Army amputee given race ride with Mac Tools

Posted: 02/04/2015 10:02:56

Mac Tools franchisees often refer to being part of a family and this ethos can be clearly seen in the way in which they have all come together this year to support disabled army veteran Davie Birrell as he competes as a driver in a national motorsport championship.
Like many young boys, Davie Birrell dreamed of being a racing driver. However, the cost of taking part in motorsport meant it had to stay just that – a dream. Instead, he took up boxing from the age of eight as a release for his competitive nature and enjoyed a great deal of success at amateur level.
After leaving school Davie joined the army, becoming a member of The Black Watch. With that regiment he saw active duty in many of the world’s hot spots, including Northern Ireland and Iraq. However, it was during a tour of Afghanistan in 2010 that his life changed forever when he sustained injuries that would cause him to lose both legs.
While recovering from his injuries, Davie heard about the Want2Race challenge, a competition for budding race car drivers. Despite having prosthetic legs, he applied to compete, and with success in the early rounds driving karts, he proceeded to make it through the Ginetta G40 race car stage, booking himself a place in the final. From the initial intake of 300 applicants, the 28-year-old was the eighth fastest driver and the boyhood dream of motor racing was reignited.
Davie campaigned Mission Motorsports’ car in the 2014 Mazda Max5 Championship and will be doing so again in 2015, this time with the support of Mac Tools. The brand and its people have a long history of supporting motor racing and when the opportunity arose to help the former soldier achieve his dream, the entire Mac Tools UK team had no hesitation in getting involved. In order to keep the talented driver on the track to success, Mac Tools franchisees have bought stock of enough Mission Motorsport calendars to be able to fund the team for the entire season.
“Mac Tools’ support has been epic, absolutely brilliant,” says Davie.

If it wasn’t for Mac Tools, its staff and its franchisees, I would not be racing this year, it’s that simple. It’s not just good for me, it’s good for motorsport as a whole and I feel very fortunate to have the backing of such a renowned brand

Dave Birrell, Mac Tools Mission Motorsport Driver
“In an effort to get race fit for this season and challenge for the Championship title, I’ve not only been in the gym every day, I’ve got really serious about my overall health. I’ve even given up smoking,” says Davie about his determination to repay Mac Tools and its franchisees for their support this year.
What is even more amazing about Davie’s superhuman effort is that he refuses to use a specially modified car. Although at the start of his racing career he was offered hand controls, he eschewed them. “I feel the car’s pedals through my hips, unlike other drivers who have the feel through their ankles. Training my body to feel the resistance of the car’s controls has been something to really focus on and the results speak for themselves. Racing has turned a life changing, negative event into something hugely positive.”
At the end of the 2015 race season, Davie will drive in the Race of Remembrance, promoting motorsport as an aid to recovery for injured soldiers. He will be part of a three-man-team that will include two Mac Tools franchisees as a way of saying thank you for Mac Tools’ support throughout the race season.
“Mission Motorsport is a charity aimed at helping wounded soldiers through motorsport activities and Mac Tools is proud to be able to support it this year,” says Tony Prueitt, UK Sales Director for Mac Tools.

Mac Tools has always had a close involvement with motorsport and it is great to be able to support such a worthy cause. The way in which the entire Mac Tools family has rallied together to help one of our war heroes to realise a life-long dream in spite of his injuries is incredibly heart-warming.

Tony Prueitt, Mac Tools UK Sales Director

Davie Birrell will make his debut in the Mac Tools supported car at rounds one and two of the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship at Silverstone over the weekend of April 4-5. With 17 more rounds, including the dramatic triple-header finale at Donington Park on October 17-18, the season ahead promises some fantastic racing.

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