Quadriplegic gets hot lap of a lifetime
Quadriplegic Justin Stevenson has gone for the lap of a life time around Sandown Raceway today.
Stevenson, 41, broke his C4 vertebra when a speeding driver crashed into him at high speed on a Melbourne freeway on Australia Day, 2008.
The crash left Stevenson paralysed from the neck down, in a coma for 12 days and hospital for more than sixth months. Extensive physiotherapy has seen him regain significant control of his arms though he remains consigned to a wheel chair and 24-hour care.
Commodore Cup racer Jeff Watters owns a business called ‘Automobility’ which specialises in wheelchair conversions of vehicles. Automobility converted a VW road car for wheelchair use so Stevenson could travel to where he needed to go.
Today, around a sodden Sandown in Melbourne, Watters took Stevenson for a pair of hot laps in his V8 Commodore Cup racer.
“I figured that there was no reason why Justin couldn’t go for a run,” Watters said.
“He’s been in a light aircraft and even gone paragliding so strapping him into a race car seemed like something we could do and we’re glad we did it – it was a great experience for me and even better for him, I think.”
Justin was lifted in and out of the car by four people, and wore a foam neck brace to help support his neck during heavy cornering.
“It was incredible, I’m buzzing and will be for hours,” he said.
“It was a great thing to experience and I have to thank Jeff for the opportunity. It was a great experience.”
Commodore Cup, along with seven other categories are competing at Sandown Raceway this weekend in the Shannons Nationals.