New Norfolk racing club wants to get disabled drivers involved

The Disabled Racing Drivers Car Club. Pictured: Michelle Chandler and Emelie Kelman.
The Disabled Racing Drivers Car Club. Pictured: Michelle Chandler and Emelie Kelman.

A new racing club in Norfolk which supports passionate motorsport enthusiasts with disabilities – believed to be the only one of its kind in East Anglia – was launched on Friday.

The Disabled Racing Drivers Car Club, and associated charity, Raceability, will run events across the region, including Snetterton Circuit.

The Disabled Racing Drivers Car Club.

The Disabled Racing Drivers Car Club.

Pat Ward, of Wymondham, who has been involved in motorsport for 30 years, set up the club. He said the club would get people involved in grass-roots level motorsport, from watching to competing in adapted cars and “all points in between”.

And Mr Ward, 54, said the ultimate aim of the club would be to build a race series for the disabled with their own class in the next six to ten years.

Mr Ward himself was left unable to drive after he got septicaemia three years ago, which in turn affected his spine.

Among the club’s first events will be a rally day, which is being held at Snetterton Circuit on Sunday, February 19.

He said passionate people should not lose interest in their hobbies just because of a disability.

“It is all about getting people involved who have a disability,” he told the Diss Express.

“We can help people get in cars, and we have a company with special lifting equipment for people who do not have legs and things like that.

“There is something for everyone.

“We aim to get people interested in the sport.”

Mr Ward said they could take a leaf from the Olympic’s promotion of the Paralympics over recent years.

“It is a bit like starting with a little acorn, and hopefully it will grow.

“The Paralympics has taken off really big. That is what we need to think about, starting something on a small scale, to get people out there enjoying sport, interested in watching it, and getting them involved.”

Ambassadors for the club include former F1 racer Martin Donnelly, who has his own racing academy in Norfolk, Phil Armes, who had a successful racing career was injured in an accident in 1995, and classical soprano singer Hayley Moss.

For more information on the club, based in Norwich, call Mr Ward on 01953 609921 or visit www.drdcc.org.uk

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