Steve Tarrant, 51 from Poole in Dorset, in association with TGA, is now a new world record holder after travelling the furthest distance ever in 24 hours on a mobility scooter at the 2012 Mobility Roadshow (Peterborough Arena) whilst battling extreme track conditions and weather.
Steve Tarrant is an inspirational less able motorsport marshal who survived a highly publicised near-fatal crash incident at Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2000. He marshals at around 30-40 motorsport events per year such as the Le Mans 24 Hours, Petit Le Mans at Atlanta and Goodwood meetings. Steve lost a leg above the knee and suffered multiple injuries when an F1 racing car collided with him at over 100mph whilst marshaling on the finish line at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Steve managed to miraculously pull through following this terrible accident and has now just established a new Guinness World Record on a TGA Breeze S4 mobility scooter.
Steve endured a grueling 24 hours without sleep to achieve a distance of 173.287miles (278.88km) that equates to an unbelievable 830 laps of the Peterborough Arena Speedway Track. He drove from 14:04 21 June until 14:04 the following day, through the night in strong gusts and rain whilst only stopping for brief battery changes and visits to the toilet under the close guidance of his motorsport and TGA pit crew. This remarkable team provided mechanical support, timing adjudication and real time analysis over the full 24 hour period which gave Steve invaluable insight in terms of distance and time accrued and resulted in him securing the new record at approximately 11:39am on 22 June 2012. He then continued for a further 2:21:30hrs so he could achieve the maximum distance under these conditions until the countdown clock stopped and the challenge was complete. Watched avidly by a crowd of well-wishers and all of his TGA support team, a mud covered Steve took the chequered flag by cooling raising his fist in a triumphant gesture and pulled to a halt for the press shots and interviews to begin.
The previous Guinness World Record for 'The Greatest distance covered in 24 hours by a mobility scooter' stood at 247.84 km (154 miles) and was achieved by Jackie Weeden on 15 May 2011. Steve has now smashed this record in 24 hours as he explains: "Since surviving my horrific ordeal at Goodwood, I have always had a steely determination and even though I knew this was going to be extremely tough, I would not fail. When TGA approached me with this unique opportunity five months ago I simply couldn't turn it down and would subsequently like to thank the whole company for their moral and mechanical support. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and know full well this challenge only had a successful ending thanks to my superb pit crew, TGA's Service Manager Dom Thomas and my Breeze S4 mobility scooter that was faultless throughout the 24 hours. When you consider how appalling the track conditions became from the torrential rain, the TGA Breeze ploughed on relentlessly through thick, gritty mud and pools of water whilst remaining stable, comfortable and without loss of traction - an amazing piece of kit! If the track surface had been solid then I could have achieved much more distance however when you consider the difficulties we faced, myself and the team feel so proud to have exceeded the current record by over 25 miles. I never once thought we would fail but have to say at 3am in the dark the enormity of this challenge was crystal clear in my mind and was fully conscious I needed to push my mind and this machine to the absolute limit. When I reached the finish line at 14:04 on the 22 June the adrenalin was still pumping and a sense of achievement overwhelmed me. Good luck to anyone who tries to beat this record, it's a very tall order!"
Dom Thomas, TGA Service Manager directed all the engineering support, evidence gathering and batteries changes aided by members of Steve's motorsport team who were responsible for timings and lap analysis. Guy Loveridge, Colin Worth, Luke Morris, Susan Watson and Steve Sutton all with extensive motorsport knowledge were joined by Paramedic Steve Humphrey and specialist first aid rescuer Chris Horan and Steve's wife Sirje throughout the event. TGA were showcasing their complete product range in the main exhibition hall of The Mobility Roadshow as this event took place and Daniel Stone, TGA Managing Director regularly visited the trackside to cheer Steve on. Daniel commented: "Steve's personal achievement here in Peterborough should not be underestimated. Bearing in mind what he has experienced in his life and his restricted mobility, to successfully beat this
world record in dreadful weather and on a highly taxing and unstable surface is highly impressive. The team and I had complete faith in him and the Breeze completing the 24 hours, however it is only through Steve's unparalleled grit and determination that this new record has been achieved. The TGA Breeze is renowned for market leading reliability and performance and I believe that this extreme 24-hour product test further reiterates why this model continues to be first choice for peace mind across the UK. Well done Steve, you are an inspiration."
Steve drove for 24 hours to raise donations for two charities -
- To donate to Accessible Motorsport, please send a PayPal donation to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- To donate to the Royal British Legion, please donate via: www.justgiving.com/steve-tarrant