Billy Monger returns to the racing circuit, with the help of some expert prosthetics
Billy’s team of Prosthetists explain the technology that helps him stay on track to motorsport stardom
Following a horrifying crash and the amputation of both his legs, young racing driver Billy Monger was determined to remain active and pursue his dreams. With a little help from a custom-made prosthetic socket, Billy is returning to his beloved sport of motor racing.
18 year old Billy Monger caught the racing bug when he was just a child, participating in karting competitions, before rising through the ranks to join Formula 4 as a teenager. On 16 April 2017, when he was just 18 years old Billy was left in a critical condition after a serious crash during a Formula 4 race at Donnington Park. Colliding with a stationary vehicle, Billy’s crash led to the amputation of both of his legs, one below the knee and one above. Staying true to his persevering and ambitious nature, Billy didn’t let this devastating accident keep him away from the sport he loved. Early on, he sought out a prosthetics company that would create a specialised racing leg for him so that he could get back to driving.
Billy met with Dorset Orthopaedic Clinical Services Development Director Matthew Hughes, a prosthetist of over 15 years and Gillian Burrage, formerly a prosthetist at the state-of –the-art military rehabilitation centre Headley Court. Located at the clinic in Ringwood, Hampshire Gillian and Matthew have created both Billy’s day-to-day prosthetics as well as the custom made racing leg that has helped him get back in the driver’s seat.
Matthew explains: “When he is in the car, Billy has decided to only wear a prosthesis on one side; in this case it is the leg which was amputated below the knee.”
Gillian adds: “It was really important to make sure that the socket for this device was able to transfer the large forces exerted while braking comfortably over Billy’s limb. It was also key to minimise movement within the socket to give Billy the most control.”
Matt says: “From seeing Billy early on in his simulator it became clear that the most practical way of him using his right leg for braking was to keep the distance between the end of his limb and the brake pedal to minimum. Therefore rather than using a conventional prosthesis for racing we have ultimately ended up with a shortened socket. The rest of the work is done by Billy’s team who have adapted the car for him, plus Billy himself of course, whose talent and enthusiasm for racing hasn’t been dampened by his injuries.”
Not only have Dorset Orthopaedic created the custom leg to help Billy continue his racing career, they have also applied their specialist knowledge to provide Billy with a set of day-to-day legs to help him keep up with his busy schedule, from appearing at events with racing’s most popular personalities to continuing his A-levels and spending time with friends and family.
The team at Dorset Orthopaedic are excited to see Billy make his much awaited racing comeback at Oulton Park this weekend (31 March & 2 April), after confirming he will race in the BRDC British F3 Championship season opener at the Cheshire circuit with the Carlin team. His racing return in British F3 comes behind the wheel of a specially-adapted Tatuus Cosworth car, with a throttle on his steering wheel and a single pedal, brought right up from the foot well, used for braking with his prosthetic leg. Billy has been given special dispensation from championship organiser MSV, who are extremely keen to support his rehabilitation and return to racing.