A 17-year-old racing driver tipped for a bright future in the sport lost both legs following a horror smash during a race at Donington Park in Leicestershire. Billy Monger from Surrey was competing in a Formula 4 event on Sunday (16 April) when his car smashed into the back of another car, driven by Finnish driver Patrik Pasma, which had stopped on the track.
The horrifying incident was captured on Billy's onboard camera and streamed live on ITV4, with commentators calling it "horrendous". The teenager, described as a gifted driver, was trapped for more than 90 minutes before being airlifted to the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham. Medics worked hard to save his legs but had to amputate both below the knees.
A Just Giving page set up to pay for Billy's long-term care and recovery had raised over £170,000 of its £260,000 target by Wednesday 19 April.
The appeal says: "Having always been a fighter Billy has already overcome big hurdles in his career - struggling for budget Billy has fought his way into top flight Motorsport, however, we now need your kindness and support to help give Billy and his family the best chance to fight these injuries that will affect Billy's life so massively."
Formula 4 has replaced the British Formula Ford Championship as a testing ground for young drivers, offering a relatively inexpensive route into professional driving for ambitious young go-karters. Professional racing teams and privately-funded drivers compete for the opportunity to pursue a career in motorsport, including Formula 1.
Billy, who calls himself "Billy the Whizz" on Twitter, had earlier spoken of his desire to become a racing champion. On his webpage, Billy Monger Racing, he wrote before Sunday's crash: "For 2017 it's my time to become the British F4 Champion. I strive for the win in everything I do. This is the only goal in my mind, to be the best. Ever."