|Date of Birth||15/11/1932|
|Date of Death||Unknown|
|Début||Brands Hatch 1958|
|Championships||0 (2nd 1958)|
|Previous Teams||Equipe Endeavour|
|Total Entries||0 (0 Starts)|
|Wins||0 (0 in Class)|
Thomas Sopwith, Jr. is a former BTCC driver and team owner, having previously competed in the championship's inaugural year. Tommy, as he was commonly known, would take victory in the first ever race of the BTCC, ultimately missing out on the title after a duel with friend and rival Jack Sears.
Sopwith was the son of Sir Thomas Sopwith, designer of the infamous Sopwith Camel, whom was, undoubtedly, the root of Tommy's interest in engineering and motorsport. In 1954, Sopwith founded his own team, Equipe Endeavour, and began to compete in sports cars. After a number of years in the sports car world, Sopwith sought a fresh opportunity when the British Saloon Car Championship was announced in late 1957.
Sopwith would compete in the first year of the BTCC in 1958, using a Jaguar 3.4 litre run by his own team, Equipe Endeavour. Sopwith, along with his friend Jack Sears, would dominate their respective classes, although Sopwith's car would prove to be significantly quicker in races where classes were combined. Despite eight in class victories (including several overall victories), Sopwith was tied with Sears at the end of the season. It was decided that the pair would have a two race shootout to decide the title, with two BMC Riley 1.5s prepared at Brands Hatch. Despite winning the first five lap race by 2.2 seconds, Sopwith could not keep up with Sears in the second race as conditions deteriorated, falling four seconds behind. Sears won and Sopwith decided to stop competing as a driver.
Sopwith would, however, continue to make an impact on the BTCC, although not directly. Equipe Endeavour continued to run cars in the championship, often claiming at least a couple of victories each year, as well as attracting some of the biggest names in world motorsport (such as Graham Hill).
A table containing Tommy Sopwith's best results in the BTCC. The figures after the information about the car used indicate Tommy Sopwith's best finish at that meeting.
|British Touring Car Championship Record|
- ↑ http://www.brdc.co.uk/Tommy-Sopwith
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 http://www.btcc.net/history/in-depth/1958-1990/
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 http://www.btcccrazy.co.uk/btcc/btcc-greats-tommy-sopwith/
- ↑ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommy_Sopwith_(racing_driver)
- ↑ http://www.racingsportscars.com/driver/Tommy-Sopwith-GB.html