Vision impaired Camden motorsport driver secures top AMRS award

Macarthur is home to one of Australia’s best young motorsport drivers.

Camden’s James Burge hit top gear on his way to winning the 2018 Australian Legend Series.

The 19-year-old was recently rewarded for his standout season by being named Australian Motor Racing Series Driver of the Year.

Burge has tasted great success despite being visually impaired.

He was diagnosed with persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous (PHPV) at just 18 months old and is blind in his right eye.

The Australian Legend Series is one of 12 categories under the AMRS umbrella.

A judging panel deemed Burge the most impressive driver across all classes last year.

“It’s pretty awesome, I was up against some big name drivers,” the local driver said. 

“There were 10 judges and five of them gave me top points as their number one driver.

“The AMRS has several racing categories so I was up against at least 200 other drivers.”

Australian Motor Racing Series 2018 Driver of the Year, James Burge. Picture: Peter Burge

Australian Motor Racing Series 2018 Driver of the Year, James Burge. Picture: Peter Burge

Burge dominated the legend series, finishing with 27 podium positions, 22 wins and six pole positions across the six-round competition.

The Legend Car Series features “spec” design vehicles, which means all participating cars are mechanically identical.

Burge’s strong performances in his 1934 Ford Coupe gained him an invitation to a prestigious motorsport opportunity in the US in 2019.

He will receive a fully-funded trip to compete in a one-off event at the US Legend Cars Nationals.

It’s pretty awesome, I was up against some big name drivers.

Camden's James Burge

“Winning that trip to America was my aim,” the Camdenite said.

Burge said he was delighted with his 2018 season.

"I always knew if I had the right equipment I could produce strong results,” he said.

“I thank my family and sponsors for their support during the year.”

The top driver award caps off a meteoric rise for Burge in the past 12 months.

Last February, he received the CAMS NSW Formula Ford Rookie of the Year award.

The full-time mechanic is now fine-tuning his coupe ahead of the next Australian Legend Series, which starts in March. 

Burge also maintains his form behind the wheel through a racing simulator game at home.

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