Milton Keynes boy racer has burning ambition to become motorsport champ - while driving away stigma of dyslexia

Lewis Turkington is determined to become a professional racing driverLewis Turkington is determined to become a professional racing driver
Lewis Turkington is determined to become a professional racing driver
Lewis is only 13 but is already an excellent driver

An MK schoolboy who was told he would never be able to shine is on his way to becoming a professional racing driver at the tender age of 13.

And Lewis Turkington is using his skills on the racetrack to give hope to other youngsters who, like him, have been diagnosed with dyslexia.

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He has launched a campaign called Driving Dyslexia Forward, and aims to spread the word through motorsport events all over the world.

Helping him power the campaign is his dad, four time British Touring Car Championship winner and Team BMW driver Colin Turkington, who features in the ITVx BTTC show.

Colin sat his son in racing cars before the tot could even walk. But when Lewis was just five years old, before moving from Northern Ireland to Milton Keynes, the family were told the future for him looked very bleak indeed.

“He struggled to speak, read and write in his early years,” said Lewis’s mum Louise. “Despite attending speech therapy aged three and struggling at school, he was never identified as dyslexic. Instead, he was labelled as having low academic ability.”

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Rather than accept this diagnosis, she arranged hours of after-school tuition and watched as the determined youngster applied himself “beyond limits”.

Lewis TurkingtonLewis Turkington
Lewis Turkington

It was only when Lewis reached the age of 10 that his dyslexia was diagnosed. He’s now a kind, compassionate and hard working pupil who has been chosen represent his school as an Anti-Bullying Ambassador. He’s even been picked to study for the challenging triple science exam at GCSE.

He said: “I’ve learnt to know my triggers and what exaggerates my symptoms. I’ve become conscious of some of my dyslexia traits and I know I just have to work around them.

“The two most important things in managing my thinking are my diet and getting plenty of good quality sleep. They are so important for me being able to perform in school, in sports and on the racetrack.”

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Lewis has the words ‘Driving Dyslexia Forward’ printed on his car, his helmet and all his racing gear as he competes in the Junior category of National Autograss championships for the first time throughout this year, as well as hitting the UK circuits for testing from next month.

Lewis Turkington has been sim racing since he was seven years oldLewis Turkington has been sim racing since he was seven years old
Lewis Turkington has been sim racing since he was seven years old

He has been sim racing at global circuits from the age of seven and has gathered experience in all aspects of the motorsport business, from car se-tup to commercial responsibilities through to race team management.

His dad and other professionals are also wearing his dyslexia logo to spread the word.

Mum Louise said: “Lewis is aiming to drive the belief that anything is possible with hard work. He wants people to know that dyslexia is not a limit on your dreams.”

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Lewis has his own YouTube channel and Instagram page to launch his dyslexia campaign. He says: “Motorsport has taught me a really important lesson in life... That’s to always work hard because you can’t expect success in life if you’re not prepared to put in the hard work.

"I’ve had to work extra hard, in and out of school, to get where I am… Any difficulties in learning or any disabilities… you can always overcome them if you put enough hours in and try your hardest.”


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