The recent accident at Donington Park, which saw teenager Billy Monger lose both his legs, served as a stark warning of the dangers of driving. Monger, however, is undeterred by his accident, and is determined to get back into racing later this year. With disabled motorsport on this rise, what could this mean for disabled driving as a whole?
Race driving is typically seen as a fast paced, adrenaline fuelled activity, which is watched by millions across the world. Two years ago, Nicolas Hamilton became the first disabled driver to compete in the British Touring Car Championship, which is testament to the growing popularity of disabled motorsport.
On top of this, Billy Monger’s story has attracted attention from the mainstream media and the general public, and could well inspire other disabled drivers to try their hand at race driving. Frederic Sausset, who is an experienced disabled driver himself, has now set up a driving academy for the disabled, with hopes of having a disabled team at the Le Mans 24 Hour race in 2020.
Monger and Hamilton’s stories will undoubtedly serve as an inspiration for disabled drivers across Britain. With an increasing amount of companies manufacturing vehicles with disabled people in mind, like Allied Mobility, it could become much easier for them to take an active interest in driving.
If Sausset’s academy is a success, then it is likely that disabled motorsport will receive even more attention, whilst rising to prominence as an exciting new aspect of the sport. With this in mind, driving for disabled people as a whole could well become more accessible, with more disabled-friendly cars appearing on the roads.
A Disabled Champion?
It is likely only a matter of time before disabled race drivers start winning trophies at some of the major races around the world. More and more disabled people will get behind the wheel to test their skills on the race track, whilst disabled drivers on regular roads will no doubt increase in number.
Whilst Monger’s accident will serve as a stark reminder of the dangerous nature of driving, his story of perseverance should stand as an example for others to follow in his footsteps.
It is clear that motorsport for the disabled has the potential to empower disabled drivers and provide them with the confidence to be actively engaged in driving, either for sport or pleasure. With this in mind, the future of disabled driving looks like it could be very bright.