Southern 100 organisers have paid tribute to sidecar legend Dave Wells, saying the paddock will feel a big void without the Yorkshiremam, who was killed in a crash at Mallory Park on Saturday.
A statement from the club reads:
The sad news that Dave Wells had succumbed to his injuries as a result of a racing incident at Mallory Park on Saturday 29th October leaves a massive gap in the ranks of the Sidecar racing fraternity, none more so than at Billown, home of the Southern 100 Road Races.
Dave first raced at the Southern 100 in 1979, not as a Sidecar Passenger, but as a Sidecar Driver with Tony Smith in the chair – the pair finishing in 18th position in their race and taking a creditable seventh in the Consolation race.
In 1987 Yorkshireman Dave, moved out of the driver’s seat and became passenger to Howard Langham taking ninth and eleventh positions in the two-leg Sidecar Championship races.
1999 saw Dave acting as ‘ballast’ for Geoff Bell taking sixth place in the Sidecar race and 4th in the Championship race at that year’s Southern 100. Millennium year (2000) saw him team up with Roy Hanks, a partnership that has continued ever since.
The popular crew finished third three times in Southern 100 Sidecar Championship in 2000, 2007 and 2009 and were runners up in the Sidecar Championship in 2002 behind Dave Molyneux and Craig Hallam and in 2006 behind Nicky Crowe and Darren Hope.
One of the most experienced crews in the Billown Paddock, Roy Hanks and Dave Wells took a fine sixth place in the opening Sidecar race in the 2001 Southern 100.
The Paddock at Billown will feel a massive void, come July 2012 without Dave Wells’ presence, although his personality and achievements over the years will remain in everyone’s thoughts and he will be fondly remembered. The Committee and all associated with the Southern 100 express their deepest condolences to his family and friends at this very sad time and wish Roy Hanks a speedy recovery from injuries sustained in the racing incident.