Up and coming motor-racing star Nicolas Hamilton has announced he will act as an Ambassador for national charity Disabled Motoring UK after joining the team on their recent Alps Challenge.
Nicolas, who has cerebral palsy, is currently competing for Total Control Racing in the Air Asia Renault Clio Cup, where despite receiving minimal practice time in pre-season testing, is earning rave reviews for his performances, leading to inevitable comparisons with his brother.
Despite his hectic schedule, Nic recently found time to join the Disabled Motoring UK team on an epic profile raising challenge, driving from the UK, through France, across the Alps, and back again in a 1932 Argson, 2 stroke, mobility trike. Nic completed two days of the challenge, piloting the trike across some of the most difficult sections of the trip in both the French and Swiss Alps.
During his time in the Alps with the Disabled Motoring UK team, Nic managed to find time to reflect on his achievements and his own background "your body is what it is, and it is your choice to use it to the best of your ability. If I am thinking I can't do it then I push myself to give it a try, facing doubt with courage, it is what makes life exciting and enjoyable".
Racing at up to 135mph in a 210bhp Renault Clio, Nic has shown great determination to succeed in the series. He has to be focused, very tough, and brush off any negativity and doubts about his ability. He does not have time to dwell on any disadvantages his disability may give him "life is full of challenges, you have to embrace and enjoy the opportunities presented to you, whatever your circumstances".
This 'can-do' attitude epitomizes everything Nicolas does, including his decision to help pilot a 1932 mobility trike, without a steering wheel around the winding roads of the Alps "this was a completely different experience to anything I have done before, quite scary but also a huge challenge. I am very honoured to be part of it. Disabled Motoring UK is a genuine charity for the disabled and being part of the charity has made this whole experience even more worthwhile. Having never driven anything quite like this before, the lack of a steering wheel made the cornering interesting!"
Graham Footer, Chief Executive of Disabled Motoring UK and one of the team on the Alps challenge with Nic said "it is a real honor to welcome Nic on board as an ambassador for the charity. Disabled motoring issues affect people of all ages and can often make people with a disability think twice about getting out and about. Nic's story and his get up and go attitude will be a great inspiration for our members and many of 2.5 million people in the UK who find getting around a challenge".
Nic was born on the 28th March 1992; the extent of his disability was recognized when at the age of two he struggled to walk. For five years of his teenage life he resorted to a wheelchair and was taken to the Mayo Clinic to explore options for straightening his legs. Deciding that exercise and physio was the way forward, Nic worked hard to gain strength in his legs, allowing him to park the wheelchair permanently and to walk unaided.
The Renault Clio Cup is not the first attempt Nic has had at competitive racing. During his teens Nic tried his hand at Karting, although any racing career in Karts was discounted early following an accident, which ensured Nic stayed away from competing at motor-racing events for a number of years.
Leaving school with a clutch of GCSE's including 3 A*'s, Nic decided that A-Level studies were not for him, and having finished 2nd in the UK with a virtual racing team in the game 'Race 07', he knew he had a gift for competing in motor-racing, and decided to once again take to the track.
Earning a drive in the 2011 Clio Cup Championship at the very last moment, Nic had just days to familiarize himself with the car, with the team working all hours to get the car ready to compete. The car has slight modifications the pedals and steering wheel. In his first season Nic has managed a high of 10th place which is no mean feat considering the lack of preparation time to get the car entered for the season and the fact he is racing against far more experienced drivers in the series.
Nic has built up a huge fan base in just a few months with over 16,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter. His energy and drive is a real inspiration for the young and old, whatever their circumstances.
For more information on Disabled Motoring UK visit www.disabledmotoring.org
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