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Lindsay Race Car Driver With Autism First To Win Overall North American Championship

KAWARTHA LAKES-Life in the fast lane is paying off for Lindsay’s Austin Riley.

The 23-year-old recently became the first Canadian racer to win the Overall North American Championship and it all came down to the final event of the 2022 Blue Marble Radical Cup North America.

The reigning Canadian Champion closed this season as the Overall North American Champ.

“What a season and what a battle we had for the title,” explained Austin Riley. “A huge thank you to my team, my family, and all of my supporters and partners for allowing me to live my dream and become the first Canadian driver with the North American title.”

There have been many firsts over the years but his road to success was not paved in gold. As a young child, Austin was bullied at school and picked on for being different according to his father Jason Riley.  He was later diagnosed with Autism.

“We tried all kinds of kids sports trying to get him accepted in life,” said Jason, Then we got a flyer in the mail for go-karting when he was 7. It took a year of convincing but once he tried it he loved it.”

At 8 years old Austin hit the track and hasn’t looked back.

Find out more about Austin and his journey here:https://www.kawartha411.ca/2021/10/04/lindsay-race-car-driver-austin-riley-has-a-need-for-speed-while-raising-autism-awareness/

The first race of the final weekend of the season did not go as planned for Riley, contact at the end of the first lap with championship rival Mike Anzaldi put both drivers on the sidelines with damaged cars and out of the race. A podium result in the second wheel-to-wheel action of the weekend earned Riley enough points to only have to start race three to become the champion and once the green flag flew last Sunday afternoon, Austin had reached the goal that he set out to achieve from earlier this season.

Along with the Pro 1340 Championship, Austin Riley earned enough points over the 2022 season to end the year tied with Pro 1500 title holder Palmer Miller for the Overall Championship. With the tie-breaker deciding the overall winner, Riley was awarded the Overall Championship and accompanying prize package to compete in Europe based on the number of wins compared to his championship counterpart. 

In a history-making season, Austin Riley is the first driver with Autism to win a Radical Cup Championship around the world and is now back-to-back champions in both Canada and the United States.

Riley added, “Let’s see what comes forward for 2023 but I think I have proven my capabilities in the Pro 1340 class.”

Austin Riley is a multi-time champion, the first race car driver with autism to win a major championship, and above all, an inspiration for all who’ve met him. His motto, “Just because you have autism, it doesn’t mean you can’t do great things,” is backed by his success both on and off the track.

 

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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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