Billy Monger, the teenage British Formula 4 driver who lost both of his legs in a horrific crash into a stationary car that he couldn’t see in April, vowed to race again right after it happened. He plans to deliver on that promise in November, and wants to race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans just a few years from now.
The crash Monger, 18, lost his legs in happened at the U.K.’s Donington Park. A crowdfunding page for Monger’s medical bills has raised nearly $1.1 million to date at current exchange rates, which is a whopping 317 percent of its original goal. Now that he’s out of the hospital and back around the race track, Autosport reports that Monger confirmed he’ll be on track himself in November.
Monger’s planned return to racing will be in the VdeV Endurance Proto Series season finale in November, which is less than seven months after his original wreck. Sportscar365 reports that Monger will be in a specially prepared car for the race, and that he said he plans to begin testing in the car as soon as possible.
The return to racing in November is part of a bigger plan for Monger to attempt to make the Le Mans grid in 2020, according to Autosport. He’ll race the VdeV event alongside quadruple amputee and Le Mans racer Frederic Sausset, who Autosport reports contacted Monger “straight after his accident.”
Sausset’s bigger plan to help drivers make the Le Mans grid is with his La Filiere Frederic Sausset driver academy, which Sportscar365 reports is exclusively for disabled drivers and aims to have a Le Mans entry in 2020.
Monger is the first driver announced for the academy, according to Sportscar365, but other drivers will be able to apply throughout the summer and fall. From Sportscar365:
The project to reach Le Mans in 2020 is still in the planning stages. Sausset indicated that the team had already garnered the support of several sponsors and was in discussions with multiple manufacturers, but added it was too soon to say if the Le Mans bid would be in a prototype or GT car.
What is clear is that Sausset will not be a part of the driving lineup, preferring instead a team manager role, and the program will not be a Garage 56 entry like Sausset’s first foray at Le Mans last year.
If everything works out, Sausset told Autosport, Monger will be in his Le Mans seat in 2020. He also said that the ultimate goal is for the academy drivers to be “noticed by regular top teams.”
Monger compared the idea to the Paralympic Games, according to Sportscar365, and said he’ll keep pushing to get more competitive. He and other disabled drivers, Mongere said, aren’t “here to be a sideshow.” He wants them “to be a part of the main event.”
Hat tip to James!