World’s only disabled racing team in Sussex competes on ‘level-playing field’ thanks to technology

  • ITV Meridian's Siri Hampapur met the team at its new headquarters.

Team Brit is making Silverstone dreams a reality for disabled drivers in Sussex

It is the only competitive racing team in the world where all the drivers have a physical or hidden disability.

The group was formed by Dave Player, from Newbury, after he started a karting charity for injured veterans.

He said: "Every year we'd have hundreds of these young lads with missing limbs and things competing in mainstream 24-hour races all over the UK and abroad and then in 2015, they said 'Can we set up a car racing team?'

"I said yes, but only if we can be competitive. Even though all our drivers are disabled we have given them the tools to compete on a level playing field."

"If you’re disabled, and want to be a racing driver, you're not a charity case. If you want to race on a level playing field then you have to race as equals."

"The British racing industry has been enormously welcoming they’re more than happy to help out with anything."

Aaron Morgan, 33, is paraplegic after a spinal cord injury when he was a teenager. Credit: ITV Meridian

Its new base in Pulborough showcases its fleet of specially adapted sports cars.

One of the paralysed drivers, Aaron Morgan, 33, from Basingstoke has competed at circuits across Europe with the help of the team's engineering.

He said: "I use the team's world-leading hand control technology and they are the real differentiator between us being able to compete with the able-bodied drivers in the race and not being able to so they make all the difference.

"There's no paralympic class in Motorsport, everybody races everybody. It's a really unique situation but an amazing thing to be a part of."

  • Aaron Morgan explains how the controls have been adapted for people with disabilities

The hand controls in the car have been specially designed by the head of Engineering Direction Al Locke, from Angmering,

He is the brains behind the tech and works on developing and running its fleet of cars.

The headquarters has its three specially adapted sports cars on display, including two McLarens and one BMW.

The steering wheels on each of the cars contain functions to accelerate, brake, and move up or down a gear.

It has also been kitted out with racing simulators which have the same hand controls as the adapted cars.

The simulators can re-create different race tracks and in various driving conditions so the drivers can practice the circuits. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Bobby Trundley, 24, was diagnosed with severe autism as a child which he says has been a benefit to him on the tracks.

Bobby Trundley, from Wokingham, said: "My autism is like my superpower so it's like the ability to analyse certain aspects of corners so my head's like a supercomputer working away really quickly."

"When I first joined the team I was nonverbal to an extent, I was shy, and I always had to have my mum and dad with me - or AKA my team would call them my bodyguards.

"Now, I'm able to travel around on my own to team events and the team has developed me to who I am today."

Driver, Tyrone Mathurin, from London, had a motorcycle accident which led to him losing ability in the right side of his body.

He said: "I got in touch with Team Brit and that was kind of a hope for me because it's something that I've always dreamt of doing.

"With the team helping us it's taught me to keep on the grind. If you've got a passion and a dream you stick to it."

This year, nine drivers have competed across nine championships, ranging from people who are completely new to racing - to its experienced GT4 drivers who have been competing across Europe.

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