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Kerr Douglas

The first British paraplegic sidecar driver to be granted an ACU licence

DOUGLAS RACING

My name is Kerr Douglas and I am 38 years old. I took up sidecar racing in 2002 as a passenger with Alan Warden on a Formula 2 outfit. A successful year followed with us winning the Scottish Sidecar Club Championship and the Melville Motorcycle Club Championship. Unfortunately after this initial success Alan had to give up to go and work abroad leaving me without a ride for 2003.

Fortunately David Annan asked me to step in as his passenger in July. With several more successful results with David and his Formula 1 outfit I got my national licence in time to go to the Sunflower meeting at Bishopscourt circuit in Ireland. Against full grids we managed to get up into the prize money. Returning to Scotland we rounded off the season at Knockhill  at the Jock Taylor  meeting where we led this prestigious sidecar race for 6 laps against World and European championship contenders, finally being beaten into a creditable 3rd place.

The 2004 season stared well with racing at East Fortune, Knockhill and Croft circuits, when I was approached by Phil Bell to help out as a passenger on his outfit with the opportunity of racing in more national events while continuing to race in the Scottish rounds with David. This was the break I was looking for to go on to more challenging racing and we took a third place in our first ever visit to Cadwell  Park circuit.

Unfortunately the week after our success at Cadwell Park I was involved in an accident on my road bike that left me paralysed from the waist down. I thought this might be the end to my sidecar racing ventures. However, my first trip out of rehab, just 6 weeks after my accident, was to the Jock Taylor meeting at Knockhill. There I was introduced to Johan Reuterholt, a sidecar driver from Sweden racing in the final round of the European Championship. He too was paralysed from the waist and showed me that I may not be able to compete as a sidecar passenger but there was nothing to stop me taking up driving.

On release from hospital I returned to work with Scottish Water and focussed on getting back to racing. With the help and encouragement from fellow members of the Scottish Sidecar Club I travelled to Ireland to buy a 1997 Windle Formula 1 chassis into which I have put a GSXR 1000 K4 engine. This chassis originally competed in World Championship rounds and costs have currently run to £10,000. The sidecar has been modified to change gear with a Kilktronic quick shifter and brake with a lever mounted on the bars. This set up works exceptionally well and is much admired by my fellow drivers.

I am the first British paraplegic sidecar driver to be granted an ACU licence and hope to inspire others in my position to take up the sport.
 
My partner Jenny McCallum, 33, agreed to be my passenger. She is well acquaint with sidecar racing having been to every round since 2002 working as pit crew. We are currently competing in the Scottish Championship, Scottish Sidecar Club Championship, Northern Championship in 2006 at Knockhill near Dunfermline and East Fortune near North Berwick.

We have gone from strength to strength this season finishing 9th out of a full grid of 20 sidecars at our last meeting taking 6 seconds a lap off our time. This can only get better as we gain experience.

The sidecar has had new fairings fitted but unfortunately will not be painted until the end of the season as there is not enough time between races to get the job done. We have been approached by Helen Gibson for the Joey Dunlop Foundation (amongst other things they have built holiday apartments on the Isle of Man for disabled people) who suggested we might get it painted in Joey Dunlop colours so that we could be ambassadors for the charity and raise awareness. We will start the 2007 season resplendent in new livery with plenty space for advertising your business. We have also invested in a 7.5t race lorry to accommodate the sidecar, equipment and us. It too has ample space for advertising your business.

We recently had a large spread in the Highland News and the reporter is keen to follow the story. A current sponsor is also keen to get us some PR through the Press and Journal. By our very circumstances the team attracts a lot of attention.

If you think it appropriate to provide sponsorship in any form it would be greatly appreciated. Pictures of the Windle outfit in its bare livery and the race lorry are attached. If you would like any further information please get in touch.

You can contact me at:
4 Millcroft, Dores, Inverness, IV2 6TQ

Telephone 01463 751338 or 07789 675618 E mail: kerrgsxr1000@aol.com