A STOCK car driver died at a race on Saturday while being watched by his race-mad eight-year-old son.
Steve Newman, 37, of Town Drove, Quadring, died after his car hit the central reservation during the Saloon British Final at Mildenhall, Suffolk, last Saturday night.
His cousin Andi was competing in the same race and was one of the first on the scene and tried to cut him free.
Steve’s car rolled and somersaulted over, giving other racers no chance to avoid it.
Steve’s ex-wife Kelly Newman, the mother of his children Billy, eight, and Charley, six, said telling them their dad had gone to heaven was the hardest thing she had ever done, especially on Father’s Day.
She said: “Billy loves racing as much as Steve and he was standing right in front of the crash when it happened.
“The first I knew was when a friend rang in tears. I just knew what had happened. I said ‘he’s dead isn’t he?’
“Billy knew Daddy had been taken away in an ambulance but I wanted to be the one to tell him the awful news.
“They have cried and asked lots of questions. Billy said ‘I just want my Daddy back’. We are just taking it minute by minute but they are obviously very upset.”
Kelly and Steve split after six years of marriage but remained in close contact.
She said stock car racing was his life, adding: “It was the way he would have wanted to go if he had the choice. He would not have wanted it any other way.”
Proud son Billy wants to give his dad the best possible send off by arranging a procession of fellow stock car drivers to the church and leading the procession himself in a miniature version of Steve’s car.
Although times are yet to be confirmed it is likely to be held at Gosberton Church on Monday, July 2.
Steve ran his own business, Mezzanine Fabrications Ltd, in Main Road, Quadring, and employed his dad Mick as well as a seven-strong permanent workforce.
He had been racing for almost 30 years and was well known for his distinctive pink cars.
He started driving aged ten in the National MiniStox and then moved on to grass track racing at Holbeach.
Among his greatest achievements was winning the English Championship for 1300 stock cars in 2002.