Disability News

Disability motorsport's talent search


A new organisation has been set up to encourage potentially talented drivers with a disability to take up motorsport.

Disability Motorsport Scotland say that if you can physically drive, there is no reason why someone with a disability can't be a winner.

BBC Scotland's Ian Hamilton went along to Knockhill racing circuit where they were running a taster day.


MEN SPEAKING QUIETLY: I just don't want my foot to jump on to the throttle. Just switch it off. Switch it off.

REPORTER: With a little help Dougie Johnson gets behind the wheel for his first racing lesson with Disability Motorsport Scotland.

Dougie was in a motorcycle accident a number of years ago that left him with a spinal injury but he's never lost that passion for speed.

DOUGIE JOHNSON: "Driving this car is absolutely awesome. It's the first time I've been in a race prepared car but it was just absolutely mega.

"The car grips the track unbelievably, it's extremely powerful, the brakes are so powerful, just everything about it is just amazing."

[Car drives around the track]

REPORTER: There are fifteen people with a disability taking part in this taster racing day at Knockhill. The organiser is ambitious and the aim is to have a team competing in formula four.

KIERAN BURNS, Director, Disability Motorsport Scotland: "I've got one vehicle at the present time, a three hundred brake horsepower, Audi A3 Quattro; just to get that in.

"In time we want to have four or five different cars and compete in different leagues."

REPORTER: According to them here at Knockhill, as long as someone is physically able to drive, there's no reason why someone couldn't be successful.

SASHA BRUNTON, Race Rally instructor, Knockhill Circuit: "It's really good to see people of any ability being able to go out there for the first time and bring them up a level.

"So you're going out there and trying to teach people race lines as opposed to just driving around like a road driver.

"It makes all the difference to how the car actually behaves out there and so they can learn about handling and it's really good to see people improve."

AMJID MAJEED: "I've loved it. I've loved it. I did it because I felt the need to feed an adrenalin rush that had lain dormant for a long long time.

"I need to get out here and get it done and I enjoyed it, absolutely enjoyed it."

REPORTER: This car is pretty standard apart from one extra control. It's for those who can't use the foot pedals.

[Demonstrating a lever beside the steering wheel]

REPORTER: You pull this towards you to make the car go and to stop it you push it away. Sadly, the technology is not there yet to help someone who is blind, like me. Ian Hamilton, Reporting Scotland, Knockhill.


From BBC