Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 10°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

Essex: F1 Ferrari engineer Nigel Stepney killed in crash on M20 in Kent

09:10 05 May 2014

Ex-Ferrari technician Nigel Stepney was killed on the M20 near Ashford in Kent when he was struck by a lorry on Friday morning. Photo: Press Association.

Ex-Ferrari technician Nigel Stepney was killed on the M20 near Ashford in Kent when he was struck by a lorry on Friday morning. Photo: Press Association.

Archant

A grieving north-Essex family last night paid tribute to a “devoted” father-of-one and former top Formula One engineer killed in a motorway accident.

Ex-Ferrari chief mechanic Nigel Stepney, who enjoyed a lengthy career in F1, died after being involved in a collision with a lorry on the M20 near Ashford in Kent on Friday morning.

The 56-year-old was part of the hugely successful team at Ferrari which dominated the sport in the early 2000s, but found himself at the centre of a F1 
“spygate” scandal. He lost his job after being accused of sabotage and leaking confidential data to McLaren in 2007.

Speaking from her north-Essex home, Mr Stepney’s long-term partner, Ash Naidoo, mother of the couple’s seven-year-old daughter Sabine, paid tribute to his passion, energy and devotion to his daughter.

In a statement, she said: “Nigel was wonderful to know, larger than life and full of energy. Motor sport was his passion topped only by his love and devotion to Sabine and me.

“Nigel was a wonderful partner and a hands-on dad who was besotted with his daughter who idolized him in return.

“They loved each other’s company and Sabine was his shadow; delighting in helping him around the garage at race meetings. Even if Nigel had to be away from home, he would telephone her every day.

“Nigel and I had 10 wonderful years together. The first things I noticed about him when we met in Australia were how warm, funny and easy to talk to he was. He was also very persistent.

“Nigel did everything with a passion. He adored Italy and spoke fluent Italian, he loved wine, Manchester United, cycling and doing anything on water, but most of all he was devoted to our daughter Sabine.

“To see this big, talented, engaging man so besotted with her was wonderful.

“Nigel’s death has left a void in our lives that will never be filled. This is a terrible time and I am so grateful for the love and support of our family and friends and Nigel’s colleagues from the world of motor sport, especially JRM.”

Mr Stepney’s career in Formula One included working with world champions Ayrton Senna – who died during a Grand Prix 20 years ago on Thursday – at Lotus and Michael Schumacher at Ferrari.

Stepney left F1 behind to pursue a new career in the world of sports cars where he found renewed success.

Four years ago he joined Northamptonshire-based JRM as racing team manager and technical director.

James Rumsey, the owner of JRM, said Mr Stepney had “brought a level of engineering experience to us that was unrivalled”.

He said: “A man that engineered Ayrton Senna at Lotus and helped to guide Michael Schumacher to five Formula One World Championships with Ferrari was the perfect candidate to establish JRM as a serious team in circuit-based motorsport and the role that he played in achieving that standard will never be underestimated or forgotten.

“Nigel was an intense and fierce competitor and always strived for excellence.”

Mr Stepney also worked for Shadow, and Benetton during his career.

Kent Police said: “A silver VW caddy van, driven by a 56 year-old man from the Essex area, had stopped on the hard shoulder of the M20 London-bound carriageway at Ashford.

“For reasons yet to be established, the man appears to have entered the carriageway and was then in collision with an articulated goods vehicle. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Enjoy a family day out at the Suffolk Show

Looking for ways to entertain the family during the school holidays? Here we bring you a round up of what is on in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and elsewhere in Suffolk, and into north Essex.

City Palace Udaipur

With temperatures soaring into the 50’ – that is Celsius – in Rajasthan at present, you could be forgiven for thinking that it is a place to be avoided!

File picture of Norwich Road/Orford Street junction in Ipswich.

Detectives investigating a serious sexual assault committed in Ipswich last weekend have carried out anniversary checks in the area.

West Row sign

Firefighters were called to assist paramedics in rescuing a 40-year-old man who was found in a pit in his garden with a suspected broken ankle this morning.

EACH Colour Dash at Christchurch Park

Tens of thousands of pounds have been raised for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) during Ipswich’s most well supported Colour Dash to date.

The bank holiday weather was perfect for events like the Trimley Beer Festival.

For once organisers of bank holiday weekend events are set to be happy with the British weather as the region prepares for a third dry day today.

File picture of the Essex Air Ambulance.

The air ambulance touched down on a field off Flora Road in Witham yesterday afternoon.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24