Kart racer joins autism team for endurance race
PUBLISHED: 09:18 12 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:21 12 August 2019
A keen kart racer got behind the wheel for a charity endurance event as part of a newly formed 'Racing with Autism' (RWA) team.
Jack Ferguson, 15, from Ipswich, was part of Team RWA, which made its debut appearance at Daytona Sandown Park, in Surrey, on Tuesday, August 6.
The 16-team three-hour endurance race was hosted by Team BRIT, which aims to inspire people with disabilities, PTSD and mental health issues by demonstrating what can be achieved through motorsport.
Jack was diagnosed with autism when he was six-years-old and he also has arthritis in all his bones.
He first had a few taster sessions in karting aged 12, and soon started racing at 13.
After winning his first championship, Jack very quickly progressed to fast cars and more competitive races.
He finished third in the Ellough Park Raceway Sodi Junior Championship last year, and has started this year's championship by winning the first three races out of four.
One of Team BRIT's drivers is 20-year-old Bobby Trundley who lives with autism, and 22-year-old Matty Street, who also has autism, has also recently been supported into racing through the team.
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Working together, Matty and Team BRIT founder Dave Player invited Jack and his fellow young kart racers to form a team.
Alongside Jack and racing for RWA were 12-year-old Sandro Ballesteros from Rochdale, 16-year-old Sylvain Vessier from Somerset and 10-year-old Jenson Jowett from Buckinghamshire.
At the event, Jack's team finished an impressive second out of 18 teams.
Pete Ferguson, Jack's dad, said: "It was a fantastic opportunity for Jack - he was surrounded by people that want to help him be the best he can be, and by people that share the challenges he faces.
"I've never seen him happier than when he's behind the wheel.
"As soon as he's in the paddock he's analysing things and his mind is already thinking two steps ahead.
"He likes putting the crash helmet on as it blocks out so much and he gets himself into his zone.
"When he's relaxing afterwards you can tell he's so much more animated and sociable than usual.
"It may be an intense business, but racing relaxes Jack and I'm looking forward to seeing how his future on the track develops."
It is now hoped the team will come together for future events.