Racing driver Billy Monger lost his legs a while ago, and has turned his tragic loss into a positive by taking on a Red Nose Day challenge.
In the name of Billy’s Big Red Nose Day Challenge, Billy will be sharing his story in an hour-long documentary on BBC One tonight (March 18th).
Over the course of four days, cameras followed the professional racing driver as he undertook a triathlon-inspired challenge to raise money.
So, how did Billy lose his legs? Here’s the story behind how he became a double-leg amputee, and what the challenge involves…
Who is Billy Monger?
Billy – or “Billy Whizz” – is a 21-year-old British racing driver, who raced in British F4 in 2016 and 2017.
It all started at the aged of three. His father, a former kart racer, bought him his first go-kart, which is when he first got behind the wheel.
Before his accident, he was heavily involved in kart racing all over the UK and the Channel Islands, as well as a successful Ginetta Junior racer.
Then in 2019 and 2020, he gave analysis for Channel 4’s F1 coverage.
He went on to compete in the Formula 3 based Euroformula Open championship for Carlin Motorsport – who he currently races for.
He is also an award-winning racer, having achieved his first single seater race win in the Pau Grand Prix in May 2019!
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How did Billy Monger lose his legs?
- Billy was involved in a crash at Donington Park
It happened in April 2017, when he was critically injured after being involved in a collision at Donington Park.
During a race, he crashed at high speed into the back of Finnish driver Patrik Pasma. Billy was badly injured as a result and almost died.
The incident led to both of his legs having to be amputated, one below the knee and one above the knee, nearly three weeks before his 18th birthday.
He now has a short thigh stump, and a longer right leg that was amputated below the knee. The longer stump allows him to drive modified cars.
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Billy Monger’s Comic Relief Challenge
Billy’s challenge involved walking, kayaking and cycling for 140 miles.
Taking place over four days, he was supported by family, friends and special guests to help spur him on to the finish line.
He started the challenge on February 22 in Gateshead, before having to take a rest day on Tuesday due to extreme weather conditions.
Billy had then completed the gruelling task by February 26, reaching the finish line at Brands Hatch Circuit in Kent.
The money he raised has gone towards different causes, including those affected by domestic abuse, tackling the stigma around mental health, and helping those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
You can donate to Billy’s challenge at the Comic Relief website.
WATCH BILLY’S BIG RED NOSE DAY CHALLENGE ON BBC ONE ON THURSDAY MARCH 18 AT 9 PM