Inclusive racing project: W&S Motorsport cooperates with PARAVAN
Inclusive racing project: W&S Motorsport cooperates with PARAVAN
The GTC Race 2023 season started at Hockenheim on the last weekend in April and W&S Motorsport was back on the grid with a special Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport. In the competitions as part of the ADAC Racing Weekend 2023, paraplegic US American Tim Horrell pilots the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport, which has been specially modified to his needs with the support of PARAVAN GmbH. His teammate will be the young talent Henry Schwalbach. The team of Patrick Wagner and Daniel Schellhaas has already celebrated numerous successes in the series and produced the first GT3 support driver in the GTC Race with Finn Zulauf in 2021.
With the help of a throttle ring and a brake lever, the US American Tim Horrell will operate his Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport in the GTC Race. PARAVAN GmbH has converted the racing car and is supporting the project.
At 32 years of age, Tim Horrell already has a remarkable record. The Pennsylvania-born, Florida-based driver won one race in the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America in 2021 and finished four more on the podium. In 2022, he managed a second-place finish in GT4 America. He finished the drivers' standings in an excellent tenth place after six contested races. With W&S Motorsport, Tim Horrell is starting a new chapter and venturing into Europe in 2023. The ambitious driver, who had a car accident at the age of 21 and has been paralyzed from the waist down ever since, spends a lot of time playing sports, in the simulator, or with his dog.
To control the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport, the bolide with the starting number #75 was customized for Tim Horrell by PARAVAN mobility experts. He will hand control the vehicle with a throttle ring installed on the steering wheel as well as a brake lever.
W&S Motorsport has already supervised several projects together with the Pfronstetten-Aichelau-based company, which specializes in adapting vehicles for people with physical disabilities. PARAVAN managing director Roland Arnold likes to take the wheel of his racing car himself in the GTC Race. His son Luca Arnold competed in the 2021 and 2022 seasons with the team of Patrick Wagner and Daniel Schellhaas.
At 16, Henry Schwalbach is still at the beginning of his driving career and, after guest starts in the 2022 GTC Race, would like to fight for the series' free GT3 sponsorship slot together with W&S Motorsport. In the GTC Race, young talents present themselves to qualify for a free GT3 cockpit for two years in the series at the end of the season in a sighting test. First promotional driver and now his second year in a fast bolide alongside professionals is Finn Zulauf. This year, the W&S Motorsport youngster from the Taunus region is contesting the ADAC GT4 Germany and the Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) with the team from Ofterdingen in a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 and has already celebrated a class win and a podium in the NLS.
In the GTC Race, three races are held each weekend. Two of them over 30 minutes each without driver change. The third competition over 60 minutes offers the opportunity to hand over the wheel to a teammate, plan tactics accordingly and score points through teamwork. Five stops at exciting race tracks in Germany are on the schedule of the up-and-coming series in which professionals, amateurs and up-and-coming talents can compete on equal terms. The GTC Race will be held as part of the ADAC Racing Weekend and can be followed via livestream on YouTube.
Daniel Schellhaas, Team Principal W&S Motorsport: "It is my personal incentive, based on my professional past in development, to provide Tim with a car that is perfectly adapted to his needs and with which he can also call up his top performance without restriction. In PARAVAN, we have found the perfect partner and can react quickly to Tim's needs. The speed with which PARAVAN can implement special constructions is a great help to us here - within 24 hours, a complete development can be realized, from design to production to installation. Due to the distance, I have only had contact with Tim by phone so far, but immediately sensed his ambition and will, and that fits perfectly with W&S Motorsport! We are very much looking forward to the season with Tim and PARAVAN, which will serve as preparation for the GT4 European Series. That will be a great thing! Henry is still at the beginning of his career and we are happy to accompany him on his way. The common goal is to bring him a little closer to the development cockpit through good training and to further open the door to professional racing."
Roland Arnold, Managing Director of PARAVAN GmbH: "Whether enabling mobility in general or in racing with a handicap is part of the corporate DNA of PARAVAN GmbH and at the same time a challenge for us to make the seemingly impossible possible. We are delighted that Tim Horrell has accepted the challenge on the race track. He has a strong partner in W&S Motorsport. It is important to live inclusion in this area as well, to show that apparent limits, be they physical or technical, can be overcome."
Tim Horrell, driver W&S Motorsports: "I grew up with a love of cars and speed, but I didn't start racing until after my accident. It is my passion, for which I burn. And it has helped me to regain the zest for life that I had lost after my injury. It gives me the motivation to achieve something in my daily life, my goal to be a successful racer on a professional level. I am grateful for the opportunity to start the next chapter of my racing career in the GTC with W&S Motorsports. It will be the first time I race in Europe. I look forward to the challenge of competing at a higher level, which will push me to become a better driver overall."
Henry Schwalbach, driver W&S Motorsport: "Last year was purely an apprenticeship year for me as a newcomer with three guest starts. The opportunity to present myself in the GTC Race is unique and, together with the W&S Motorsport team, I want to make the most of this chance to hopefully drive a GT3 racer in the future. The competition will certainly be close and we will have to hold our own against tough competition. With the great experience of the professional team we can succeed. To compete in such a project together with Tim is super and I'm sure we will achieve strong results together."
The first race took place from 28 to 30 April in Hockenheim. Further dates are June 2 to 4 at Lausitzring, June 30 to July 2 at Nürburgring, July 28 to 30 at Oschersleben and finally October 13 to 15 at Nürburgring.