Formula Two champion Dean Stoneman has thanked well-wishers for the “incredible” support shown to him since he was diagnosed with cancer last month.
The 20-year-old has spent most of the time since then either receiving intensive chemotherapy treatment or resting at his Southampton home – although he did get a break from the routine when F2 boss Jonathan Palmer flew him by helicopter to Snetterton so that he could try out the new track layout in a BMW X6 road car.
He told the Formula Two website: “It’s been incredible to get so many cards, texts and emails from people wishing me well. I would like to thank everybody who has shown me so much kindness.”
Stoneman tested with the Williams F1 team, his prize for winning the F2 title, in November. His recruitment to drive for ISR Racing in Formula Renault 3.5 had just been announced when he received the diagnosis of testicular cancer.
The need for treatment has forced him to sit out the 2011 season, but he will be travelling to some races with the team and they have also taken an option on him for next year.
This support, combined with the British Racing Drivers Club including him in its SuperStars programme for the year despite his enforced absence from the racetrack, is helping motivate him.
He said: “I would like to thank Igor Salaquarda and Peter Berry at ISR Racing for being very supportive. Also the BRDC have been amazing. Being included again in this year Superstars programme has given me even more reason to return to full health and back racing.”
According to his manager, Steve Noakes, his treatment is going well: “So far the specialists seem very pleased with Dean’s progress. The team at Southampton General Hospital have been totally outstanding for which Dean’s family are very grateful.
“Dean is in good spirits and showing the same character and determination we have become used to seeing him display on the track.”
Brits on Pole would like to add its voice to the many supporters who have wished Dean a rapid return to health, and to racing.