Driver who died at Kirkistown race named as Dr Paul Conn
Tributes have been paid to a racing driver who died tragically following a crash at Kirkistown in Co Down on Saturday.
Dr Paul Conn, who was from Lisburn and a partner at the Ballygomartin Group Practice in Belfast, crashed during the second race at a meeting of the 500 Motor Racing Club of Ireland.
In a statement, the club described Dr Conn, who was in his 50s, as "our member and friend for over 20 years".
A spokesperson said he joined the club in 1996 and drove a Crossle 47s with increasing success.
"In 2018 he seemed to reach a new level of skill and he began to trouble the established top echelon of drivers in Roadsports, winning in the second race of the May meeting," they said.
"Yesterday he had already won the first Roadsports race, against top opposition, and he was on course for a repeat in the second race when he had an accident opposite the control tower, on the front straight."
The spokesperson said doctors at the course and volunteers from the Order of Malta were in attendance "almost immediately", but Dr Conn succumbed to his injuries at the scene.
"Once again, we offer our severe condolences to Paul’s family, friends, colleagues and team. He will be sorely missed," they added.
Formula Vee Ireland wrote on their Facebook page: "We are all so shocked and saddened at Formula Vee Ireland to hear of the loss of a member of the motorsport community at the track we all know so well - while we love our sport, it's a cruel reminder of just how dangerous it can be.
"We would like to express our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Dr. Paul Conn at this extraordinarily difficult time.
"Our thoughts also go out to all marshals, medics and motorsport officials who attended the scene in the immediate aftermath of the accident, along with all others present at the paddock this weekend."
Many of Dr Conn's former patients also took to social media to pay their respects.
"A wonderful GP, I'll never forget how good he was to me when my son was born with a medical condition. Will be missed by many," one wrote.
Another said: "Dr Conn, you died doing something you loved for over 20 years. My deepest sympathy to his family and friends, you where an amazing doctor."
DUP councillor Brian Kingston wrote on Facebook: "Very sorry to hear of the sudden tragic death of Dr Paul Conn of Ballygomartin Group Practice, who had helped many thousands of people over 30+ years as a local GP.
"With deepest sympathy to his family, colleagues and friends."
Belfast Telegraph Digital