Racing fans turned out in their hundreds last night to pay tribute to North Yorkshire racer Simon 'Ronnie' Smith, with a charity auction held in his memory raising over ?15,000.

Racing celebrities present included Honda works riders Steve Plater and Karl Harris as well as TT stars David Jefferies and John McGuinness plus reigning Supersport champion Stuart Easton and top local racer Dennis Hobbs.

Such was the generosity of friends and colleagues within the motorcycle trade that a mammoth 96-lot auction was conducted as well as giving out nearly 50 raffle prizes.

Auction lots included a set of Neil Hodgson's 2003 Fila Ducati leathers which went for ?1,400 and a pair each of Max Biaggi and Carlos Checa's leathers which brought ?1,000. Karl Harris' Rizla Suzuki leathers sold for ?400 with a VIP day out with both the Virgin Mobile and MonsterMob BSB teams fetching another ?950 in total.

A pair of IRTA passes for the Donington GP whereby the lucky winners will meet Valentino Rossi netted ?660 and a pair of VIP BSB season passes went for ?560.

One of the most unusual lots was a TT winner's medal, donated by John McGuinness, which ended up selling for ?525 and a signed Middlesbrough FC shirt which brought ?150.

"I knew Ronnie very well. He was a great guy and the whole team was stunned when we heard of his death, when we were out in Australia. It was the least we could do to put a package of team items together to go towards this deserving cause," said Foggy Petronas Racing Team Manager Nigel Bosworth.

The evening was rounded off by presenting a club trophy (which Ronnie had posthumously won) to his partner Jane, who bravely insisted on coming onto stage and thanking everyone for the tremendous support both on the night - and over the past few weeks - since Ronnie's accident.

The proceeds to the evening will be donated to the trust fund and anyone can still make donations (made payable to NYRRSC) via post as follows:
Sue Symons, Secretary, NYRRSC, 129 Tedder Road, York, YO2 3JE



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