FIRST DOUBLE AMPUTEE RACE DRIVER WITH HAND CONTROLS
Double below knee amputee Black Watch soldier, Davie Birrell, joined KartForce in September 2012 after being referred by another forces motorsport charity.
After some practice and coaching, Davie entered his first kart race – using hand controls. And that was the beginning of this whirlwind story. Buckle up – here goes.
Davie entered every KartForce race he could. Whenever he had spare time, he went to a kart track and got extra track time. Being an ex-Army Champion Boxer, he knows all about what it takes to have to push the boundaries to achieve the best results.
In 2013 Davie has entered over 40 kart races, including 3 x 24hrs and a 12hr race, plus many other team endurance races all over the country.
Davie designed a pair of lightweight pair of prosthetic legs with small size 5 feet so he can work the pedal quickly and efficiently. He then entered Want2Race, a competition sponsored by Ginetta.
In Stage 1, 300 drivers competed in karts – 90 progressed to the Stage 2 trials in a Ginetta G40 race car and 30 made the finals. Davie made it to the top 10.
He impressed Ginetta so much that they sorted out his ARDS Test so he could get his MSA National B race licence – and donated a race suit.
DAVIE’S FIRST RACE
After reading an article about Davie, The Scottish Sun Rookie of the Year, Christie Doran offered Davie her seat in her last race of her season. No race driver ever gives up a chance to race, so this is a very generous and selfless offer from an 18 year old race driver.
Davie will be competing at Knockhill on Sat 5th and Sun 6th October and will be the first double amputee to race cars without hand controls.
SUCCESS BREEDS SUCCESS
Davie has got to where he is through pure hard work and determination.
No one apart from Davie can take the credit for what he has achieved. He’s set his goals high, pushed himself and is achieving what he’s set out to achieve.
He’s grabbed every opportunity, followed instructions from his coaches to the letter and welcomed advice from experts.
Bradley Philpot has been a great coach and friend to Davie. Ginetta have been fantastic in supporting him along this path, but Christie Doran has been the light at the end of the tunnel by giving Davie his first opportunity to race.
HENRY SURTEES CHALLENGE
“Career enhancing opportunities for young drivers…”
After a phone call from John Surtees OBE, 3 KartForce drivers have been accepted to enter the Henry Surtees Challenge.
On Wed 23rd October our lads will have to compete in karts against some of the countries next generation of racing drivers, all competing for a long list of prizes that will help them progress in their careers as racing drivers.
More news to follow.