Life as a British racing driver has certainly not been full speed this year for Surrey’s Duncan Tappy but the highlight has been his deaf three-year-old’s graduation from the AVUK programme.

Cole, who is four on Christmas Eve, and his older brother George are Daddy’s biggest fans. One benefit of the global pandemic has been the additional time Duncan has been able to spend at home in Frimley and his involvement in Cole’s sessions with AVUK.

Duncan said: “Despite the uncertainty and stress caused by the pandemic and challenges of home schooling being at home has been amazing. The boys are so brilliant and Cole is now flying. His speech has ramped up and he is so much more confident. He has really come out of himself.”

Cole’s hearing loss was picked up at his new born hearing screening and Duncan and Mum Lori were devastated. At four months old they brought Cole along to AVUK which became “truly life changing”.

Two years on and as Cole graduated from the programme Lori said: “We will never be able to thank you  enough for everything you have done for our family, I simply can’t put into word how grateful we are for being such a huge positive aspect of our journey.”

The family’s experience has also spurred them on to support AVUK and as Duncan signed for a new race team United AutoSports this season the team agreed to emblazon the AVUK logo on his race kit. 

Then the world was hit by a global pandemic and like everything else the racing season was put on hold. Duncan has been racing since he was 12 years old and said: “Lock down was tough and concerning for our future but we were so lucky to be together and it did allow me to slow down a bit and enjoy some other things including private coaching and helping younger drivers. And of course I was home with the family longer than I ever have been for one stretch of time.”

The race season planned for March to October eventually got started in July and a condensed season saw racing until the beginning of November with a host of safety measures in place.

Back home and looking forward to Christmas together Duncan added: “Like all families, this year has been challenging but I couldn’t be more proud of Cole and George and we are all looking forward to more challenges and supporting AVUK on and off the track next year.”