Ashleigh loves the rush of wheel power

Burning rubber: Ashleigh McDonald, 23, wants more people to race in Wheelchair Grand Prix. Picture: Geoff Jones
Burning rubber: Ashleigh McDonald, 23, wants more people to race in Wheelchair Grand Prix. Picture: Geoff Jones

DON'T let a hot pink electronic wheelchair fool you. Ashleigh McDonald, of Glenorie, has a need for speed.

She joins a league of wheelchair-bound people in the new motor sport Wheelchair Grand Prix.

Chris Quinlan created the sport just over a year ago after noting a lack of motorsports for people in wheelchairs.

"My whole life I've grown up racing and I've been racing carts all over Australia," he said.

"We saw there were wheelchair-accessible sports like soccer and hockey but nothing to do with motorsports.

"We put the idea together and found a track."

It started in a courtyard with participants driving their electronic wheelchairs around cones.

The sport has grown to include a rule book, track licensing and the potential for sponsorship.

Wheelchair Grand Prix has two speed categories, WF1 and WZ2.

WF1 enforces a total speed limit of 14km/h and WZ2 has a total speed limit of 10km/h.

As in most motorsports, the overall aim is to cross the finishing line first.

Miss McDonald said she enjoyed playing different sports.

"I've been playing sports since I was 12 and I thought here's something I haven't done," she said. "I wanted to have a go."

Each week participants race at the radio-controlled car track in Whalan.

To date, clients of Parramatta disability-service provider Northcott take part.

Mr Quinlan hoped more people will come along or be sponsors.

"We want to start it up as a weekend thing like rugby, soccer or cricket," he said.

This story Ashleigh loves the rush of wheel power first appeared on Hills News.

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