Monday 3 December is International Day of Disabled Persons 2018 with that in mind we have chosen Billy Monger as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.
Billy is a racing driver who first got behind the wheel of a vehicle at the age of three when his father bought him a go-kart. He successfully progressed as a driver in Ginetta Junior and British F4 earning the nickname Billy the Whizz.
In 2016 Billy joined the F4 British Championships with JHR Developments where he took 3 podiums and finished 12 in the championships and remained with the team for 2017.
However on 16 April 2017 whilst competed in a race at Donnington Billy crashed into a stationery car at high speed resulting in devastating leg injuries which required double lower leg amputations.
Billy received huge support from his fellow drivers and the racing community raising £500,000 in 24 hours. Despite his injuries his recuperation and rehabilitation have been such that he returned to the race track in July 2017 when he tested an adapted race car with additional hand controls at Brands Hatch.
In February 2018 Billy drove a single seater racing car for the first time since his crash when he tested a BRDC British Formula 3 car for the Carlin team at Oulton Park. The following month he confirmed that he would be racing for Carlin in the opening meeting of the 2018 BRDC Formula 3 series at the same venue.
In order to compete in F3, he and his family had to appeal to the sport’s international governing body, to change their regulations, as they had restricted disabled drivers from racing single seaters on the grounds of safety: the FIA decided to lift the ban in December 2017, allowing disabled drivers to race appropriately-modified single seaters as long as they could pass safety checks. In March 2018 less than a year after his accident Billy placed his Carlin British F3 car fifth on the grid and went on to finish an incredible third and walked onto the podium.
To find out more about Billy
To find out more about International Day of the Disabled