Byline: NICK PAPPS in Melbourne
WITH a simple hug Graham Beveridge's wife and daughter were united in their tragic loss at the Melbourne Grand Prix track yesterday.
Just metres from where the volunteer marshal was killed on Sunday, his wife of 26 years, Karen, and daughter Kelly, 19, held each other and cried.
Minutes earlier they stopped to place flowers by the steel barrier where a tyre ripped through the fence and broke their hearts.
For more than half an hour late yesterday Kelly and Karen walked along the track, near Albert St, holding each other for support as a race official quietly explained what went wrong.
Their silent visit ended a frantic day following the Grand Prix tragedy in which a tyre flew off Jacques Villeneuve's Formula One car and killed Mr Beveridge, a father of three.
Last night, Karen Beveridge spoke about her husband's death. ``He went doing what he loved,'' she said.
``He knew the dangers of the sport and was passionate about racing.''
Mrs Beveridge said her husband's ``passion as a trackside official was second only to his love of his family,''
Meanwhile, in other developments yesterday:
JACQUES Villeneuve tried desperately to contact the Beveridge family so that he could express his sadness over the death.
POLICE impounded Villeneuve's car for examination in a coronial Inquiry.
GRAND Prix chiefs defended track safety.
FORMULA One drivers Jacques Villeneuve and Ralf Schumacher were questioned by officials over the death.
TRIBUTES flowed for Mr Beveridge from racing officials across Australia.
Graham Beveridge died just five laps into Sunday's race. He had been manning turn three at the track, when Jacques Villeneuve's car was involved in a collision with Ralf Schumacher and was catapulted along the track at 300km/h severing a tyre which hit and killed Mr Beveridge.
Yesterday, Mr Peter Hansen, the head of Australia's peak motorsport organisation CAMS, said Villeneuve tried unsuccessfully to contact Mrs Beveridge.
``He tried this morning but she was on her way down here,'' Mr Hansen said.
``He has passed on his sincere condolences.
``Everybody is upset.''
Mr Hansen said Mr Beveridge, from Bundaberg in North Queensland, had worked at several Grand Prix races and other races across Australia.
In Melbourne he had been responsible for removing debris from the track and any cars that had stopped.
Mr Hansen said Mr Beveridge was a very dedicated marshal. ``He had a passionate love for motorsport,'' he said.
Mr Hansen also defended the decision to keep the race going after Mr Beveridge died.
He said race officials knew about the dangers.
``It's their wish always that the show must go on,'' he said.
Mrs Beveridge flew into Melbourne yesterday afternoon to be with Karen who had been at the track with her boyfriend when the accident happened.
Earlier, Grand Prix chairman Ron Walker said Mr Beveridge's death was not released during the race, on the family's request.
``We are very sad for his family,'' Mr Walker said.
* PAGE 67: Track safety `not to blame'