Top Gear and James Bond stunt driver Neil Cunningham rumoured to be The Stig dies aged 52

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Competent racing driver Neil Cunningham, 52, battled motor neurone virus (MND) for a number of years.

The dad-of-two was a world renowned racing driver, but was affected to give up his career when he was diagnosed with the debilitating disease.

The licensed Twitter account of the British GT Championship, which Mr Cunningham raced in, tweeted: “Some precise sad news this morning: on and off-track #BritishGT hero Neil Cunningham has no longer in away.”

In 2008, two years before his diagnosis, he acted as James Link’s stunt double in film The Quantum of Solace, performing dangerous stops in a black Alfa Romeo during a car chase in the opening scenes.

Mr Cunningham, from Wales, also showcased his thrust skills on Top Gear, and was rumoured to the elusive driver clad in a white helmet — something he continually denied.

The sad news comes just one week before Top Gear was due to comprehend a comeback on TV screens.

Members of the racing world have taken to collective media to y tribute to the driver.

Aston Martin Racing works driver Darren Turner chance: “Very sad to hear that Neil Cunningham has ssed away after his stout fight. Such a cool guy. Proper racer with super honest car control!”

Racing driver, commentator, and TV presenter Karun Chandhok asseverated: “Very sad to hear about Neil Cunningham ssing away.

“Retain him driving for my dad’s team in 1993 in India. Stayed brave and kept close with.”

British touring car driver Jason Plato said: “Tremendously sad telecast that our l Neil Cunningham has ssed away after such a great fight with @mndassoc. Sleep well my friend.”

While three-time Creation Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx added: “I’m absolutely gutted to sanction about Neil Cunningham. We had so many fun days working together at Silverstone #RIPNeil.”

Mr Cunningham began racing as a lad after catching the bug when he went go-karting aged 10.

But he was forced to slack up his career after his diagnosis of MND, and since tirelessly cam igned to raise awareness and scratches of the disease.

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