Andrew Richardson will look to continue his rise through the motorsport ranks when the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup resumes at Snetterton this weekend. However the Grantham based youngster faces obstacles off the track which make his achievements all the more impressive and he hopes will offer inspiration to others.
The 20 year old was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2010 but has refused to let that hinder his progress from karting through into the G50 class and now the Premier G55s.
“Before I was first diagnosed with diabetes I wasn’t sure what was wrong with me as I found myself drinking 15 litres of fluid every day and I was losing weight, so I thought I better go to the doctor to get checked out. I’m able to control my diabetes through insulin injections but it does affect things like my training, as I have to make sure I plan ahead and ensure my sugar levels are up before I exercise.”
“In terms of my actual race routine, things haven’t changed too much. I have to make sure that I do my bloods before a race but I try to make sure that I don’t eat too close to the start of a race because I don’t want it to affect my bloods when I am in the car.”
As with many aspiring drivers, Richardson has the aim of a future in Formula One but admits he will take just as much pleasure if he can offer hope to people in a similar situation that they can still chase their dream.
“As I work my way up the motorsport ladder and get to a higher level, hopefully I’ll gain more support from people who also suffer from diabetes. If I can get their respect with my racing on track and keep moving forwards with my career, then hopefully I can show them that having diabetes shouldn’t hold you back and prevent you from doing anything. To be a real role model, you need to be in the public eye and hopefully I’ll achieve that in my career. As I’ve said, I hope to compete at the highest level possible in the future and who knows, one day I could be the first driver with Type 1 to compete in F1.”
Richardson currently lies ninth in the championship and although his goal to challenge for the title itself is beyond him, Andrew is looking to start afresh after the summer break and give his crew reward for their hard work.
“We moved into the G55 this year as there was a sponsor who was prepared to help us make the step up,” he says. “However, it’s been a frustrating season so far as we’ve suffered a number of retirements that weren’t down to anything we have done. I certainly didn’t think I’d be going into the second half of the year where I am in the championship and I guess my season will really start at Snetterton.”
“So far this year I’ve qualified on the front row of the grid in both the wet and the dry, I’ve set fastest laps and I’ve been on the podium so I’ve shown I am quick but our pace isn’t reflected by the amount of points we have scored. I’m not in a position to think about the championship now so my focus is on getting as many wins as I can in the remaining rounds and picking up some strong results for the team to earn them the respect that the deserve for the job they do.”