A racing car driver says he’s “absolutely devastated” after the chassis of his “invaluable” car was inadvertently stolen while it was being repaired.
Alaistair Smart, 49, is a driver with Surrey-based independent racing firm WSC Motorsport. The engine of his race car was due to be rebuilt at RLM Racing in Station Road, Uppingham, and was being stored in the back of a trailer.
But in the early hours of Friday morning, thieves broke into RLM Racing and took the trailer, which had the chassis of the race car inside.
The estimated value of the trailer and its contents is between £40,000 and £50,000 but to Alastair the race car is priceless.
Alastair said: “It’s of no use to them, the body work was off it and it had no engine inside.
“But it’s priceless. It was the 11th ever car manufactured by a Radical Sportscar. It’s a pedigree car and that sort of history, you just can’t get it back.
“I am absolutely devastated. It’s irreplacable and that’s my racing season over.”
CCTV images captured the thieves approaching RLM Racing at about 1.45am, in a black Audi. Over the course of the next 20 minutes, the gang managed to cut the padlock on the front gates and removed the locks on the trailer, which had a tow hitch lock and a wheel lock, before using a white transit van to tow it away.
Alastair believes the thieves would not have known about the chassis was inside until it moved within the trailer. He added: “It was as secure as it could possibly be, they were obviously determined to get in.”
He believes the thieves would have dumped it quickly and is appealing for people locally to check hedgerows and rural roads.
Alastair, who races the car himself in the Open Sports Car Series, said: “My hope is that it’s been dumped, my fear is that it’s been crushed. Our best bet of finding it is local people.”
He is offering a reward for information which leads to the recovery of the racing car or trailer.
Anyone with any information is urged to call police on 101, quoting niche number 16*43893.