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Inspiring Disabled Individuals in Motorsports

10 March 2017

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Each year, more and more disabled individuals are able to join the roads as a motorist. Not only this, but there are also many disabled individuals who are able to compete in a range of motorsports and excel. This is possible through the spirit and determination of the individuals to overcome their limitations, and also through the amazing adapta-tions and technology that can be incorporated into today’s automobiles. These vehi-cles are available at places like Allied Mobility.

Nicolas Hamilton

One of the most prominent examples of a disabled racer is Nicolas Hamilton - the brother of three-time Formula One World Champion and one of the all-time greats. 25-year-old Nicolas Hamilton was born with spastic diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy, which affects his movement and muscle control.

He did not let him hold this back, and he became the first disabled driver to compete in the British Touring Championship in 2015 after starting racing in 2011. Despite finishing last in his first ever race, Nicolas won fans over and received a tremendous amount media attention. He continued to do what he loves, and in March of 2016 is was confirmed that he would be a part of Channel 4’s Formula One presentation team. In addition to racing, Nicolas has used his profile to raise awareness of the condition and also show that others with disabilities are able to compete in sports.

Frédéric Sausset

Another incredible story is that of Frenchman Frédéric Sausset - a quadruple amputee who will compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Sausset contracted a deadly infection in 2012 that left him in a coma and forced doctors to remove his forearms and legs above his knees to save his life, but this did not interfere with his dream of competing in the ultimate endurance race.

He was offered a spot on Le Mans which is reserved for automobiles “displaying in-novative technology”. The team came together to create an amazing vehicle where Sausset is able to steer via a prosthetic linked to the steering wheel, whilst the pedals are controlled through paddles on the seat which connect to the pedals via removable linkages.

These are just two wonderful stories, but there are many more and this looks set to continue as incredible innovations are constantly being made to enable those with a disability to get behind the wheel and drive with confidence. When this technology meets great spirit and determination, it is clear that fantastic things can be achieved.

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