The reliability and weight of Karma Mobility’s S-Ergo 115 wheelchair have been key factors in helping a race marshal return to the circuit after a speedway accident that left him disabled, according to the user.
Steve Tarrant has been a Karma Mobility user for over 10 years and in that time, has had several of the company’s wheelchairs, each of which he says has lasted him around four years.
Tarrant started marshalling at motor racing events in 1990 and for 10 years he marshalled around the country including the world-famous Brands Hatch and Silverstone circuits as well as overseas. However, at the 2000 Goodwood Festival of Speed he was struck by a historic Formula 1 car which had just crossed the finishing line at 140mph.
As a result of the accident, Tarrant had his right leg amputated above the knee while his left leg, which was badly broken was reconstructed over a 12-month period which involved numerous operations.
But just 18 months later he returned to marshalling and since then he has completed 14 Le mans 24-hour races, five American le Mans events, two British Grand Prix’s as well as every Goodwood Festival of Speed and various other club and hill climb events.
Tarrant said attending many of these events would not have been possible without his Karma wheelchair. He commented: “For the first few years after my accident I tried various manual wheelchairs but they were always too heavy for outdoor use so I set about looking to see what else was available. I was looking for a wheelchair which was lightweight, compact and easy to fold and as soon as I found the Karma Mobility models I knew I had found the answer”.
Tarrant purchased his first Karma wheelchair from a mobility shop in Poole in 2007. “At the time, I was living alone and needed a practical lightweight wheelchair which I could fold and open on my own from the car. Coincidently, this coincided with me being chosen to officiate at the 2007 British F1 Grand Prix as the first ever wheelchair bound marshal.
“My first chair and my current model, which is an Ergo 115 have been totally reliable. Despite travelling miles over tarmac and concrete surfaces in the pit lanes and paddocks or rolling over water hoses, electrical cables and the rough terrain often encountered at the campsites I have never had a problem.”
Tarrant concluded: “Not only have I been delighted with the performance of my wheelchairs but also with the level of customer service from Karma Mobility and I would not hesitate in recommending Karma wheelchairs to anyone.”
The S-Ergo 115 self-propel transit wheelchair weighs 8.3kg (18lbs) once the wheels and footplates have been removed, making it one of the company’s lightest crash-tested wheelchairs currently available.
The S-Ergo 115 incorporates an Aegis microbe shield seat and back, designed to ensure the user has maximum comfort at all times by increasing the levels of even pressure redistribution while reducing sliding. Increased levels of strength and durability are provided by the frame of the S-Ergo 115 being braced by a system of double cross braces.
The S-Ergo 115’s features include ergonomic handrims, slowing brakes, quick release wheels, detachable upholstery and the patented Ergo seating. Additional options available include elevating leg rests, stump support, foldable headrest and travel bag.