Autistic 18-Year Old to Race in 2018 Nissan Micra Cup

Austin Riley and the Micra Cup Car 9 photos
Photo: Racing with Autism
2017 Nissan Micra
Austin Riley is an 18-year old Canadian who, at the age of 12, was diagnosed on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum. This hasn't interfered with Riley's dream of becoming a race-car driver, however, as the Canadian will be on the starting line in May's Nissan Micra Cup in Canada.
According to Nissan, which published a short video about Riley and his unique abilities, the young Canadian is capable of anticipating collisions before they occur and he describes himself as a bit more focused than the other drivers are.

"Stories like Austin's give us great joy. The Nissan Micra Cup was made exactly for the purpose of allowing people to live their dreams of racing, and the fact that the community has come together in this way for Austin is indicative of the great people involved in this series," said Joni Paiva, president of Nissan Canada Inc. "As Canada's most affordable racing series, we will continue to bring excitement and new experiences to Canadians."

In 2016 Riley met veteran driver Metod Topolnik of Azure Racing and was introduced to the Micra Cup. That October he drove for the first time a race car. The next year, in 2017, he was present for an entire season of the cup. He will return to the wheel this year.

Riley's fascination with the racing world has been with him since he was a child. In 2007, when he was only eight years old, he took part in several racing events, became TRAK Club champion, finished 3rd Place and was 7th overall in the TKC.

His family and friends also set up the Racing with Autism website, as a tool „to educate, inspire, and as a result empower those with autism to do great things .”

The Nissan Micra Cup is a series of races across six weekends in Ontario and Quebec, with over 30 Micra vehicles taking part. Each racing weekend includes a 30-minute trial, a 30-minute qualifying session, and two 30-minute races.

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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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