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Bradford firm helps to build replica of legendary stock car driver’s car

A Bradford firm has exhibited a replica of legendary stock car driver Stu Smith’s car at an international show to raise funds for charity.

Staff from Simmonites Land Rover, based in Thornton Road, Thornton, have helped build a Formula 1 stock car in memory of the decorated driver.

Mr Smith, who is regarded by many as the greatest driver in the history of F1 Stock Car Racing, won six World Championships, 13 consecutive national points’ titles and more than 500 meeting finals during his glittering 21-year career.

Mr Smith, from Rochdale, retired from the track in 1986 and died from heart disease aged 64 in 2010.

His two sons, Andrew and Stu Jr, followed in his footsteps and both became world champions in the sport.

The finished tribute car was displayed by representatives of the Bradford company at the Autosport International exhibition at Birmingham’s NEC last weekend. Simmonites teamed up with Team Smith Motorsport on the project.

Stu’s original race car was sponsored by Hertz Car Sales and Simmonites’ version, which took more than a year to build, features the same colour scheme and sponsor logos.

The car will now be displayed and demonstrated at BriSCA stock car races and other motorsport events to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

The car has been built to help support the BHF, with Simmonites looking to raise at least £5,000 for the charity, with more than £1,000 raised before their appearance at the show.

Mark Calzoni, Simmonites managing director, said: “We wanted to get involved because Stuart passed away from heart disease and the BHF do such amazing work. We are hoping to raise more than £5,000 for the BHF helping them to fund the research that is so urgently needed to fight heart disease.

“It’s been incredibly easy to co-ordinate, and great fun to organise.

“It promises to be a great day for all involved.”

Sue Green, BHF fundraising manager, said: “We never cease to be amazed by the extraordinary ways people like to fundraise for the BHF.

“Every contribution, big or small, plays a crucial part in every breakthrough we make so we are incredibly grateful for their support.

“But we urgently need more people to join our fight for every heartbeat and help power our life saving research.

“That’s why we’re calling on everyone across the UK to organise their own event to help support our vital work.”

Go to justgiving.com/fundraising/stuart-smith-391-build to make a donation.

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