Stock car fans turn out for Robert

PUBLISHED: 16:15 07 August 2001 | UPDATED: 15:16 03 March 2010

STOCK car drivers and banger racers turned out in droves in a fitting tribute to a well-known face at Ipswich's Speedway track.

STOCK car drivers and banger racers turned out in droves in a fitting tribute to a well-known face at Ipswich's Speedway track.

Thousands of racing fans braved heavy rain for the memorial race dedicated to the memory of Ipswich man Robert Rose, who died suddenly last November from cancer.

The 35-year-old former Holywells High School pupil left two children who will benefit from the funds raised by the memorial race at Foxhall stadium.

"There was a very good turnout and other than the rain, everything went very well," said Kevin Thurlow, a friend of Robert. "It was a fitting memorial."

Robert was well known at the stadium for his sense of humour and big grin and though had never actually won a race, he just loved taking part, said Mr Thurlow, of Edwin Avenue, Woodbridge.

He died just two months after being diagnosed with the disease, and though he left his family well provided for, money raised at the event will be put in a trust fund for his children.

The memorial race took place on Saturday, the same night as the Stock Car European Championship won by Sean Smith, as well as national banger racing and rookie racing. The championship meeting ensured a massive crowd.

Many drivers who had not raced for years turned up as a tribute to Robert who worked for Tarmac at Ipswich docks.

"Robert's brother and two of his sisters both raced," said Mr Thurlow. "It was the first time for one of his sisters."

The memorial race raised at least £2,000 including £1,000 sponsorship from driver Mark Cossey's ramp roll-over.

One of the directors of Spedeworth, Roy Eaton, said: "Banger drivers are a breed apart at this kind of thing. Whenever there is a problem, they always come together."

And he pledged that Spedeworth would match the total collected by drivers during the event.

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