TRIBUTES have been paid to a veteran racing driver and founder of an East Staffordshire business after his shock death in a crash at the UK's most famous circuit.
The family of Denis Welch said they had been 'overwhelmed' by the outpouring of goodwill after the 69-year-old died following a multi-car pile-up during the second Jack Brabham Memorial Trophy race at Silverstone. He was in his 1960 Lotus 18.
Mr Welch, who was the founder of Denis Welch Motorsport based in Sudbury Road, Yoxall, was taken from the crash scene directly to the circuit's medical centre, but died from his injuries.
His grieving son Jeremy Welch, who took over the running of the family classic car spare parts firm when his dad stepped down eight years ago, spoke to the Mail to pay tribute to his father.
He said: "My dad was involved in motor racing for many years.
"He retired from running the business around eight years ago and continued his love for the sport in his retirement.
"We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of emotion since his passing and can only thank people for their messages of condolence and support.
"He was well respected in the classic and historical car industry and we will also miss him so very much."
Mr Welch is survived by his wife and two sons.
The Motor Sports Association (MSA) said Mr Welch's Lotus clipped another car and rolled over at low speed during the event, organised and run by the Historic Sports Car Club.
A statement issued by the organisers on the Silverstone Classic website said: "It is with great regret that the organisers of the Silverstone Classic have to report that, following an accident, Denis Welch succumbed to his injuries.
"The event organisers, the race organisation, and the circuit's medical and emergency services, will all now be co-operating with the police and the MSA, the UK official motor sport governing body, to conduct a full investigation.
"All those involved in the event offer sincere condolences to family and the friends of Denis Welch at this very sad time."