Eighteen-year-old V8 Ute racer Luke Spalding has lost a four-year battle with cancer.
The Queenslander fought courageously against a rare form of the disease after being diagnosed with desmoplastic small round cell tumours in 2012, aged just 14.
Spalding's health had deteriorated in recent weeks before he succumbed to the disease in the early hours of this morning with his family by his side.
Despite suffering from one of the world's rarest forms of cancer, the Brisbane youngster was determined in following his motor racing passion.
He progressed from state-level karting into Formula Vee before making the step to Australian Formula 3 last year where he claimed 13 class wins on his way to the Natonal Class title.
Spalding moved into the V8 Utes Racing Series this year and was aiming to compete at Bathurst next month before his condition took a turn for the worse.
“In the early hours of this morning, our strong, beautiful, courageous and generous boy passed away peacefully in his sleep with his family by his side,” read a post on his Facebook page.
“We are beyond broken, but will hold each other together. We could not be more proud of how he fought, of how he overcame challenges and of what he achieved.
“He didn't live with Cancer. Cancer lived with him. He sure as took it on one hell of a ride.”
Australian Formula 3 has released the following statement paying tribute to the young teen.
“The entire Formula 3 family is devastated by the loss of such an incredible young man in Luke Spalding,” read the statement.
“More than merely a driver in our series, Luke's story touched us all and his selflessness and generosity to others, despite his own battles, were an inspiration to us all.
“We extend our thoughts to Luke's family and friends and will suport them in anyway we can.
“Rest in peace, Luke.”
The funds will be donated to Spalding's ‘iPads for Kids with Cancer' program this Christmas.
Speedcafe.com extends its condolences to Spalding's family and friends.