Before the virtual Hong Kong race took place, Gareth Paterson made his debut last week at virtual Monaco. Patterson, the Mission Motorsport driver, has a unique racing story.
Paterson is a retired Sergeant, who served in the British Army after leaving school at the age of 16. He was a part of the Queen’s Dragoon Guards and Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. Paterson served the British Army for a total number of 24 years.
Unfortunately, after serving his country, Paterson was diagnosed with a disease called “ankylosing spondylitis.” This disease is an autoimmune disease, which creates a fusion in the spine. During 2016 and 2017, he represented his home country, the United Kingdom, in the Invictus Games.
Despite having this unfortunate disease, Paterson has a strong passion for the motorsports industry. Though, he notes that it has been quite difficult to find a team that will give him a chance. Fortunately, that is where Mission Motorsport became involved and gave Patterson the chance to compete in the virtual series races.
“I have suffered from ankylosing spondylitis which is an autoimmune disease where my immune system attacks my own body and caused my spine to fuse together. Trying to find anybody who would allow me to get involved in motorsports with that condition is quite limiting. Mission Motorsport looks at the injuries and illnesses and then comes up with adaptations and changes that help us get involved in racing. Formula E is next level and the field is extremely strong. To do the practice sessions and then have the likes of Maximilian Guenther log in and say hello to and then Stoffel Vandoorne… I go all fanboy and have to rein myself in.”
Paterson competed in Saturday’s virtual Hong Kong event for Mission Motorsport, where he came home with a respectable 18th-place finish.