For both parades the 20-year-old will take to the wheel of ‘Willow’, the 1960 Mini Cooper S which won the Betty Richmond Trophy at the Goodwood Members’ Meeting earlier in the year at the hands of Nick Swift. Powered by a 1,293cc inline-four, re-bored for racing from the standard 1,275cc, Willow boasts an impressive modern racing record, despite not having competed in period.
“It's a privilege to be involved in the 60th anniversary of the Mini celebrations at Goodwood Revival this weekend”, said Billy. “A big thank you to Nick and the team at Goodwood for making it possible.”
Motorsport electronics specialists Tour de Force have converted the car to allow Billy to drive it, replacing the foot clutch with a hand unit. Due to his right leg having been amputated below the knee, he is able to use the accelerator and brake with his prosthetic.
“Billy is such an inspirational chap within the motorsport community and beyond,” said Swift. “I was delighted to do everything we could to make an opportunity this happen, and for Billy to show once again that no doors are closed to drivers with his level of talent and commitment. I really hope that he enjoys the experience and would love to do a race with him in the future.”
For Monger, a young man more accustomed to the pinnacle of motorsport technology, 59-year-old Willow will certainly be an experience. Billy Whizz, as he is known, is currently competing in the Euroformula Open Championship for Carlin, for whom he also raced in the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship last year.
Back in May he celebrated his first win at the Pau Grand Prix, before achieving a Rookie podium finish in his home race at Silverstone this weekend.
Billy began his career in karts at the tender age of three, before working his way up to the Ginetta Junior Championship, racing for JHR Developments in 2015. Remaining with JHR, he moved across to the F4 British Championship in 2016, before suffering a high-speed crash during the Donington Park round in April 2017.
The crash, which saw Monger’s car hit the back of a stationary car at 120mph, left him with injuries so severe that doctors were unable to save his legs, amputating the left above the knee, and the right below.
Thanks to the extensive media coverage and the support of racing drivers including Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, a JustGiving campaign to aid Billy’s rehabilitation became one of the fastest-growing campaigns in history, with nearly 19,000 people donating more than £840,000.
It was these funds, plus a steely determination, that helped Billy return to racing in an adapted car, less than a year after his accident. In the first round of the 2018 BRDC British Formula 3 Championship he set the fastest lap, signalling his intent to the motorsport community.
Billy will be taking part in the Mini Track Parade at 9.15am on Friday, and 9am on Saturday and Sunday, while he will join the files of Cooper Cars on track at 1.05pm, 4.15pm and 5.30pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday respectively.