Six weeks ago a promising motor racing career looked to be on the skids for a former Black Watch war hero after a major sponsor left him stuck in the paddock.
But now Mike Courts has won his first race ...just to get to the start line.
And when he puts his foot down in an attempt to get ahead of his fellow competitors at Fife’s Knockhill race circuit this Sunday, it will be thanks, in part, to readers of the Fife Free Press.
For it was our front page story detailing Mike’s plight that resonated with readers and brought the 26-year-old, who was seriously injured whilst serving in Afghanistan in 2011, several new sponsors.
“It was certainly touch and go for a while but I’ve made it and I’m raring to go,” said Mike during a break in race preparations and circuit testing.
“Thanks to the Press who highlighted my situation, coupled with the fact that I have the best and most loyal race team behind me, I’ve continued to test the race car and have achieved some very encouraging lap times.”
Mike, who lives in Lochgelly, broke his spine in 2011 serving with the Black Watch in Afghanistan and has since endured numerous operations and years of physiotherapy, including having to learn to walk again.
Having initially entered into the sport as part of his rehabilitation process, he has since found that he has a rare talent for driving at high speed.
However, it’s proved a costly sport to be involved in and with Mike spending every penny he has on keeping things going, he is quick to acknowledge his team – Lamont Motor Sport Limited – who have kept the cars running.
“From day one Mike has shown huge potential in the sport,” said Andrew Lamont, team owner.
“When he came along as part of his rehabilitation programme and made the podium in his very first race, we’re delighted to have him, we knew he has an exciting career ahead of him.
“We are in this together for the long haul.”
Fittingly the first race of the new Scottish Motor Sport Club season is being held on Armed Forces Appreciation Day. Mike already has the chequered flag in his sights.