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jackperkinsJack Perkins is an Australian V8 Supercar driver who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2007 at the age of 21. The son of motor racing legend Larry Perkins, Jack has made a name for himself as a budding star of Australian motorsport. He writes for JDRF today about his life on the circuit with type 1 diabetes.

On a race weekend I can test my blood sugars up to 30 times a day.

Changes to my regular T1D management starts the night before my on-track activity, when I reduce my long acting insulin to ensure that I am at less risk of going low over the weekend. When driving, I increase my meal portion sizes on race weekends but maintain normal levels of short acting insulin.

I also keep two drink bottles in the car, so if I’m required for a double stint or potentially feel like I’m going low, I can have some sports drink. I rarely use this drink bottle, and touch wood, I haven’t had any issues on track yet – largely because I am very disciplined and do test up to 30 times a day!

Latest adventures on the track

At this stage of my career I have a limited, part-time schedule, as a co-driver for the major endurance races in the V8Supercars in Australia and the V8SuperTourers in New Zealand. My final race of the 2012 season was in Christchurch, with the Kiwi hero Greg Murphy.

I started the race from the front row of the grid, before I handed the car to Greg in the pitstop. We passed two cars in the pits and Greg worked his way into the lead. We looked set for victory until the final lap when our main rival made contact with our car, spinning us around and relegating us to 5th place. A very disappointing end to what had been a great season.

Here’s to 2013 and better results on the track!

Jack tests up to 30 times a day when he’s racing – how often do you test? Do you test more when you have a big event on? Let us know in the comments!

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