the formation lap gamble to dry tyres. Snetterton felt the sun as the circuit began to dry with the slick tyres becoming faster at the halfway stage of the race. Osborne and DeLeon rounded out the top ten as for the first time this season the Jack Sears Trophy podium would sit inside the top half of the overall results.

The #77 of Osborne would be drawn to start on reverse-grid pole before a spin at turn one would see him fall to 14th by the chequered flag. Despite the fall in positions it would still warrant third place in the Jack Sears Trophy race. The Caterham-born Doble would go on to make it two class wins from three as DeLeon would once again complete the rostrum.

2024 Jack Sears Trophy Standings - Event 3

1 - Mikey Doble - 1662 - Ronan Pearson - 1233 - Sam Osborne - 112
4 - Daryl DeLeon - 985 - Scott Sumpton - 956 - Nick Halstead - 88

Thruxton - Rounds 10-11-12

For the first time this season Pearson would not be the fastest in this championship on a Saturday after a throttle issue ruled the Scotsman out of qualifying. The #88 of Doble would continue off his double-win to take top spot on the Saturday.

It would be a lights-to-flag class victory for the Evans Halshaw Power Maxed Racing driver who would make it three on the bounce in the opening race at Thruxton. A recovering Pearson would continue to show his speed, despite bad luck, to fight through to second place on the podium finishing one second ahead of Osborne in third.

Race two saw the Scotsman's pace come to the forefront once more as he continued to move forward through the field. After starting race one from last he would go on to finish 12th overall by race two, taking a class win and a second place in the process. A familiar duo would complete the podium as it is the same three who did so in race one. This time with the #88 of Doble in second and the #77 of Osborne in third.

Pearson's pace was second-to-none in the Jack Sears Trophy across the Thruxton weekend taking home two victories despite his qualifying misfortune. On this occasion it was not without a fight as Doble finished race three less than 0.4 seconds behind the Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS Hyundai. The top three making themselves known, on a weekend where none of them would miss a visit to the rostrum.

2024 Jack Sears Trophy Standings - Event 4

1 - Mikey Doble - 2202 - Ronan Pearson - 1803 - Sam Osborne - 157
4 - Daryl DeLeon - 1245 - Scott Sumpton - 1196 - Nick Halstead - 109

Oulton Park - Rounds 13-14-15

An electric lap from Evans Halshaw Power Maxed Racing's #88 made it two successive qualifying sessions running atop the class timesheet. This pace translated across the weekend in what would start to separate Doble from the field heading into the summer break.

The usual suspects returned in race one to finish in championship order on the podium. The gap between Doble and Pearson would again be close, as they finished only 1.501 seconds apart.

After a first corner collision in race two, the majority of the field behind the incident got either lucky or unlucky. Doble took another Jack Sears Trophy victory, finishing in sixth place overall whereas his nearest competitor, DeLeon, sat in 12th. Pearson was once again fighting an uphill battle after not being on the lucky side of the turn one incident whilst on the hard tyre, taking home another podium one position behind DeLeon.

It was heartbreak for Doble in race three who was half a lap away from outright victory after starting the reverse-grid race from pole position. Instead, his first ever BTCC podium with a second place finish along with wins in both the Independents class and the Jack Sears Trophy would fall his way. The podium for race three would consist of the same drivers from race two with both Pearson and DeLeon swapping positions.

Despite the agonisingly close finish, it would mean all three races were won by Doble in the class. Along with cementing his place at the top of the standings heading into the summer break, taking home nine wins from a possible 15. DeLeon would also have a strong finish to the first half of the year closing the gap to third place Osborne. A strong 2024 class with the leading duo already performing to a standard that means both will be unable to compete in next year's competition.

2024 Jack Sears Trophy Standings - Event 5

1 - Mikey Doble - 2802 - Ronan Pearson - 2293 - Sam Osborne - 183
4 - Daryl DeLeon - 1675 - Scott Sumpton - 1556 - Nick Halstead - 143
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