Matthew Knoeson of Kings Hill was born with a need for speed, his love and passion for cars and racing is like nothing his parents have ever seen. Behind that charming smile is a fully committed young man with big dreams of becoming a professional racing driver.
Matt has been driving Bambino karts at Buckmore Park for almost a year and is getting ready to start driving Honda Cadets. He is smashing the competition, and after only six races, has already collected four podium trophies, two of them for 1st place.
Matt lets nothing hold him back, not least of all the fact that he has virtually no use of his legs below the knee. He enters the race building in his wheelchair and goes on track in the same karts as everyone else, driving with no modifications. He was born with a spinal cord injury and aims to be one of the first disabled F1 drivers. His steely determination and savvy knowledge and gift behind the wheel make it a real possibility, and his mother Kerry tells CommunityAd of Matt’s unbound joy at getting back onto the racetrack; “He was like a kid in a candy store! When Matt went back out on track this month, it was at Bayford Meadows, which is a track he’s never driven, and in his own Honda Cadet kart which is a class above the one he currently drives in (Bambino) so it was a double whammy for him. He absolutely loves it! If he could go out every day, he would.”
What are the plans for the rest of the year, any challenges or races booked? Anything the community can get behind and support?
Matt has his first race back at Buckmore Park soon in Bambinos, and he will race there every month. In between, we will get him out in his own kart at Bayford Meadows as often as possible. He is 7 and a half now, so is too young to join in open practices and has to go on track on his own.
From October, he will be able to join in practice sessions with other karts while he gets ready to do his race licence, and from January after he turns 8 (his birthday is just after Christmas), he will be able to start racing properly. We’ve been lucky enough to have some sponsorship this year – we have partnered with Tillett Racing Seats who gave Matt a seat and rib protector and endless amounts of advice, Greener Workwear who do his race suit embroidery, Dental Dynamics who helped with his training, and Empire Entertainment Group who have given him some track time. As things open up again after COVID, we will be looking for more partners, to help us get Matt out on track with coaching.
What makes the community of Kings Hill such a pleasant place to call home?
There is a real sense of community here. When Matt did his 2.6 challenge, people were amazing – coming out to support him, hooting as they drove past, and of course donating. We met some incredible people and have made
some real friends through it.