Injured soldier to race at Knockhill 01 | 10 | 2013

    BLACK WATCH SOLDIER, Davie Birrell, will this weekend cap a remarkable recovery from horrific injuries sustained in Afghanistan when he races at Knockhill.

    The 27-year-old from Methill, who lost both his legs following an explosion in 2010, will compete in the BMW Compact Cup at the Fife circuit.

    And Birrell — who will drive the car normally run by Christie Doran — will race without the aid on any special adapted equipment.

    The soldier lost one of his legs in 2010, when an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) blew up directly below him.

    Unfortunately, after administering himself with morphine on the scene and battling advancing Taliban fighters until his comrades arrived, he ultimately lost the fight to save his second leg, which was amputated more than a year later.

    On his return to the UK, Birrell met his current partner, Zoie, on the recovery wards. She was one of the nurses who helped with his rehabilitation, and it is with her, and their daughter, Talula, that he now lives with in Barnstable, Devon.

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    Birrell has always had an interest in motorsport and recently made it into the final eight of the Want2Race national competition, were he impressed instructors and his able bodied competitors with his speed and consistency behind the wheel.

    He was also a member of the Kart Force team (a charity aimed at helping injured squaddies take on able-bodied karters) that competed at the Le Mans 24-hour kart race in France earlier this year.

    This weekend however, will see Birrell take to the track for the first time under proper race conditions. Regular Scottish Marangoni Tyres BMW Compact Cup competitor, Doran, has loaned her car to the soldier for the final round of the Scottish Championship.

    “I was totally over-whelmed when I heard about Christie’s gesture," Birrell said. "It must have been hard for her to give up her chance to drive. I can’t thank everyone enough for making it all happen.

    "I'm excited and a little nervous, but I can assure you I will be giving it 110%. This a marvellous opportunity and I am going to make the most of it."

    Birrell will receive some expert tuition later this week from double Celtic Speed Porsche Carrera Cup winner, Rory Butcher.

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    Jim McGill

     

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