Disabled Danish Racer First European Recipient of Ford GT
‘My Ford GT is probably the world’s fastest car that can park in disabled parking spaces.’
Ford celebrated the beginning of GT customer deliveries in Europe this month by delivering the first car to partially paralyzed Danish racer, Jason Watt, in Copenhagen.
In 1999, Jason Watt was among motorsport's top prospects, finishing as the runner-up in a hotly contested Formula 3000 season. In the postseason, a motorcycle accident inflicted paralysis on Watt's body below his chest but refused to let it put the brakes on his motorsport ambitions. Watt returned to racing, and in a car modified with hand-controlled throttle and brakes, he won the 2002 Danish Touring Car Championship.
This week, Watt took delivery of his Ford GT, the first to arrive in Scandinavia, and the second under Watt's care—he once owned a 2005 GT. Like his old car, Watt's new GT will be complete with hand controls, along with a roof rack, for his wheelchair.
“My Ford GT is probably the world's fastest car that can park in disabled parking spaces,” Watt told Ford, at the party to celebrate the car's delivery.
Watt serves as another example that the use of feet is not needed to have a successful racing career. 51-year-old Alex Zanardi, maimed in a horrific crash two decades ago, will race the 24 Hours of Daytona next year in a BMW M8 GTE. Likewise, early last year, British Formula 4 driver Billy Monger lost his lower legs in a tragic racing accident. After a lengthy recovery, much gusto, and outside support, he found himself in the cockpit of a Formula 3 car earlier this week, ready to restart his racing career.