Long term readers of the blog may recall a story from about eighteen months ago when my disabled (driving obsessed) son had a real battle to be allowed to drive the Gokarts at Butlins. The supervisor of the track issued a point-blank “NO,” initially claiming it was because of age, then when I pointed out there were significantly younger children on the track, he said it was about ‘health and safety.’ and refused to discuss it further. It was so important to my son though that we came back when someone else was on duty and he got his drive (the story is here), he drove it brilliantly and although I got a lecture from the supervisor when he turned up, my son and I were over the moon with his achievement.
Ever since then I’ve been trying to get him a drive on Karts with a little more oomph than the Butlins ones.
kart ox logo small.jpgOver the summer we found out there was an outdoor track at Oxford. An initial phone call was really positive and they were very much of a ‘lets find a way’ mindset! So we headed up to Cowley and got kitted out for a drive. The crew at the track were phenomenally welcoming and helpful. They checked he could control the pedals ok then sensibly limited the throttle before allowing him to do a couple of laps. He drove these well and the throttle was returned to its normal settings.
Despite it being a quite a demanding track (there’s one sequence of 3 hairpins) he really got into the rhythm of driving it and his lap times steadily came down. My fastest lap time was 26 seconds and I was greatly impressed that he was putting in 34 second laps, fab! We went back again later in the summer and I only managed to knock four 100ths of a second of my best time while he turned in a 32.00. Given the considerable challenges that cerebral palsy presents him, this is phenomenally good and it’s such a joy to see him doing something on a level with ‘normal’ children. Big Grin city for both of us.
H go kart.jpg
My enormous thanks to Karting Oxford for the welcome and the opportunity. If you fancy a drive I highly recommend a visit, they are a great team there. (It would be a great place for a youth group outing me thinks)

5 Replies to “Gonekarting”

  1. Great to hear that Karting Oxford have been so good. Looks like you’re going to have to watch out, at the rate he’s improving time wise before you know it he’ll be lapping you around the track!

  2. As Roy said, the ‘let’s find a way’ attitute makes all the difference.
    Very impressed. And very very please for H. I’m sure I still owe him a ride in my car – don’t think my insurance company would like me actually letting him drive…

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