The Petronas Syntium team has expressed its shock at the death of former driver David Leslie in yesterday's aircraft accident in Kent.

Leslie, who drove for the team in the 2002 and 2003 British Touring Car Championship, was one of five people to lose their lives during the incident when the plane - which was destined for France - came down on the edge of a housing estate in Farnborough.

Former Audi Sport UK team chief Richard Lloyd was also amongst the victims.

"On behalf of the team, we are incredibly saddened and devastated to hear of the tragic death of David Leslie," PSP team principal David Wong said. "He will be sorely missed by everyone in the team who had the privilege of working with David. It was an honour to have been given the opportunity to work closely with a true gentleman and a consummate professional. His competitiveness both on and off the track as well as his passion for a sport that he loved so much was and still remains an inspiration to us all in the team.

"As a part of Team Petronas Syntium Proton, David was more than just a driver, he was family to us. He was instrumental to the team when we made our debut in the toughest touring car championship in the world - the British Touring Car Championship in 2002. As newcomers to the championship, he helped us achieve so much in the BTCC. In addition to being highly skilled and talented race car driver, David's engineering and technical prowess was what helped the team grow and develop during the three seasons we were competing in the championship.

"More importantly, David was more than just a race car driver that brought home the results including four podium finishes. He was a friend to everyone in the team as well as coach and mentor to the development of a young Malaysian racing talent in the form of Fariqe Hairuman, whom David had a hand in grooming.

"On behalf of the team, we mourn the loss of David Leslie, Richard Lloyd and those who tragically lost their lives in this accident on Sunday. Our prayers and thoughts are with their families and loved ones."