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Following a hard-fought battle with cancer, long-time speedway enthusiast Craig Ford earlier this week succumb to it and sadly passed away.

With a life-long passion for speedway, Ford (pictured right with Alana Baines) was a regular on the Sydney speedway scene for many years and he was regarded as an experienced Sprintcar pit crew member.

In recent years, Ford has spent time helping various 410 Sprintcars teams, such as the DTM Motorsport team with Jake Baines and before that former team driver Brayden Cooley, along with Shaun Dobson from Tasmania.

Ford, who was a life-long friend of the Baines and Hopping families, also spent some time over the years competing in the Speedway Kart class running at the Gosford Showground on the Central Coast of NSW and also out at Nepean Raceway in western Sydney of NSW.

Family friend Jake Baines yesterday paid tribute to Ford, who he regarded as not only a friend but a mentor with his speedway racing.

“We started at the bottom together and made it to Sprintcars together and you never stopped supporting and believing in me that one day I’d make it,” praised the 23-year-old racer.

“You gave me the knowledge and guidance I needed to be the racer I am today. We won together and lost together but the most important part was we did it all as one big family.

“You were the best crew chief a rookie could ask for and the best mate a guy could ask for – you’ll be missed forever, mate. Thank you for everything, mate. Crack a few beers and rest easy.”

Ford was aged 61.

Here at Totally Speedway, our condolences go out to all of Ford’s family and friends during this sad time.

0000 Craig Ford and Jake Baines

Ford pictured with Jake Baines