It is with an extremely heavy heart that I have to inform everyone of the passing of Stuart Mitchell after his brave battle with cancer.

Stuart was an incredibly gifted photographer and could make a great image out of the most mundane situation.  He always wanted to create something more artistic than the stock images that are plentiful in drag racing.  His images were contemporary and had a real feel of class to them.  He had a talent for getting them just right, never overdone and something you would really want to hang on the wall.  I’m sure everyone thought they were as top class, as I did.

His non-drag racing photography was just as impressive and I’m sure he could have easily made a successful living from it, if he had chosen to.

Personally, I found his work inspiring and I always pushed myself to try and be on his level, but I feel I never quite achieved it.

Around the track his smile and personality was very infectious and everyone who knew him always enjoyed his company.

As a friend, I couldn’t have asked for more in a person.  He was funny and had a wicked sense of humour. He could take and give out a barrel load of banter.  I was often the brunt of his jokes in his photoshopped specials that he sent me privately.  I found that I could talk to him about anything and not just about photography or motorsport but on any subject.  He was one of most easy to get on with people I have ever known.

As well as the cancer, Stu was a long time severe Crohns sufferer, and although we had contact several times a day, I can honestly say he never once moaned about his health problems.  He took it in his stride and with the upmost dignity.  He even told me last week that at 41, he thought he had had a good innings, which of course is ridiculously untrue.

We’ve lost a great photographer but more importantly a very special person and somebody I will always remember and dearly miss.  He was a true friend to me and I feel I have been extremely lucky and proud to have known him.

My thoughts now are with his wife Debbie, their beautiful daughter Eva and all his friends and family.

It would be a lovely touch, if you’re friends with Stu on Facebook, to say something about him on his wall so that Debbie can see how much his drag racing friends thought of him.  She will also always have it to show to Eva when she’s older.

If you’re not friends with him on Facebook but you would like to say something you can just post something below and I’ll make sure she gets to see it.