Final lap of honour for road racer after fatal crash on course he loved

Dario Cecconi, who died of injuries sustained in a crash at the Tandragee 100.
Dario Cecconi, who died of injuries sustained in a crash at the Tandragee 100.

The Italian road racer who died after a crash at the Tandragee 100 is to do a ‘final lap of honour’ of the course tonight (Thursday).

Dario Cecconi’s partner Francesca and his brother Luca, who have flown over to Northern Ireland, say the tribute event is open to anyone who wants to pay their respects.

The 38-year-old called the Tandragee 100 his ‘home’ and even had a tattoo of the course on his arm.

The lap of honour will begin at 7.30pm. The cortege will approach the Tandragee course from Cooleyhill Crossroads and travel along the Markethill Road stopping momentarily at the scene of the incident.

It will then proceed to the start line on the Drumnamether Road where a priest will say a blessing.

Everyone can then join the cortege as it proceeds onwards to complete the lap, leaving the course by turning left at Cooleyhill Crossroads.

The family has requested that they be allowed to travel onwards alone and all other vehicles are to turn right at Cooleyhill Crossroads and disperse safely.

All other arrangements are strictly private.

The family has also requested no pictures at the scene, except by invitation, and no flowers. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Injured Riders Welfare Fund, c/o Milne Funeral Services, 59 Seagoe Road, Portadown, BT63 5HS.

Anne Forsythe, clerk of the Tandragee 100 course, recalls that when Dario first came to Tandragee in 2012 and was asked for his opinion of Irish road racing he replied, “I completely fell in love with the Irish road racing world! I like the riders, the courses, the spectators and everyone in and around the paddock...

“I come in my van, by myself, for about 45 hours only to travel 45 hours back home again and I love it. There is a special atmosphere we can find only there. No other tracks give us this thrill, and no other meetings give us the sense of being part of a family.”

When asked what made him love racing, he summed it up simply: “When I race, I feel free – I do not think, just act or react. It’s a sort of trance and it is absolutely amazing. I feel at home and calm when I have my helmet on and the visor down, it’s hard to explain...everything is natural.”