Paralysed racing driver Nathalie McGloin on her love for the sport and the thrill of competing against able-bodied men

Nathalie McGloin has not allowed her disability to get in the way of her motor racing (Twitter: Nathalie McGloin)
13:50pm, Tue 03 Dec 2019
CBAD8A00-D2B9-4E0E-ADDF-D0366C357A34 Created with sketchtool. E9A4AA46-7DC3-48B8-9CE2-D75274FB8967 Created with sketchtool. 65CCAE04-4748-4D0F-8696-A91D8EB3E7DC Created with sketchtool.

Motor racer Nathalie McGloin - paralysed from the chest down following an accident - has told how she enjoys being behind the wheel as she can compete against able-bodied drivers.

McGloin is the only female tetraplegic racing driver in the world after she broke her neck in a car crash in 1999.

She said: “One of the primary things that they [disabled drivers] love, is the fact that you can do this against able-bodied drivers."

The Brit not only competes against able-bodied women, she also gets behind the wheel to race able-bodied men. McGloin competes in the Porsche Club Championship - a tournament that consists of seven race meets - and the New Millennium Series.

“I broke my neck in a car crash at 16. I'm paralysed from the chest down and I race in a Porsche against able-bodied men, what the hell can I not do?” she told The Telegraph.

The 36-year-old received her racing licence in 2015, becoming the first female driver with a spinal injury to do so in the UK.

McGloin explained how she drives her car, a Porsche Cayman S, which has been adapted in order for her to compete.

Related videos

“I drive with my right hand on the pedal that operates the accelerator and the brake, it's called a radial hand control.

"It's located to the right-hand side of the steering wheel and when I push it forward it will push the break down and when I push it down towards the seat it will push the accelerator down. So it's not complicated and it’s not electronic. 

"It's literally metal rods that connect the pedals that you use with your feet into like an extended lever that I can operate with my hands. So I keep my left hand on the wheel and one hand on the accelerator and the brake, but my car [has] still got the pedals in.” 

McGloin won a race in 2018 at the Walter Hayes trophy weekend at Silverstone.

She said: “I cried when I won my first race. I think I loved the reaction I got from people.

"I'd come in from driving around the circuit and then when people would see me getting out into my chair it was a shock for them because they had no idea until I was in the pit lane. 

"So it was the kind of anonymous nature of my disability as well as the adrenaline that got me hooked.”