Tributes for director killed in Ferrari crash

By Sam Hurley

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TRAGEDY: Andrew Bass had been taking part in the Hawke's Bay Club's annual track day when he crashed his Ferrari.
TRAGEDY: Andrew Bass had been taking part in the Hawke's Bay Club's annual track day when he crashed his Ferrari.

A Napier car enthusiast, husband and father, killed when his Ferrari crashed at a Taupo race track, built a career constructing commercial swimming pools, including several at Sea World.

Andrew Gordon Bass, 61, died in Taupo Hospital from the injuries he received when his 360 Spider slammed into a tyre wall at the Taupo Motorsport Park about 1pm on Monday. He had been taking part in the Hawke's Bay Club's annual track day.

John McMillin said his son-in-law was "like a mate to me and more like a brother".

He said Mr Bass was a "great golfing partner" and spent 28 years in Australia building commercial swimming pools for hotels, apartments and several projects at Sea World on the Gold Coast.

"He was a car enthusiast, he loved his Ferrari. He had two actually, one in Aussie and one here, which he kept in my garage. He also had an old Merc and a Harley Davidson motor bike."

Mr Bass had recently toured Europe as a member of the Australian Ferrari club, when he and 25 other Ferrari drivers made their way to the famous sports car's factory in Italy.

"They were going to do another tour shortly ... he would take his Ferrari out for drives in the country side," Mr McMillin said.

The director of Florida Construction and 458 Construction leaves behind his wife, Lyndy Bass, four children and seven grandchildren.

A service to celebrate Mr Bass' life will be held at Mission Estate on Church Rd, Taradale on Friday at 2pm.

Mr McMillin said as soon as he heard news of Monday's crash he and his wife drove straight to Taupo to be with Lyndy, who was at the track at the time of the crash.

"They were both from Napier and they met over in Australia and got married over there," he said of his daughter and Mr Bass.

"It's really sad. We will just have to battle through the next few days. He only arrived back in Napier last Saturday and was due to head back to Brisbane in five weeks to finish another construction project."

At the time of the crash Mr Bass was wearing fireproof racing overalls, a crash helmet and a safety belt.

An 18-year-old passenger, also a Napier local, walked away from the crash with minor injuries.

The track day event organiser Dennis Churcher said he will dearly miss his friend of more than 35 years.

"He has missed this event a lot because he has been living in Australia and was really looking forward to it."

Taupo Area Road Policing Manager Senior Sergeant Fane Troy said there are no early indications as to what caused the crash. The police serious crash unit is investigating the crash on behalf of the coroner.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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