My name is Stephen Brooks and this is my story of becoming a diabetic and my hobby racing. It started with Rallying from 1986 to 1994 when I was racing a 1600 Mk2 Escort. I had great success with this car winning many races and two ANWCC Tarmac Rally Championships. I decided to finish rallying at the end off 1994 due to purchasing a house, It was an age thing !!!!.
After a few years off (1997) I decided to get back into Motor sport (after looking around, I decided I didn’t want to do anything that I couldn’t do just by myself and then Girlfriend, now wife). I decided on Hill Climbs & sprints and bought an OMS with a Kawasaki ZZR 1100cc engine. I did a couple Hill Climbs and Sprints a year but could never get into it due too the short seat time sometimes only 4 mins some weekends with a 100 mile + round trip to get there. Tried loads off stuff like Motor homes and Caravans to make it better but still couldn’t get into it.
At one off the sprints I got talking to a John Corbyn from Jedi. He had just started putting cars in a series called Monoposto. After looking on the web and talking to a few people, I decided to go and have a look at a few races. I decided this was more like it and where I wanted to be. With this I started preparing the car from hill/sprint spec to Circuit Spec. It cost me all in about £1000 to change the car over. Once done I did a test at Mallory Park just to get the feel off the car on a circuit. I was pushing much as I was learning the differences and a few big F3 teams where testing so I was just keeping out the way.
After a trip to Merlin Motorsport the on-site shop (and luckily Goodridge agent), spent a small fortune on the pipes but ready to go for the race !!!!!! or so we thought.
I hadn’t been feeling well for about a month but carried on as it was December and I was starting a new job on the 3rd Jan 2000. I work in IT and was technically unemployed over the millennium. I went to work on the 3rd Jan and started my new job drinking lots off fluid all day and going too the loo every 15 mins. I even had to get off the train to go to the loo and the journey was only 30 mins. On the 4th I got up and on walking to the train station (10min) I decided I couldn’t do it as I need the loo again and just felt like I couldn’t even be bothered walking or doing anything. At this point I rang Angela (My girlfriend, now wife) I said I can’t go to work can she ring the doctors and take me. She knew something was up and this just confirmed it as I hate the doctors and Hospitals ( I now work for the NHS!!). I went in to see the Doctor, a very nice lady who asked if I could do a urine sample at which I laughed as I was again dying for the loo. She also asked if I was with anyone and could I point them out so they could come in for a chat. After the sample she informed me of what she thought. She actually said you are deffo diabetic and did I know. I replied I thought it was something like that as I was drinking loads and always going to the loo.
Over the next 3 days I was just lying in Hospital reading some books one off which was the Blue Book as I had asked for it to find out what I had to do. On reading this I found out that Insulin dependant people don’t get a license. I also found out from the Specialist nurse I have to inform and send my normal driving license back !!. You only get a 3.5 Ton allowance and only for 3 years and you have to renew it. What was I going to do with a race, truck and caravan ?
After coming out and getting the new job sorted over a few months I decided to start looking into the racing. I spoke to a Shelia at the MSA and must say what a pleasant surprise it was. She is just so helpful and goes the extra bit, too make sure you have everything you need and more importantly understand the steps/process.
The Steps to get the MSA Race License back
1. Apply for a new license stating the Diabetes.
After all this I must say it wasn’t that hard and all people involved try the hardest for you.
All that happens every year now is I have to follow the below steps.
1. Apply for a renewal off my license like everybody else does.
I must say that now I know the process it is quiet easy and doesn’t take that much longer than normal.
All I would say is just try your best to keep in touch not just for racing but for your life as well. I am now a director off the Monoposto Racing Club Ltd and currently run the Website and Forum for the club.
Last year I also finished Second in the Mono1200 Free Class in my Speads RM03 (Ferrari Look a like) fitted with a Suzuki GSXR K2 1000cc motor.
Stephen Brooks (email@example.com)