First paraduel a success at Santapod


Published on 30 September 2014 by Gill

Paraplegic petrol heads Carl Brunning, 50, and David Burdus, 53, went head to head at Santapod Raceway last weekend in an extraordinary racing duel.

The friends battled it out over Europe’s best known standing quarter mile strip in Wellingborough on Sunday 28 September, testing out the engineering in the world’s first high performance motortrikes… for wheelchair users!

In the 1150cc BMW front ended monsters, Carl and Dave turn heads, looking very Batman meets Judge Dredd. Their Mad-Max style trikes have electronic tail ramps, wheelchair lock-down mechanisms, click-tronic hand operated gear change, direct drive via a split differential and two half shafts, as well as including aerodynamically crafted fibre-glass skins. The 85bhp standard road trikes are a weighty 565kg (twice the weight of the standard BMW R1150R), capable of 100mph according to the book.

David said: “We’re both ex-bikers. Following our spinal injuries in 1983, we were both off the road for nearly 30 years due to a lack of engineering design, safety and thought. You can imagine how life changing it has been to acquire these superb, high-performance and safe trikes which are ridden from one's own wheelchair. It has given us back our freedom and independence and the chance to interact with other able-bodied bikers.”

Carl said: “This unparalleled and unique event at Santa Pod Raceway was a real ‘cherry on the cake’ for us, but it gives David and myself an opportunity to race against each other and to find out exactly what these unique feats of engineering are capable of." 

The engineering of ‘paraduel’ at Santapod was made possible by support from Matchtech, the UK’s no1 Engineering Recruitment Company. Matchtech MD Mr Keith Lewis said: “We’re delighted to sponsor the Paraduel Team and we wish them every success!  As the UK’s no. 1 engineering recruitment specialist, Matchtech champions innovation and hard-work every day; the dedication and success of this inspirational team is a great example of this and we look forward to celebrating their on-going achievements.”

The race was hard fought, but eventually won by Carl in a new World Record of 16.8682 seconds. Carl also holds the World Record for being the first person in a wheelchair to bungee jump, which he did in 1991 in New Zealand.