Being paralysed from the chest down is not a barrier to motorsport
7:03

Being paralysed from the chest down is not a barrier to motorsport

Roadshow
[NOISE] In the UK there are 10,000 people with a race license. Only 200 of them are women. My name's Nathalie McGloin and I am a racing driver. Last year I became the first female with a spinal cord injury to be granted a race license in the UK. I race cars against able-bodied men. Track driving is something that I would n ever have dreamt of doing had I not had my injury. Before my accident was a normal kind of teenaged life. I had just completed my G15s. Two weeks since A levels were, I went to a friend's house in someone's car who had recently passed their test, and as we were driving back, it was going down a country road that had a bit of a blind crest, and there was a person's house the other side with kind of a blind turn into the driveway. The person was turning into the driveway and we hit them and veered off and hit the tree. Life changes in an instant. And I went from someone who was making university choices and really looking forward to starting adulthood into someone who was very reliant on parents and medical staff. My physio introduced me to Wheelchair Rugby and took me to a training session. These guys were incredible. They were doing stuff that I didn't think was possible to do in a wheelchair. It was actually through Wheelchair Rugby that I was introduced to Track driving by a teammate. I think I race because someone told me not to. That's how it all started. That's how I got into cars and it's always progressed. Each stage of the way into something a bit better until it's kind of resulted in racing. But it started off when I wanted to buy a sportscar. I went car shopping and as I was leaving the dealership I saw the 911. I went to my friend's house the next day, I mentioned the 911 and he stopped me in my tracks and said Don't be so ridiculous, the 911 is a driver's car, you won't be able to handle it. So I went in the following week and put an order n for one just to prove him wrong. And that's really where it all started. So obviously, driving a 911, you're hooked immediately. When I first started out with racing and I talked about racing a Porsche I was warned against it. The other team I was with said perhaps you should start off with something a little less powerful. Something that you can really learn the driving skill in without all of the risk of the speed, etc. I wasn't having any of that. Straight in to a championship with a K and S influx with very very good drivers. But I don't do things by half So the car we race is a Porsche Cayman S, it's a [UNKNOWN], it's a [UNKNOWN] clutch, the [UNKNOWN] system is really responsive and it allows me to race the car in automatic mode without being it too much of a disadvantage to the other driver racing in manual. [MUSIC] Now, the Porsche Club Championship has been so accommodating for me because the model that I drive isn't really allowed in the Championship because it's too late a model. So the earlier models are the ones that are really allowed in but because I needed to race that for my adaptations and to make sure that potentially I could be competitive, they let me use it. So the PDK box is the gearbox, it's set up with radial hand controls. It used to be on push pull which are the standard hand controls that most people will drive with on the road where you push forward to brake and pull back to accelerate. The radial controls are push forward to brake, push down to accelerate. It means that effectively I can left foot brake. I can [MUSIC] So when the car is in the corners, I can go from one to the other, and mix them a little bit without unsettling the car. It's also set up with a custom seat which is molded to my rib cage. I'm paralyzed from the chest down. I have no sensation or movement below, kind of, here. So. It's really hard for me to feel the car. You know what it's like, people talk about being able to feel the rear of the car through your bottom in the seat. I have developed a system that's slightly different than that in that because this chair's molded to my ribcage, I can feel it through my kind of upper body. I also process most of it through my eyes, I am an adrenaline junky driving is not an aggressive goal. But, it's more discipline adrenaline rush because, the consequences if you get it wrong is so much higher. [SOUND] Although people might have been surprised to see a woman in a wheelchair competing. As soon as that initial reaction was gone, there was no egg shells [UNKNOWN]. There was no [UNKNOWN] softly. If I was racing with these guys, I was racing with these guys. And I had to put up with everything that they did. [SOUND] I think for me a really big ambition is to compete at the top of my class within the Porsche Club Championship. The drivers in Class 1 are very, very talented. They've done a lot of racing, and if I could anywhere near their times and their skill level I will have really, really done something special. In the beginning of this year, I decided to set up a non-profit company called Spinal Track. Spinal Track is a company that teaches people who drive with hand controls how to track drive. It gives people the opportunity She be able to sample what I do in racing on the racetrack.Before our final track, there wasn't really anything that enables people who drive with hand control is to able to do this. And the main message I want to get across to people because I did appreciate that I am fortunate that I can afford to go racing. And not everyone is in that position. But I think the main points is that life after fire injuries doesn't have to be any worst, it just have to be different. And it can be the start of anything you wanted to be. [MUSIC]

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