Camden’s James Burge is proving to love life in the fast lane.
The 19-year-old motorsport driver was in top form this year on way to winning the Australian Legend Series – despite being visually impaired.
Burge is blind in his right eye after he was diagnosed with persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous (PHPV) at just 18 months old.
However, Burge said he didn’t allow the medical condition to affect him on the track.
“I don’t know what it’s like to drive otherwise,” he said.
It’s fair to say that Burge completely dominated the 2018 Australian Legend Series.
He finished the year with 27 podium positions, 22 wins and six pole positions during the six-round competition.
Burge also secured four Australian lap records this year at venues across NSW, South Australia, Queensland and Victoria.
The Legend Car Series features “spec” design vehicles, which means all participating cars are mechanically identical.
Burge tasted success in his 1934 Ford Coupe legend car, which he describes as “like a mini hot rod with a motorbike engine”.
“I was pretty happy with my form this year,” the Macarthur teen said.
“There was only one race all year where I made some silly errors.”
Burge said he tried not to be too aggressive during the legend series.
“I don’t like to cut people off when driving because I wouldn’t like it done to me,” he said.
“I also don’t want to damage my car.”
Burge’s strong performances in 2018 gained him an initiation to a prestigious motorsport opportunity in the US next year.
He will receive a fully-funded to compete in the US Legend Cars Nationals.
Burge said he would spent one week overseas and drive in a one-off event at a yet to be decided location.
“I’m very excited and it’s a cool opportunity to see how I go against some very good drivers,” he said.
“I will be racing arguably some of the best drivers around.”
2018 has been a big year for Burge.
In February, he was named CAMS NSW Formula Ford Rookie of the Year.
The honour was chosen during the six-race Formula Ford championship event.
“It was very satisfying to be named the rookie of the year, I worked hard for it,” Burge said at the time.
Details: Legend Cars Australia Facebook page.