Tributes pour in for stock car driver
TRIBUTES have poured in for a Suffolk stock car driver killed in a racetrack crash as members of his family looked on.Members of the racing community have been stunned by the death of Steve Spink, a married father-of-one, who lived in Kemball Street, Ipswich.
TRIBUTES have poured in for a Suffolk stock car driver killed in a racetrack crash as members of his family looked on.
Members of the racing community have been stunned by the death of Steve Spink, a married father-of-one, who lived in Kemball Street, Ipswich.
Peter Brown, a good friend and former sponsor of Mr Spink, said: "It is extremely sad. He was a dear friend and this is a great loss.
"This is an absolute, complete shock. It brings it home to you that life is short and you never know what's around the corner.
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"I will always remember him as being very jolly and good fun to be with. He was always having a laugh and a joke.
"He was down to earth, very kind hearted and would do anything to help out."
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Mr Spink, a 46-year-old plumber, died from injuries suffered in the crash, which happened in front of 1,500 spectators just before 8.45pm on Sunday at Yarmouth Stadium.
He had been leading the V8 stock car second heat by more than half a lap when he lost control of his car and hit a safety fence three laps from the end of the 16-lap race.
Darrell Cook, the former owner of Witch Tunes in Ipswich, used to tune the engines on Mr Spink's cars. He was at the stadium when the crash happened and described it as "horrific".
Mr Cook said: "The local stock car community is very close knit and this will come as a huge shock. We haven't seen an accident like this for a long time."
Mr Spink had raced for Spedeworth for 18 years in several different classes and was considered an accomplished driver.
Roy Eaton, managing director of Spedeworth International (East Anglia), said: "We believe that his throttle cable became jammed open, and that his car skidded into a fence post. His death is a huge loss."
Stephen Franklin, managing director of Yarmouth Stadium, said: "This is a very sad time for the family and friends of the driver. It is the first time in 50 years that someone has died in a crash like this at the stadium. It is very unusual.
"It is a dangerous sport but everything is done to make it as safe as possible for the drivers. At the moment there are indications pointing to a fault with the car."
Norfolk Police have launched a joint investigation with Great Yarmouth Borough council into the cause of the crash.