Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Tributes to rally 'heroes' Shawn Rayner and Steve Dear

Shawn Rayner and Steve Dear Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Driver Shawn Rayner and navigator Steve Dear were taking part in a private rally event

Tributes have been paid to two rally drivers who died in a crash at a motorsports event in Hampshire.

Driver Shawn Rayner, 52, and navigator Steve Dear, 64, were killed in the Loco 2 Stages rally on Friday.

The pair from Berkshire had been taking part in the event at Bramley Camp army training area, near Basingstoke.

Mr Dear's son, Declan Dear, said: "The world has lost two of its great characters and most incredible human beings."

In a statement, he said: "I personally would like to thank the paramedics and organisers for doing all they could to help my dad and Shawn.

"We as a family are devastated to hear of his passing whilst competing in the sport he and we loved, alongside his good friend Shawn Rayner."

Their team, Hehku Rally Sport, said: "We can take some solace in the fact they were competing in the sport they loved so much."

'Heroes'

Posting on its Facebook page, the team thanked people for their "kind words".

"We have lost two of our heroes and they would be touched to see your well wishes," it added.

The men were members of The Historic Rally Car Register (HRCR), which said "the rallying world in the UK is shocked and saddened to hear of the deaths".

Its chairman Paul Loveridge added: "We have lost two true gentlemen to the sport they loved."

The MSA British Historic Rally Championship said: "On behalf of everyone involved in the BHRC and across historic rallying, we offer our sincere sympathies to their families and many friends in the sport."

The Motor Sports Association (MSA) said it was liaising with organisers Sutton and Cheam Motor Club, and the police, to investigate the circumstances of the crash.

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