Friends pay tribute to Bugatti racing car crash victim Steve Jewell
FRIENDS have paid tribute to racing enthusiast Steve Jewell after he died following a crash at a classic car festival.
The 63-year-old Cheltenham businessman's 1924 Bugatti T35B left the track and hit crash barriers at the Snetterton circuit in Norfolk.
It happened on Sunday during practice for an event organised by the Vintage Sports-Car Club (VSCC).
Mr Jewell suffered serious injuries and was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The tragedy has stunned family and friends of the father-of-three, who was chairman of Print for Design in Imperial Square.
Mr Jewell's wife, Sally, died several years ago from cancer. He lived in Uckinghall, near Tewkesbury.
Edward Osicki, from Cheltenham, had known Mr Jewell for years as they were in the Fleet Cruising Club – a group of mostly Gloucestershire people who own, manage, sail and race a large yacht.
He said: "It's come out of the blue and is very tragic.
"He was a wonderful character who was much loved by everybody."
He added that Mr Jewell had been an active person who enjoyed his sailing and enjoyed racing cars even more. This included regularly taking part in the popular Prescott Hill Climb, near Gotherington.
Ian Patton, general manager of the Bugatti Owners' Club, which owns the site, said: "Steve was a long-time member of the club and was a highly respected member and competitor.
"We are very sad at what is a very unusual and freak accident that rarely happens in historic motorsport, but when it does, it has devastating consequences for the families."
Yesterday, the 12 employees at Print for Design were hugely shocked and saddened by Mr Jewell's death.
They did not want to comment but confirmed that he had started the business, as Kall Kwik, an American printing franchise, in 1981 and that it had remained operating successfully in Imperial Square ever since.
The incident occurred on Sunday morning during practice for the Seaman Memorial Trophies Race Meeting, organised by VSCC.
The club said the relevant authorities had been informed and a full investigation would be carried out.
A spokesman said: "As with any serious incident in or around UK motorsport, the Motor Sports Association, the organising club and the circuit operators are now working closely with the police and other agencies to establish precisely what happened on this occasion.
"The Motor Sports Association, the Vintage Sports-Car Club and MotorSport Vision (which owns the Snetterton track) extend their deepest sympathies to Mr Jewell's family and friends."
Mike Stripe, chief executive of the VSCC, said: "Stephen was an experienced competitor in many disciplines and well known within the motorsport community.
"The club offers its sincere condolences to all of Stephen's family and friends following this tragic incident."