GALLERY: Northcott clients burn some rubber

Chris Quinlan hopes Wheelchair Grand Prix (WGP) will be the next big motorsport. 

Mr Quinlan, started the sport more than a year ago after noticing a lack of motorsports available to people in a wheelchair.

‘‘My whole life I’ve grown up racing and I have been racing carts all over Australia,’’ Mr Quinlan said.

‘‘We thought there were wheelchair accessible sports like soccer and hockey but nothing to do with motorsports.

‘‘We put the idea together and found the track.’’ 

Initially it started in a courtyard with participants driving their electronic wheelchairs around cones. 

Now the sport has grown to include a rule book, track licensing and the potential for sponsorship. 

Wheelchair Grand Prix includes two speed categories: WF1 and WZ2.

WF1 enforces a  speed limit of 14 kilometres an hour whereas WZ2 has a limit of 10 kilometres an hour.

As in most motorsports, the overall aim of the race is to cross the finishing line first. 

Speed isn’t the only attraction. 

The sport has its fair share of spills. 

Omar Deeb of Merrylands has fallen out of his chair on several occasions as a result of chair crashes or speed.   

But that hasn’t phased the young driver. 

‘‘I like to go fast,’’ Mr Deeb said.

Others said the sport gave them the opportunity to try something new. 

Ashleigh McDonald, 23, of Glenorie said she enjoyed playing different sports. 

‘‘I’ve been playing sports since I was 12 and I just thought this was something that I haven’t done,’’ Miss McDonald said.

‘‘I just wanted to have a go.’’ 

Jye Mokluk and his cousin Dean Crane of Narellan Vale share a love of V8 Supercar racing.

Both agree the sport allowed them to achieve a dream which they thought would be impossible. 

‘‘We get to do a similar  job to a race car driver,’’ Mr Mokluk said. 

‘‘It’s awesome.’’   

Sharrief Elkanj said the sport gave him ‘‘freedom’’.   

Each week participants race at the radio control car track in Whalan.

So far clients of local disability service provider Northcott participate in the sport.

Mr Quinlan hopes more people will come a long or sponsor race teams. 

‘‘We want to start it up as weekend thing like rugby, soccer or cricket,’’ he said. 

‘‘We are just trying to really develop it.’’ 

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