A force to be reckoned with
Two unique teams will enter the Le Mans 24 hour race in July, Kart Force, a team of serving and ex-serving injured troops using hand controlled karts to compete against non-disability teams.
CEO Dave Player, an Ex-Royal Engineer is the brains behind the project and has created hand controls for karts that allow troops with a number of different disabilities to race. “The positive impact karting has had on the lads has been truly amazing, and long lasting. No other sport allows participants with all sorts of injuries to compete on a totally level playing field with able-bodied counterparts – except Chess!“
Fielding two teams for the Le Mans 24 hour karting race with no less than ten drivers between them, the KartForce drivers have been getting faster and faster, ever since they started in 2013. Their first team is aiming for a top ten finish. The team’s four drivers, world record holders and KartForce Ambassadors Mark Allen and Martyn Compton, ex bike racer Pat Clements and football fan & motocross enthusiast Danny Holland who have considerable KartForce experience having competed in a number of endurance races with the team. The main disability for the team to combat is double above knee amputee and thumbless Mark, who also holds the record for the furthest ramp jump in a car with hand controls, as well as the furthest driven as a team in 24hrs in a kart with hand controls.
The second team consists of Mike 'Doris' Day, Bas Rawlinson, Peter Hobbs, Mark Glasby, Fraser Millar plus one driver still to be confirmed. Mike, or Doris as he is known to his KartForce team (after famous actress Doris Day, Mike’s the complete opposite and an alpha male so Doris is an ideal nickname) is a key member of the squad and puts his past racing experience down as ‘at the traffic lights’. Dave says “he’s so hard a grenade blast less than 3ft away couldn’t kill Doris.” Bas, who has just started a business painting helmets (get in touch if you want one doing) is an ex-Para. Pete, another ex-Royal Engineer, had a severely damaged shoulder and almost lost his arm. Mark, ex-Royal Signals has damage to his lower legs, now a data engineer, he wants to be competitive against more experienced drivers and win a trophy. Fraser, the One Handit Bandit, lost his left arm when he was 19 and took up karting last year and is doing really well. The final driver for the second KartForce team has yet to be decided, but it might be one of their Rookies, their first female amputee driver Stacey or RAF Regiment double above knee amputee Stuart.
The drivers who don’t have a visible injury or disability that might not necessarily effect their ability to drive without hand controls will still drive with hand controls so they can all drive from the same karts. The hand controls retro-fit onto any kart meaning ‘the lads’ can drive any kart at any track. Thanks to the KartForce team for being involved once again and for being an inspiration to us all.