Club aims to give people with disabilities chance to enjoy motorsport

The Disabled Racing Drivers Car Club. From left, Phil Armes, Tony Hewitt and Patrick Ward. Picture:

The Disabled Racing Drivers Car Club. From left, Phil Armes, Tony Hewitt and Patrick Ward. Picture: GRAHAM HAYNES - Credit: Archant

A charity which aims to help people with disabilities enjoy motorsport celebrated its official launch.

The Disabled Racing Drivers Car Club at Autosport International. Picture: Pat Ward

The Disabled Racing Drivers Car Club at Autosport International. Picture: Pat Ward - Credit: Archant

The Disabled Racing Driving Car Club and its associated charity, Raceability, will be based at Snetterton Circuit and will have cars adapted so those with disabilities can drive or ride in them.

South Norfolk councillor Colin Foulger opened the launch event at Hethel Engineering Centre on Friday, January 27.

The club was set up by Pat Ward, who has been involved in motorsport for over 30 years.

He got septicaemia three years ago, which has affected his spine.


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Mr Ward, from Wymondham, said: 'It was a big thing for us.

'I had a man who turned up and whose 12-year-old son is disabled, and he said he couldn't get his son involved in a sport. He was quite pleased we were willing to help his son.

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'Locally there is nowhere to go and a lot of car clubs don't want to support the disabled, because they don't have the facilities. And disabled people think there is nowhere to go.

'Disability comes in different forms, so there is something for everybody,' Mr Ward said.

'If they can't drive the car, they can be a passenger and experience the thrill. Or they can watch from the sides and marshal.

'It is for people to have a fun day with others and people can share experiences together.

'Through it, someone might want to take this further and do racing for real – which is what this is about.

'I hope with support from the public, donations and funding we can make those dreams reality for some but we will do our utmost for all to get the very best out of the sport.'

Club ambassadors include Phil Armes, a motorcyclist from Hellesdon who broke his back during qualifications for the Ulster Grand Prix, and former Grand Prix driver Martin Donnelly, whose Formula One career was ended by a serious crash.

A rally day, to meet mechanics and drivers, takes place at Snetterton Circuit on Sunday, February 19.

For more information, call Mr Ward on 01953 609921 or visit http://www.drdcc.org.uk/

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