TT 2016: Shoesmith awarded Spirit of the TT award

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Paul Shoesmith has been posthumously awarded the 2016 Pokerstars Spirit of the TT award on Senior Race Day at this year’s Isle of Man TT.

The award, which recognises selfless contributions to the event’s success, was collected by Shoesmith’s family and the Ice Valley Racing team after he tragically passed away following an incident in Saturday’s practice session.

As well as racing himself, Shoesmith ran the Ice Valley Racing team which played a vital role in launching the careers of riders such as Simon Andrews and Peter Hickman.

James Whitham, a close friend of Shoesmith, paid tribute to the 50-year-old: “Racing on the roads was Shoey’s life. He ran a team, brought young riders through and that defined him. A lot of people wondered why he carried on racing and didn’t just sit back and run the team but he absolutely loved it. He was the nicest, funniest man who always seemed to put more in than he got back.

“He was never quick enough to be a superstar but everyone in the paddock knew him as one! He was always the one having fun, flying around on his Segway with pizza in his mouth. He was a great lad, a great fella and I’ll miss him like mad. Everyone in the paddock has a Shoey story and I’ve got that many I feel lucky that I’ve known him. That said, he’s a big lad, we all know what we’re doing and that’s how it is.”

Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing