DISABLED DRIVER'S MISSION TO SET NEW UK SPEED RECORDS
David Edwards, one of a small number of disabled racing drivers, plans to make British land speed history later this year when he attempts to set a number of UK speed records for naturally aspirated wheel driven cars in his specially adapted Lola T222.
The MISSION: IT’S POSSIBLE campaign announced today aims to raise money for Aspire – a national charity that works with people with spinal cord injuries, helping them to live more fulfilled and independent lives.
David, a trustee of Aspire, is himself a wheelchair-user since 1993: “It’s my mission to inspire people through this project to understand more about spinal cord injury and to support the important work that Aspire does throughout the UK.”
Invitation to the launch:The campaign is being launched at the Connaught Village Festival, hosted by Sir Stirling Moss OBE, in London on Thursday 15th May when David and his stunning car appear together in public for the first time. Members of the media and the public are invited to visit David and the team at the car on Connaught Street to celebrate the launch from 5pm – 9:00pm (ex: 6:30-7:15pm). Press Centre details will be announced shortly.
With 835 bhp under the bonnet and a possible sub 3 second 0-60mph time, David plans to reach speeds of more than 200mph and take both Class A records for cars over 8000cc and outright records – breaking records set decades ago by the likes of Derek Bell, Malcolm Campbell and John Cobb. The official record attempt will take place at Millbrook in late summer 2008.
This historic race car was originally driven in the spectacular Cam-Am series in the 1970s. Since David bought the car in 2004 he has worked with the team at Scott Racing and Dr. John Davis to develop a solution to changing the heavy gears by hand. The many alterations made to the car are evidence of how technological advancements in motor sport can benefit disabled drivers, both now and in the future.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the tragic passing of Archie Scott Brown, one of the first severely disabled drivers to confound the sceptics. “His achievements are a real inspiration to me,” says David. "It has been 50 years since Archie Scott Brown left an indelible impression upon a growing motoring population, for sheer courage and determination in his quest to overcome prejudice and to participate as an equal. In the decades since we have seen barriers fall and the conceptions about what disabled people can do, change. This record attempt is meant to celebrate those that have contributed to providing an equal opportunity to all and to provide inspiration for the work to continue.”
A Lloyd’s Insurance broker by day and father of three, David is one of the UK’s most experienced disabled racers: in addition to developing the Lola project over the past four years he has also regularly raced a 1970 Chevrolet Camaro Z-28 and currently holds an International “C” race licence.
David Edwards’ Lola T222 will be parked alongside another Lola, the fabulous 1967 Indianapolis T92, at the Festival in celebration of Lola’s 50th anniversary. Sam Smith from Lola cars is delighted that David has chosen to attempt to break the records in a Lola: "Lola racing cars have always been about passion and engineering capability and I think this fits in well with what David and his team are looking to achieve this year. As well as the 50th anniversary of Archie Scott-Brown’s untimely death, it is also the golden anniversary of Lola making race cars. For one of our most spectacular cars to be involved in this fantastic initiative is a great way of celebrating our rich motor sport heritage. Members of the factory will be at the Connaught Village Festival to wish David well in this exciting pursuit."
For information about Aspire, and to stay informed of campaign’s activities throughout the year, please visit: www.aspire.org.uk.
For more information about the campaign and the car, its history and the alterations made to it, please click HERE.
All pictures Lola Heritage.
David in his T222.
The T222 was Lola's design for the 1971 CanAm series.
David in his T222.