KartForce is a team of Serving and ex-Serving injured troops that race in endurance karting events around the country and abroad.
The drivers were all wounded during their service but that hasn’t stopped them jumping back into the saddle and the adrenaline filled world of motorsport – hence our slogan is “You don’t need all your limbs to race… just British Bulldog spirit!”
The charity was set-up by Dave Player, an Ex-Royal Engineer and wheelchair user from a spinal injury. Because the lads have so many different injuries, including missing fingers and thumbs, KartForce had to design a new set of hand control that give the lads full performance from the karts and allows them to race on a totally level playing in mainstream races.
In January 2013 we had 5 drivers and by the end of the year we had over 15 who had competed in over 45 races. We now have almost 30 drivers and on course to entering 2 to 4 teams in 40 races in 2014.
We currently race in endurance races anywhere from 3 hours to 24 hours throughout the uk and Europe with the highlight for our lads is the British 24 hours at Teesside where up to 80 karts are on the track at any one time. In 2019 we plan our biggest challenge yet with a 2nd record attempt in a 30 hour race in hand controls in Spain.
The aim is to provide injured troops with memorable, adrenalin packed experiences and providing the injured troops themselves with the opportunity of enjoying the experiences of racing and socialising, something they never thought they could do again. Taking part in highly competitive events allows our lads to forget their injuries & focus on the job at hand - maximum performance to achieve the best possible result for their team. Even though our main activity is kart racing, the outcomes of our work go far beyond sporting achievements. Our work helps re-build & re-shape their lives by building their self- confidence, giving them a massive sense of achievement & self-worth.
With the hand controls and other adaptations, we ensure troops with severe injuries such as double amputees can compete in main stream kart races, against non-injured drivers, on a totally level playing field.
We have been very lucky to be part of a PHD study with Nottingham university on the effects of karting with our injured troops. This has had a massively positive and impact on troops with both physical and psychological injuries, which has been underlined in the Clinical Study undertaken by a Professor from Nottingham University in 2014. Nottingham University were so impressed by the results of this study they have now agreed to part fund a 3yr PhD on the subject “The Benefits of Competitive Motorsport of Injured Troops”. We are partners in this 3yr PhD and will be assisting the student and the Prof by setting up interviews and helping them study our drivers before, during and after races.
“KartForce needs your support. To ensure we can continue entering teams in races, we need funds.” Please visit our sponsor page to find out how you can get involved.