21 year-old Australian Paul Grainger will make his car racing debut campaigning a G40 with Tolman Motorsport at next month’s season finale of the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge at Donington Park. The event will also mark the Warwickshire-based team’s first foray into the G40 ranks as it gears up for a significant expansion in 2015.
“This is the result of well over a year’s hard work, countless late nights and the faith many very special people have put in me, not to mention a 36 hour flight! I’m throwing myself in the deep end but with the help of Chris and the team at Tolman Motorsport I’m sure I’ll be able to learn quickly!” Grainger commented enthusiastically.
Having raced go karts in Australia for a number of years, Grainger’s burgeoning career was abruptly derailed in 2010 after he was diagnosed with both anxiety and depression. Having now had a few years out of the driver’s seat to refocus his life, he now not only hopes to resume his ascent up the motorsport ladder with Ginetta but to use his racing to challenge the stigma around mental illness and get more people talking:
“I lost two uncles to suicide when I was young, my Dad battled with depression almost his whole life and I was diagnosed at the age of 15. It was never something that spoken about in my family and unfortunately that’s the case in many families. I want to change that; it needs to change.”
Grainger’s long-winded battles have led him to become an ambassador for Australia’s leading mental health charity beyondblue and in 2012 to establish his own brand ‘Greatness Via Passion’ that now sees him speaking at schools and corporate events throughout Australia.
“I’ve always held onto the dream; I want to win the Le Mans 24 Hour. I want to show people that mental illness isn’t something that needs to hold us back. Instead, it is something that can give us the unique strength and wisdom that can enable us to do so much more. We just need to talk and work together.”
Chris Tolman, Team Principal at Tolman Motorsport, added: “Paul is awesome and we look forward to his first race at Donington.”
Grainger is soon to announce an exciting partnership with a London-based mental health charity which will see him use his racing campaign to race much needed funds and awareness. Visit www.greatnessviapassion.com to stay up to date with the latest announcements.