Nathalie McGloin receives Guinness World Record
Presented with the record earlier this year, McGloin is the first female quadriplegic rally and circuit racing driver in the world and juggles roles as the President of the FIA Disability and Accessibility Commission and as a public speaker.
“I was surprised to receive this title when I was first told about it,” commented McGloin. “I knew I was the first, but I didn’t think that this would catch the attention of an organisation like the Guinness World Records.
“When I went to collect the certificate, a photo of Max Verstappen was on the wall, so I was in good motorsport company. It’s cool to be recognised as a Guinness World Records holder. Not many people get to say that they have one and being the first to do something means that I’ll always hold that title.”
McGloin received her Motorsport UK Competition Licence in 2015 and when it arrived one Thursday in May, she was on track at Brands Hatch Indy on the Sunday for her first competitive event in the Porsche Club Championship.
In her adapted Porsche 987 Cayman S, fitted with radial hand controls that she pushes forward to brake, and down to accelerate, McGloin secured her first race win at the 2018 Walter Hayes Weekend at Silverstone in the BWRDC Allcomers Race.
But her biggest challenge has never been her disability or her opponents, it’s a personal one. “My biggest hurdle competing in motorsport has always been inside my own head,” explained McGloin.
“I’ve always questioned whether I was good enough.
“Being a disabled female in a predominantly male dominated world puts a lot of pressure on you to show your worth. It wasn’t until this year that I started believing that I was worthy of a place on the race circuit.
“During a race a Brands Hatch this summer I decided that the act of racing against non-disabled men was enough of an achievement in itself and that I would no longer put pressure on myself to put in fast lap times each and every lap.
“Relieving that pressure was followed by some of my best racing to date and a couple of podiums. Pressure can be used in positive and negative ways, and I think the important thing in racing is to recognise when something isn’t working for you and to change it. The rewards for me have been enjoying every single aspect of racing and being grateful that I’m able to compete in a sport that I love.
“The trophies from my class podiums are obviously an added bonus.”
Alongside her own racing, McGloin has purchased a second car to run alongside her in the 2023 season as she seeks to build an all disabled racing team.
“It’s so important for me to create opportunities for people like me and I think the time is right in my racing career to take this next step with my team,” expressed McGloin.
“My advice to any disabled person looking to get into motorsport is to go for it. There are so many areas to compete in.
“The new Motorsport UK StreetCar initiative is so accessible for disabled people to try out the sport as you can compete in your road car with minimal extra equipment. Volunteering is also a great way to get involved – there are so many different roles for disabled people in this sport. Do your research and find a role that suits your lifestyle, ability and budget. There really is something for everyone.”
Read more on the Guinness World Records website HERE.