Karting for the disabled at NEC

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.

Commenting on Karting for the Disabled, Lewis said: “Any initiative to make motor racing more accessible to people with disabilities will always have my support and in this case Karting for the Disabled is a fantastic opportunity to open up the experience to as many people as possible. Karting for the Disabled goes a long way towards helping out those people who would otherwise have been denied this opportunity."

One of Formula One’s most successful team owners Sir Frank Williams CBE has also endorsed the programme: “I fully support this initiative which is opening a new route for disabled participants to become involved in competitive motor sport. 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.”

BRDC Stars of Tomorrow will bring around six of the hand-controlled karts to the Karting Show to allow members of the public to race them for the first time, following the launch of the Karting for the Disabled initiative at Autosport International 2008. The Karting for the Disabled hand-controlled karts will run on the Karting4U track in Hall 4 at 10.30am on Saturday and 10.30am and 4.30pm on Sunday.

Carolynn Hoy, the Championship Director of BRDC Stars of Tomorrow, will be joined by Kumar from Karting Endeavour, to talk about Karting for the Disabled on the Karting Show Stage. “As we launched Karting for the Disabled at the show last January, it seemed appropriate to present the karts for public use for the first time at the Karting Show 2009,” said Carolynn. “Although plans are in their infancy, we hope to supply select kart centres across the country with these hand-controlled karts to integrate with public activity. But we have a lot of exciting plans in the pipeline and hope to develop the programme in the coming years.”

Kevin O’Malley runs the Rye House circuit in Hertfordshire, where Lewis Hamilton first raced, and the circuit will operate the Karting4U indoor kart track at the Karting Show this weekend. Kevin commented: “We have been working with Carolynn and Karting for the Disabled since its launch last January and we are delighted to be able to host the hand-controlled karts and give members of the public their first chance to race them at the Karting Show. We are now looking forward to taking Karting for the Disabled to our home circuit of Rye House to develop the programme on a long term basis with Carolynn.”

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.