Teenage racer with autism sets fastest lap in endurance event in Milton Keynes
- Credit: Archant
An Ipswich teenage racer with a hole in his heart who was told he would never be able to compete in sport stunned onlookers as his rally team took silver in a demanding six-hour endurance race.
An Ipswich teenage racer told he would never be able to compete in sport stunned onlookers as his rally team took silver in a demanding six-hour endurance race.
Jack Ferguson, 15, competed as part of Team Racing with Autism (RWA) in the Dayton Autumn Endura event in Milton Keynes, where he recorded the fastest lap.
Team RWA, a division of all-disabled racing Team BRIT, finished the race in second place out of 25 in the SODI classification, missing out on gold by a matter of seconds.
Jack was diagnosed with autism at six years old and also suffers from multiple epiphyseal dysplasia, which can cause him immense pain during races.
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Having been born with a hole in his heart, doctors said Jack would never be able to compete in sport.
However, he has defied expectations and began his kart racing career aged 13, securing the Anglia Karting Cadet championship.
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The Holbrook Academy student was invited to join Team RWA earlier this year by Team BRIT, an all-disabled racing team helping drivers with a range of physical and psychological conditions.
Team RWA made its debut appearance in an endurance race in Surrey in August.
In the race in Milton Keynes, Jack competed with 12-year-old Sandro Ballesteros from Rochdale, 20-year-old Flashman Finneran from Cambridge and 20-year-old Bobby Trundley from Wokingham.
The Ipswich racing star said he had been driven to race in a bid to prove his conditions wouldn't hold him back - and he's begun setting targets for the team.
Jack said: "It was a great honour to be asked to drive as part of the Racing with Autism team again. It's a cause that is very close to my heart and raising awareness is very important. I will always give it everything I've got to prove I'm one of the best, even with my disabilities.
"I'm looking forward to a 24 hour challenge and it's only a short matter of time before we achieve our first win of many. I have total faith in the talent and drive of our team."
Pete Ferguson, Jack's dad, said: "The whole team did themselves proud in Milton Keynes."
Speaking of Jack's career, Mr Ferguson added: "There's total elation on Jack's face when he knows he's driven well. I'm incredibly proud of him."