New drive to get disabled people behind race car wheel

Speed of Sight aims to change perceptions surrounding disabilities

People with disabilities who are unable to get a licence are being helped to get behind the wheel as part of a thrill-seeking new project.

Speed of Sight, which aims to change perceptions around disabilities, is helping service users whose ability to drive is restricted drive on a race track.

This week it’s visited the Driftland circuit in Lochgelly, Fife.

Among those taking part was Robert Mackie from Glenrothes, who has loved cars ever since he was a young boy.

But after suffering a fall as a teenager, which compounded an existing brain condition, he’d never been able to drive himself.

Robert Mackie watches on after completing laps of Driftland circuit

“It was mind-blowing and to a certain extent, one of the best days of my life,” said the 46-year-old.

“I never thought there would have been a possibility.

“Not with me being in the wheelchair, but with a combination of things, I didn’t think I’d be able to do it.”

Speed of Sight has helped around 2,500 people with disabilities experience the thrill of a race track over the last ten years.

It was set up by blind racing driver Mike Newman, who wanted to provide other people with disabilities a memorable experience.

John Galloway helped set up the charity around a decade ago

The charity’s co-founder John Galloway said: “Imagine being told, as a person with no sight, or as a person living with a disability, you will not drive.

“Now you’re not just driving a car but a real racing car on a real racing circuit and you’re the one taking charge.

“Once you’ve completed that experience, you are a different human being to the person you were, prior to climbing into the driver’s seat.”

It’s latest event in Fife, one of ten to take place this year across the UK, was made possible by funding Sigma Capital Group.

Director Niamh Waldron said: “This is about doing what’s right, giving back to the community and giving experiences to people who otherwise wouldn’t get them.”

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