Forming a new race team is a complex project, especially with amateurs and people with disabilities or injuries. However, if the project is broken down into smaller parts, success is as simple as executing a series of small tasks over time. It only takes belief, persistence, and determination. U.S. military veterans have those qualities in spades. It also takes money, which is why we are raising funds from contributors and sponsors.
The great thing is that this has been done many times before so we’re not breaking new ground. Many organizations have been highly successful in developing physically challenged racing teams, vehicles, and drivers:
Double CART IndyCar champion who lost his legs in a racing accident. Now races European FIA touring cars and karts, won the 2011 New York Marathon in para-cycling, and is qualifying for the 2012 Summer Paralympics in para-cycling.
American female paraplegic road racer, SCCA T1 class regional champion in Southern California. Speed World Challenge GT driver in 600 hp Ford Mustang with hand controls.
Paraplegic American NASCAR driver with at T-10 fracture. Was the first wheelchair user to race in a NASCAR event. Was a member of the 2002 USA Wheelchair Basketball National Championship Team. Uses state of the art hand controls that enable him to operate the throttle, brakes and clutch with both hands on the steering wheel. Ray is a key member of multiple race teams from spotter to crew chief including ARCA and NASCAR Truck Series, as well as Daytona winner and multiple Dash Series Champion Danny Bagwell. Ray is actively involved with helping young disabled kids get into motorsports through karting and Legends cars. Check out his website at www.pioneerracing.net
Paraplegic American stock car, off road truck, motocross, and go-kart driver. Also races in triathalons.
Magin is the first paraplegic licensed to drive in NASCAR and to compete in the Baja 1000. Sponsored by Ford Racing, he won his Class 3000 category in the Best of the Desert Racing Series in 2006. Lance is a spokesman for the Ford Mobility Motoring Program, and representing Ford at events across the country.
Chairman of the British Motorsports Association for the Disabled, David Butler is a multiple amputee who lost both legs and left hand when he found an unexploded bomb when he was 11 years old. David has driven over 600 rally and road races in the UK. He changes gear with his right hand, using a vacuum operated clutch with a T lever on the top of the shift stick.
Race driver with multiple sclerosis competing in the British Saloon Car Renault Clio Cup. Younger brother of Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton.
Races a Porsche 996 twin turbo car in the British GT Championship. Missing his right leg and half of his pelvis.
World Rally Championship rally driver in a factory Fiat Abarth. Sponsored by Guido Simplex, which provides custom racing steering, shift, brake and acccelerator hand control system.
Paraplegic motocross racer with over 10 years of racing on his specially adapted motocross bike.
Kartforce Adapted Karts
A nonprofit kart racing organization in the UK that provides adapted hand controls to paraplegic and combat-injured British military veteran racers. Check out their website at www.kartforce.org
Other Successful Disabled Racing Programs
Other organizations for veterans and civilians have been successful over the years in developing world class athletes:
Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic and Summer Sports Clinic
Disabled Sports USA
U.S.A. Paralympic Team
New York RoadRunners Achilles Track Club
Veterans in Service
Help Hospitalized Veterans
Challenged America (sail boat racing)
Racing4Vets will join this group of respected organizations and race car drivers. With many examples of successful racing teams, paraplegic racers, and military service disabled racers, we are confident that we will build the know-how and resources needed to achieve our goals.
Safety Equipment and Mandatory Driver and Crew Licensing
Auto Racing: Racing an automobile requires significant equipment and training, and is considered the peak of a driver’s race development. All drivers are required to wear safety helmets, full race driving suits, harnesses, and head and neck restraint (HANS) systems. All drivers must be tested by a doctor for physical, heart, and vision health. Mandatory and extensive multi-day training courses and official licensing procedures must be passed to be allowed to race. Events are run by well-known racing organizations (SCCA, NASA, BMW CCA) with long safety records, insurance, highly trained track workers, and full medical crews on-site.
Kart Racing: The simplicity and accessibility of go-kart racing makes it the ideal training ground and a lifelong sport for hundreds of thousands of people across the U.S. Drivers are only required to wear a full-face helmet, basic neck support and a simple lightweight driver’s suit. Training typically consists of a 20-minute course on flags, track safety and race procedures.
Race Schedule and Geographic Area
We will race primarily on the U.S. East Coast and Midwest for 2012-2013. Our longer term goal is to build a nationwide organization that offers racing opportunities throughout the U.S.