Karting for the Disabled at enABLE 08
One of Formula One’s most successful team owners Sir Frank Williams CBE, has fully endorsed the free Karting for the Disabled seminar which will take place at the very first enABLE show at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena on 28&29 November 2008. “I fully support this initiative which is opening a new route for disabled participants to become involved in competitive motor sport,” said Sir Frank. “With the oxygen of publicity provided by British success in Formula One, it is a great time to be encouraging everyone, regardless of ability or capability, to enjoy full engagement in motor sport.”
In 1986 Sir Frank himself sustained devastating injuries as the result of a road accident when returning from a pre-season test session at the Paul Ricard circuit in France and is now confined to a wheelchair. Despite that, he has continued to head the WilliamsF1 team which has won nine constructor’s World Championships and secured seven drivers titles.
Karting for the Disabled aims to help people with disabilities realise their racing dreams to participate in motorsport in a brand new scheme. The presentation to enABLE 08 visitors is part of the Health and Fitness seminar at the UK’s only national consumer show for people with disabilities who seek an active and independent life.
Karting for the Disabled is a project between Karting Endeavour, a group of drivers who do not wish their disability to interfere with their love of motorsport, and BRDC Stars of Tomorrow – the karting championship from which Britain’s recently crowed FIA Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton learnt his craft.
The premier karting series has purchased 12 corporate kart chassis which will be fitted with Honda engines. The specially adapted karts will be transported to indoor kart circuits across the UK as part of BRDC Stars of Tomorrow’s promotional tour of schools, colleges and Sainsbury’s car parks in 2009, offering people with disabilities across the UK the chance to get in the racing seat.
The highest level of expertise has been dedicated to developing the Karting for the Disabled karts which will feature hand-controlled steering wheels designed by former Formula One and Champ Car star Alex Zanardi, who suffered a massive accident in 2001 in which he lost both of his legs.
The project will run initially for drivers with a disability who currently hold a DVLA driving licence, however, it is hoped that BRDC Stars of Tomorrow will eventually be able to introduce the project to the under 17s.
BRDC Stars of Tomorrow is primarily a junior karting championship that also incorporates the British Cadet Championship. Backed by the British Racing Drivers' Club, the MSA (Great Britain’s sole governing body of motorsport) and the Motorsport Industry Association, the Championship is recognised as the kindergarten of formula racing. Drivers can progress through the classes and on to the higher echelons of the sport, following in the tyre tracks of Lewis Hamilton who continues to be a patron of the championship.
With around 10 million people in Britain now classified as having a disability, the engaging free seminar programme in conjunction with the UK’s leading disability charity, Leonard Cheshire Disability, will cover a wealth of topical issues at enABLE 08. The show’s content will be underpinned by one of the UK’s largest pieces of research into the needs and aspirations of the disabled community, conducted by YouGov. The event is completely free to attend.
To register for free tickets and for the latest show news and seminar programme, log onto enableshow.co.uk or call 0870 4866 813.