Despite living with the same hereditary muscle wasting condition as his mother, Alex Tait, 17, from Sheffield is continuing to successfully compete in motorsport and study at the Motor Sports Association (MSA) Academy Academy" - assisted by the PR support of TGA and a Maximo mobility scooter for his mum.
Alex's passion for motorsport started at the age of 9 when he was given the opportunity to drive a Ferrari 360. Since then he has pursued his ambition to race competitively - greatly assisted by his attendance at the 'Get Going Live!' disabled driver test-drive event in 2013. He subsequently won a disabled driver's scholarship to compete for a season in Autosolos and Autotests. Then in early 2014, he achieved his ARDS Racing Licence and began competing in the BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship. In his second year of racing he finished 4th in the Rookie Championship and has recently begun driving a Finsport prepared Honda Civic Type-R in the Pre-2003 Production Touring Car Championship.
Alex is the only disabled driver in his class and he never lets his progressive muscle weakness stop him from striving for podium finishes. He is one of only 20 students to be accepted on the prestigious MSA Academy program in Loughborough last year, which teaches the latest theories regarding motorsport, business and engineering. To strengthen his prospects in motorsport even further, Alex now has the support of TGA to raise awareness regarding his racing and his mum is able to watch from trackside thanks to a folding Maximo mobility scooter.
Alex and his mum, Colette, aged 46, both have Myotonic Dystrophy, which is the most common form of Muscular Dystrophy. Myotonic Dystrophy is characterized by progressive muscle wasting and weakness, which also results in walking and mobility difficulties.
Alex and his mum both remain determined not to let this condition affect their lifestyles, however Colette has been struggling to support her son at motorsport events. As her ability to walk is now very limited, covering the large distances between assembly areas, pit lanes and starting grids at the various motorsport circuits has become impossible. She always wants to cheer and wave her son off before every race and see him cross the finish line safely - this is now possible thanks to her TGA Maximo.
Colette discovered the Maximo scooter on Twitter and at the recent Silverstone Mobility Roadshow where Alex volunteered as a Get Going Live! driving advisor. TGA were also exhibiting their complete scooter range, which led to a meeting and a subsequent new relationship with the Tait family. As Alex is the youngest advanced driving instructor in the country, he was able to advise young and novice disabled drivers visiting the Roadshow regarding assisted driving and the latest accessible vehicles.
Alex explains: 'Even though I have Myotonic Dystrophy I make sure this doesn?t hold me back. In fact, it drives me to tackle the things I want to do and achieve my goals. At 9 years old I first experienced driving when I was given the opportunity to drive a Ferrari. I found a booster seat, so that I could reach the pedals, and that was it - I was off. Since then I have been crazy about driving and decided that my future was going to be in motorsport. Discovering the Loughborough Car Club Scholarship at the 2013 Get Going Live! event really opened the door of opportunity for me. Now volunteering at subsequent Mobility Roadshows has been a great honour for me as I have helped other young disabled drivers get behind the wheel. It is a show very close to my heart and accompanying drivers around Silverstone was awesome this year. I'm so chuffed that TGA are now supporting me and my mum?s new Maximo scooter is the best, it?s brilliant.'
Alex concludes: 'My mum was getting so frustrated with not being able to see me start or finish my races. Now this is all different with the Maximo. When she first rode one at Silverstone during the Mobility Roadshow we could immediately see the huge difference it was going to make, especially as it folds and fits in our family car boot. As she also has an incurable fractured spine in addition to MD, this scooter is going to make life so much easier and reduce the pain she experiences when trying to walk. On behalf of my family I would like to thank TGA for their press support and I will be determined to ensure their logo is on the side of a successful racing car!'
Daniel Stone, TGA Managing Director adds: ?We are delighted to be supporting Alex and helping his mum to attend his races thanks to a Maximo mobility scooter. TGA has a motorsport and engineering heritage so we really appreciate how remarkable Alex's achievements are, especially when you consider his disability. We wish Alex and his family the best of luck for the rest of the season and beyond.'
Any assistance with funding or services to help Alex continue racing are greatly received. Please contact him at: www.alextaitracing.co.uk