Tributes have flooded in for an “inspirational” South Wootton man who died in a motorbike racing crash on Sunday.
Family and friends of Mark Fincham have spoken of their shock and deep sense of loss after the 37-year-old died from his injuries after a crash with another bike at Thruxton Circuit.
Mr Fincham, a former Royal Marine who lost part of his leg following a motorcycle road crash 10 years ago, was competing at Hampshire in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship for the True Heroes Racing team.
His family said this week: “Our world has fallen apart, we as a family are completely and utterly heartbroken.
“We have lost a totally amazing son, brother, brother-in-law, uncle and boyfriend, who lived his life to the fullest no matter what it threw at him.
“Words cannot describe how deep our loss is. A special thanks to all who tried to save Mark and to those who stayed with us.
“An inspiration to all of us and to those who knew him, RIP our amazing Mark, you will be forever loved, missed and remembered. Ride high hero, keep rubber side down.”
Staff at East Winch’s Adrian Flux insurance services have also paid tribute to Mr Fincham, who worked at the company around 12 years ago.
Robert Balls, sales manager, said Mr Fincham was not only a colleague but a great friend to many in the business.
He said they had stayed in touch and the company had sponsored the racer at various times and levels in his motorcycling career.
Most recently, the firm had started to sponsor the True Heroes Racing team. Mr Balls said staff were “incredibly saddened” to hear of Mr Fincham’s death.
“It has come as a terrible shock but first and foremost, our thoughts are with his family and loved ones at this very sad time.
“Mark was a huge character with such a positive outlook and squeezed the very most out of life.
“It wasn’t possible to spend time with Mark and not be smiling or laughing. He was a genuinely inspirational person whose loss will be deeply felt by all who knew him,” he added.
Fellow racers and supporters have posted tributes on social media and many have said he always rode like a hero.
True Heroes Racing also paid tribute via Twitter and said their thoughts were with Mr Fincham’s family. The team was founded in 2012 by a serving Royal Navy sailor who worked with a number of injured UK service personnel on motorsport charity events and decided to use competitive motorsport to provide a sense of focus and direction.
The management team at Thruxton Circuit and race organisers MotorSport Vision Racing (MSVR) said the race was stopped immediately and the riders were helped straight away at trackside by a BSB medical team before being taken to the circuit medical centre, but Mr Fincham died of his injuries. The other rider involved escaped injury.
A statement on their behalf said: “MSVR and the staff at Thruxton Circuit are now working with the coroner, police and the Motorcycle Racing Control Board in order to investigate the full circumstances of this tragic accident.”
Investigations into the crash are continuing and Hampshire police this week appealed for people with video footage of the race to contact officers on 101.
Staff at Lynn-based Studio 20a added their tribute to Mr Fincham after working on a video with him and the True Heroes Racing team at Snetterton.
They posted on Facebook they were “deeply saddened” at the “heartbreaking passing” of Mr Fincham.
“We spent the day with Mark and the rest of True Heroes Racing at Snetterton in June putting together a film that was scheduled to go live next week.
“The guys and girls involved with the team couldn’t have been more helpful, welcoming and inspiring if they tried and all of our thoughts are with them – as well as Mark’s friends and family – at this very difficult time.
“He clearly loved racing and being part of the team and we hope his happiness at being involved within the British Superbikes scene can help provide some comfort as this terrible news continues to sink in.”
Mr Fincham, a former pupil of Gaywood Park High School (now King’s Lynn Academy), had also fundraised to help others.
He took part in Lynn’s GEAR (Great East Anglia Run) in 2014 and raised more than £1,000 for the Royal Marines Charity.
He gave details about his 2007 motorbike crash on his GEAR JustGiving page. In the collision with a car, he broke his back, pelvis, bones in a leg and smashed an ankle.
The ankle injury resulted in a long stint in rehab and although Mr Fincham returned to work, the ankle wasn’t very strong and he decided to have the lower leg amputated.
His JustGiving page said his reason for fundraising was to help people like those he met during his treatment with even more serious injuries.
Mr Fincham also took part in the London to Brighton cycle ride in 2015 and raised money for the British Heart Foundation.
He was a director in the family business, Eurotech Precision Engineering Ltd on the North Lynn Industrial Estate.
He was a much-loved son of Colin and Margaret, brother of Tina and was dearly loved by Zoe and all his family and friends.
A funeral mass for Mr Fincham will be held on Monday, August 21 at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Gaywood at 2.30pm.