Motorsport: Super Black Racing owner passes away

Chris Pither drives the #111 Super Black Racing Ford during a test day at Winton. Photo / Getty Images
Chris Pither drives the #111 Super Black Racing Ford during a test day at Winton. Photo / Getty Images

The founder and owner of Kiwi V8 Supercar team Super Black Racing has passed away.

Businessman Tony Lentino died on Monday morning after a battle with cancer.

"Super Black Racing is deeply saddened to confirm the death of team founder and owner, Tony Lentino who passed away peacefully today at his home in Wellsford, New Zealand following a fifteen month battle with cancer," team said via a statement.

"Lentino was the driving force behind the creation of the all-Kiwi Supercars team which has competed full-time in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship for the last two seasons after making a wildcard debut at Bathurst in 2014.

"The proud Kiwi created the team to give up-and-coming New Zealand racing drivers something to aspire to and has seen rising stars Chris Pither, Andre Heimgartner, Ant Pedersen and Richie Stanaway all drive the team's #111 entry."

Super Black Racing's Operations Manager, Greg Hahn paid tribute to Lentino and his legacy.

"Tony had a dream and took us all on the journey with him," Hahn said. "He always wanted for a Pole and a top ten finish and this weekend he got to see it. He will be deeply missed by the team.

"He passed away surrounded by his family at his beloved home of Wellsford north of Auckland following a relatively short but spirited battle with cancer which he fought with all the energy he poured into everything he did.

"Tony was passionate about lots of things in life and while he toughed it out when he was young to establish himself as a very successful businessman, he never forgot where he came from and giving young people a chance, especially Kiwis, was central to the creation of the Super Black Racing team.

"Tony loved nothing more than taking it to the Aussies and having a Supercars team was a great way to mix his passion for his country with his love of motorsport.

"We will race on in memory of Tony but for now our thoughts and support are fully with the young family he so sadly leaves behind."

Lentino, forty two, leaves behind his wife Emily and two daughters, Izabella and Sofia .

- NZ Herald

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