Alive to Drive – “You don’t need all your limbs to race, just British bulldog balls” is the motto of a very unique karting team.
KartForce, a karting team of injured troops will be setting a new karting world record for the furthest driven in 24hrs with hand controls on 9th & 10th July 2012 at Teesside Autodrome in Middlesborough.
The World Record attempt has been approved by Guinness World Records and will be the first of its kind to be attempted by a team using hand controls. The hand controls have been designed by KartForce’s founder and are MSA approved.
KartForce is a young organisation founded by former Royal Engineer Dave Player to “provide injured troops with memorable, adrenalin packed experiences. KartForce focuses on providing the injured troops themselves with the opportunity of enjoying action packed experiences of racing and socialising, something they never thought they could do again.”
To enable the soldiers to drive the karts despite their injuries, Dave has used his engineering experience to develop an ingenious set of hand controls that can be fitted to any kart, replacing the traditional steering wheel with a set of handlebars with levers to control the throttle and brake. This system can even be used one handed!
This is a mammoth task for the team to undertake which not only is an enormous physical task to put their bodies through but a huge mental and emotional challenge too.
KartForce’s World Record team of drivers include:
Trooper Steve Shine of the Royal Tank Regiment who is more used to driving heavyweight armoured vehicles than lightweight racing karts. Whilst driving a tank in Iraq his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb, which caused Steve to lose one of his legs and badly injured the other. Undeterred, Trooper Shine returned to duty and has since completed another tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Lance Corporal Martyn Compton is also no stranger to armoured vehicles through his service with the Household Cavalry. An RPG attack set his vehicle ablaze whilst on patrol in Afghanistan, leaving Martyn with 70% burns. Having survived being burnt, he was then shot twice whilst being rescued leading to fears that he would never walk again. After many operations he has overcome those fears and will carry the Olympic torch this year.
Corporal Ricky Furgusson MC served with the 4 Rifles in Afghanistan when members of his platoon were injured by Taliban booby trap bombs. Whilst helping his comrades, Corporal Furgusson was himself badly injured by one of the devices, leading him to lose both his legs and one of his eyes. He was awarded the Military Cross for his life saving efforts and bravery;
Private Mark Allen of the Royal Anglian Regiment was on foot patrol in Afghanistan when an IED caused the loss of his legs and injuries to his fingers. Like the other drivers, he’s determined to prove that anything’s possible and has also been scuba diving and skiing as part of his rehabilitation.
Taking place alongside KartForce’s attempt will be the Dino Kart Team aiming to set the 24 hour distance record for a conventional kart, who will be there with their Dino kart set up and running on the same track at the same time.
KartForce solely relies on donations. If you would like to donate to the KartForce World Record attempt you can donate via JustGiving at www.justgiving.com/kartforceworldrecord
KartForce is a charity that sets up karting events for injured troops www.KartForce.org