Racing car champion Christian Bakkerud dies after A3 crash in Tibbets Corner, Wimbledon
Christian Bakkerud's career highlight was winning the British Formula 3 race in Mugello, Italy, in 2006 (Credit: www.sutton-images.com)
A former champion racing driver has died after his car overturned in a serious accident on the A3 on Saturday.
Christian Bakkerud passed away in hospital after his silver Audi RS6 flipped over on Tibbetts Corner roundabout, near Wimbledon Parkside, where Wimbledon Common meets Putney.
The 26-year-old Dane, who lived in Notting Hill, west London, died at St George's Hospital yesterday after he sustained severe brain damage from the crash in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Before retiring from motor sport last year, he had been working his way up the motor racing ladder before that, racing in Formula BMW, British Formula 3 and GP2 (the level below Formula 1).
His career highlight was a British F3 win for Carlin at Mugello in 2006.
His last race was at the gruelling 24-hour race in Le Mans, France, which he was unable to finish after crashing out in 32nd place.
After that event in June 2010, Mr Bakkerud confirmed his retirement from motor sport and wrote on his Facebook page: "[Christian] has enjoyed his last Le Mans, and his last race as a professional racingdriver. He wants to thank everyone for the support, it means so much for ham. Thank you!"
Since then, Mr Bakkerud worked as an Import Manager at a global shipping company, Shipco Transport, until leaving this summer to explore other opportunities.
Writing on social networking website Twitter this afternoon, Formula 1 driver and ex team mate, Narain Karthikeyan, said: "Shocked and saddened to hear that my Le Mans Series teammate Christian Bakkerud passed away in a car accident. R.I.P. my friend."
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said investigating officers from Hampton traffic garage do not believe another vehicle was involved but the cause of the crash is still being determined.
Any witnesses, or anyone with information, should contact police on 020 8941 9011.
TRIBUTES FOR "BRILLIANT PERSON"
Boris Bermes, manager of Christian´s former racing team Team Kolles: "We are very sad to hear about Christian Bakkerud’s fatal accident. Christian was a great and professional race driver, but principally a brilliant person.
"The whole team liked him very much and we have had lots of wonderful and unforgettable moments together.
"Many of our team members stayed in contact with him even after our collaboration. By telephone calls, private meetings or his visit at the Formula 1 race circuit we never lost sight of each other.
"This shows which loveable person he was and that we were more than just business partner.
"All of our thoughts are with his family and friends in this difficult time as they have lost somebody very special. We are unbelievable sad about his death and we all will miss him." (via email)
Formula 1 driver and ex-team mate, Narain Karthikeyan: "Shocked and saddened to hear that my Le Mans Series teammate Christian Bakkerud passed away in a car accident. R.I.P. my friend." (Twitter)
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