He'll be piloting a 911 GT3 Cup Car.
Ben Taylor, diagnosed as autistic with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) at 17 years old, is breaking boundaries by entering the 2024 Porsche Sprint Challenge in Australia.
According to V8 Sleuth, Taylor will drive the Number 25 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car, backed by Auticon, an IT consulting firm with more than 465 autistic people on its payroll. Taylor was not chosen at random, and he's not just racing for the fun of it. He has a karting and Formula 3 background, so he knows his way around a performance car. His performance next year will be used to study autism in racing.
"[We] will deploy [our] autistic data analysts and software engineers to build insights that will take Ben's driving to the next level," Auticon said in a statement.
Taylor said that autism is not a processing error but rather a different operating system. It's a different way of thinking, and it comes with several upsides. "One of the most common traits of people on the spectrum is an ability to be hyper-focused. In IT, this helps with things like error detection and strengths in data analysis and coding," said Taylor. "For me, I believe that my autism helps to keep me hyper-focused on the intricate details of racing, such as timing stopping distances and corner speeds. It really enables my abilities as a high-performance athlete."
If Taylor does well next year, he'll upgrade to the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia, the premier one-make series in Australasia. The Carrera Cup is a support act for Australia's famous Supercars Championship and an opening act for the Australian Grand Prix.
"We're looking at applying some fresh thinking to motorsport data analytics," said Bodo Mann, managing director and CEO of Auticon. "The team has already identified opportunities to enhance racing insights and add value to Ben's on-track performance. This partnership is a fantastic opportunity to showcase autistic strengths in action, and we want to demonstrate the power of neurodiversity and how thinking differently can be an asset."
Naturally, the study findings will be used to help further the careers of other autistic or neurodivergent racing drivers. Taylor's entire season in the GT3 Cup Car will lead to terabytes of data that will inevitably help those who come after him.
Motorsport, in general, is becoming more accessible, starting with the famous Forza Motorsport series, which now allows blind people to drive. Earlier this year, a blind man also ran an 11.5-second quarter-mile in a Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock.