A Scottish double amputee veteran-turned racing driver has got behind the wheel of the car he'll drive next season for the first time. 

David Birrell, who lost his legs in an IED blast in Afghanistan, took to the track at Donington Park to try out his new machine.

The Chevron GR8 GT4 packs quite a punch - and it'll be a big change for the British Army veteran and his team, Woodard Racing.

Amputee racer Dave Birrell's new car

The former Black Watch soldier, who was injured in 2010, has been steadily building a career as a racing driver ever since. He said:

"I'm excited but I've been sick with anxiety this morning. But it's all about that step forward. To be able to achieve what I want to achieve I need to make those progressions."

For the next year Woodard Racing are the works-supported team for Chevron Cars, a company with more than 50 years of racing experience.

2018 will see the partnership take on the Creventic 24-Hour Endurance Series, with races in Dubai, the UK, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Belgium and the United States.

Amputee racer Dave Birrell's new car

Team Principal of Woodard Racing, Pete Woodard, says it's about progression at this stage though:

"Next year, really, we want to be able to come away from it and say, 'we've done a good job'."

"We don't expect to win anything. There's a lot of good GT teams out there. We're going to be up against some very, very professional teams and drivers. After that, we're going for wins - but next year is a learning one."

Co-driver Daniel Woodard explained how much more technology the team are going to have to get to grips with in the new car.

Amputee racer Dave Birrell's new car

He said: "It's amazingly different inside. You have to press four buttons to start the car - in the Mini [their previous car] we pressed one and the engine started."

"But I'm sure once we get going it's going to be straightforward to drive."

Despite wet conditions, the team were able to get in a number of twists and turns on the tarmac.

Amputee racer Dave Birrell's new car

David Birrell said: "The car is really, really fast! So much fun... absolutely loved it.

"I just feel really proud of myself at the minute. It's not been easy to get to where I am today.

"Seven years on [after my injury]... I'm reaching for a goal that no one ever thought I would reach."

Long-term he hopes to be the first double amputee at the Le Mans 24 Hours race in a non-adapted car.

2018 is going to be a big step up – but one he's determined to face head on.

More: Forces Olympic Hero Heather Stanning Honoured At Buckingham Palace

Comments