Vincent is one of just seven handicapped racers in the world to have his level of FIA licence, though he admitted never to having raced against – or even met – the others.
For his debut at Goodwood, he hand-controlled his 1937 Delahaye 135S – a car with a rich GP and Mille Miglia history in period – in the new Varzi Trophy for French and Italian prewar cars.
The Delahaye still has pedals, so others can drive it, but for Vincent, who became paraplegic after an aircraft accident 14 years ago, all the “legwork” is done by his left hand.
There’s a big handle to the left of the steering wheel which you push to brake, pull back to accelerate and squeeze a trigger to work the clutch. Next to it is a little open-gate gear selector. Thanks to the type of gearbox the Delahaye has, there is no need for double-declutching.
“The problem for me is that my gearchanges take 1.5 seconds whereas drivers in the other cars can change gear in perhaps half a second,” Vincent told GRR. Otherwise, he’d be as fast as anyone. Chiefly, he said, he is here for the enjoyment of the racing, and to make a point to all disabled people.