Dario Franchitti at Goodwood
Dario Franchitti presented TV highlights of the 75th Members Meeting (2017) from Goodwood's historic motor circuit near Chichester and featured highlights from the Archie Scott Brown Trophy Race.
Archie was my racing hero and I was honoured to be asked to lead out the Lister Jaguars for a race dedicated to him.
To then be driven round for two laps by Dario, three times winner of the Indy 500, was exhilarating as it was HAIRY in a full race Lister Jaguar!
There simply wasn't enough room in the passenger compartment, with the fire extinguisher positioned in the foot well, to fit in with my artificial legs on -
BUT I was never going to miss this opportunity -
so I called for a chair in the middle of the Paddock and took them off and jumped in!
There was no safety belt so I wedged myself in and hung on while Dario laughed and pushed the Lister to well over 120mph on the back straight.
While in hospital awaiting being transferred to get fitted with my new limbs, "Uncle" Frank Goldsworthy - a Daily Express reporter - came into my ward at Mount Vernon Hospital where I had just finished multiple skin grafting operations, with a wheelchair - popped me in it and took me to Silverstone where the Daily Express sponsored a Formula1 Race.
With his Press Pass we had access everywhere - in the pits and alongside the starting grid – where I met Mike Hawthorn, Stirling Moss.
As a 13 years old sitting in a Formula 1 was thrilling but one whiff of Castrol R and I was hooked for life.
That day I heard all about Archie Scott Brown – Archie was born with severe deformity o
f both his legs and right arm - but possessed great determination to drive race cars from an early age and was renowned for his skilful car control with beefy Lister Jaguars and I watched spellbound as he drifted the Lister Jaguar around Woodcote Corner - that really excited me.
And that day started a lifelong love affair with motor racing - what I didn’t realise was it would be more than thirty years before my first full race!
The reason I was to be sorely disappointed was that, ironically it was Archie's death at the age of 31 at Spa in 1958 that gave the anti-disability brigade an excuse to introduce draconian rules which discriminated against and virtually excluded disabled drivers from racing.
BUT those new rules remained in place for three decades until I changed them.
My Race Licence request was turned down 14 times and it took me exactly 30 years to get the rules changed - by then I was 47 yrs old!
As Chairman of the British Motorsport Association for the Disabled - www.bmsad.co.uk - I started legal action against the RAC Motor Sport Association (MSA) the governing body for UK Motorsport - on basis of :- there was no assessment of ability therefore clear discrimination under the Treaty of Rome.
The MSA QC said David will win and I did and gained my race licence, initially at a National Level and then qualified for an International Race and an International Rally Licence pressurising the World Motor Sport body - the FIA to also change their rules.
I am very proud to say that since those changes over 300 disabled drivers Worldwide now take part in all forms of motorsport.