Williams F1 team owner Sir Frank Williams has given his backing to a free Karting for the Disabled seminar to be held in Coventry.
The inaugural enABLE show at the Ricoh Arena will look to help people with disabilities realise their dreams in motorsport. The presentation to enABLE 08 visitors is part of the health and fitness seminar at the UK's only national consumer show for people with disabilities who seek an active and independent life.
Confined to a wheelchair himself as the result of a road accident in 1986 when returning from a test session at Paul Ricard, Sir Frank has subsequently given his full endorsement to the scheme.
“I fully support this initiative which is opening a new route for disabled participants to become involved in competitive motor sport,” he said. “With the oxygen of publicity provided by British success in Formula One, it is a great time to be encouraging everyone, regardless of ability or capability, to enjoy full engagement in motor sport.”
Karting for the Disabled is a project between Karting Endeavour, a group of drivers who do not wish their disability to interfere with their love of motorsport, and BRDC Stars of Tomorrow – the karting championship from which Britain's recently crowed FIA Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton learnt his craft.
The premier karting series has purchased 12 corporate kart chassis which will be fitted with Honda engines. The specially adapted karts will be transported to indoor kart circuits across the UK as part of BRDC Stars of Tomorrow's promotional tour of schools, colleges and Sainsbury's car parks in 2009, offering people with disabilities across the UK the chance to get in the racing seat.
The highest level of expertise has been dedicated to developing the Karting for the Disabled karts which will feature hand-controlled steering wheels designed by former Formula One and Champ Car star Alex Zanardi, who suffered a massive accident in 2001 in which he lost both of his legs.
The project will run initially for drivers with a disability who currently hold a DVLA driving licence, however, it is hoped that BRDC Stars of Tomorrow will eventually be able to introduce the project to the under 17s.