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Will Hoy 1953-2002

Will HoyBritish motorsport is in deep mourning following the death of popular British Touring Car champion Will Hoy, aged 50, after a brain tumour.

Hoy, who won the British Touring Car title in 1991 and who became a household name as the series boomed in the mid-nineties, will be remembered as one of the sport's true gentlemen.Will Hoy

Alan Gow, the former boss of touring cars and a close, personal friend of Hoy's, said: "Will was just such a good, honest, polite, friendly bloke to be around. What you saw is what you got, straight down the line, which is not necessarily the same of a lot of people in sport. There was no dark side to him at all. We used to socialise quite a lot. This has hit me very hard, as I'm sure it will have a lot of other people."

Hoy won his 1991 BTCC title in a BMW run by the Vic Lee Racing team. He almost regained the title in 1992 with Toyota and continued to rack up victories with Renault-Williams and Ford.

Team boss Vic Lee said: "We've only got good memories of Will. He really understood all the sides to motor racing. Although he very rarely showed his emotions you knew they ran deep within him. He was very determined and when things didn't go right he'd be devastated. We only saw him get really mad once, when he was punted off in the round before he won the title. When he came back in he just shouted at us all 'I was trying to win the title!' We were all stunned into silence because we never knew that side of him existed!

"One thing you can say about Will is he never drove dirty - he really was one of life's nice guys."

Will HoyThis year, Hoy had stopped racing to concentrate on helping Honda, who won two races get their cars up to speed in their first season back in the BTCC. He was also a commentator for ITV.

Previously, he had starred in sportscar racing, contesting the Le Mans 24-Hour race and winning numerous titles and races.

Lee added: "Not only was he an out-and-out racer, but for us to lose him when he also had so much more to offer is tragic."Will Hoy

Renault, whose Williams-run Lagunas Hoy drove in 1995, were also stunned by Hoy's death.

Their PR director Tim Jackson said: "Will was one of life's gentlemen. In his time with Renault and Williams he was always a delight to work with and gave 150 per cent. This is very sad news."

Hoy, a fully qualified chartered surveyor, leaves a wife and three children.

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