British Touring Car Championship series director Alan Gow has paid tribute to David Leslie and Richard Lloyd after the pair were confirmed as two of the victims of yesterday's air crash in Kent.
The pair were heading out to the French circuit of Nogaro for the FIA GT3 equalisation tests when the plane they were onboard came down shortly after take off from Biggin Hill airfield.
Police confirmed this morning that nine-time race winner Leslie and former Audi Sport UK team boss Lloyd were among the five people to have perished in the accident, with Gow admitting that it has left the whole BTCC community in deep mourning.
"It was my privilege to know both David and Richard, which began during their involvement in the BTCC and continued throughout the ensuing years," he said. "David of course was a great competitor within the BTCC for many years - always exciting to watch, fiercely competitive and incredibly passionate about his sport.
"Richard I never knew as a driver, but as the team owner of Audi Sport UK – and he was a thoroughly likeable person, of real integrity and determination.
"The BTCC is a close-knit community and we mourn the tragic loss of both David and Richard. However our sense of loss is nothing compared to those of their families and our thoughts go out to them at this terrible time."