Campbell gets back on track four years after learning to walk again

It took Gary Campbell four years to get back on track after a catastrophic crash at Donington Park, but he did just that last month.

Monday, 5th November 2018, 2:02 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th November 2018, 5:51 am
Gary Campbell prepares ahead of his Donington Park comeback

While racing his Ford Fiesta in 2014, Campbell was T-boned by another racer, and remained in hospital for nearly two months with huge injuries to his right-hand side. With his car written off, and a lengthy rehabilitation period required, Campbell was forced to remain on the sidelines, watching his friends and former rivals continue to race.

But despite injuries to his pelvis, shoulder, ribs, leg and lower back, Campbell, from Loughton, never lost his desire to get back out on track.

"I basically started looking for cars while I was still in the hospital!" said the 52-year-old. "I went to look at my old car a few weeks after the accident and I could hardly believe I made it out.

Campbell in action at Donington in his Porsche 924

"I basically had to learn to walk again. I was in a wheelchair for a while before going on to crutches, but it was my entire right-hand side so I really struggled to put any weight on it.

"I went back to the paddock to see my old friends, to help out but I was always eager to get back onto the circuit."

Campbell bought a Porsche 924 - which crashed heavily in, ironically, 2014 - to repair and made race-worthy once more. And so luck would have it, he would have it ready in time for the BRSCC round at Donington Park. Campbell admitted there was little time for sentiment or reflection as he took to the Leicestershire circuit for the first time, passing the scene of the accident.

He said: "I passed the scene of the accident and I did have a bit of a shudder, but after that, I just got on with it. When you're racing with so many other cars around you, you can't afford to be concentrating anything but 100 per cent on the race, so I got over that pretty quickly.

"My lap times plummeted from the first qualifying laps to my final race laps, and my confidence continued to grow throughout. I think picking up three fourth places, including a battle with the series champion, is a real achievement.

"I couldn't have done it without my friend Karl Rossi and my sponsor Evolution Domes - they have been a huge help. I've been welcomed back, everyone was eager to help me, chipping in where they can."

Campbell says he races for the joy of it and nothing more, and admitted his accident has never wavered his love for the sport.

"I believe you only live your life once, so you might as well enjoy what you do," he added. "I have always loved motorsport – it's in my blood."