We speak with Team BRIT rookie James Whitley, who joined the team in late 2021.
24-year-old James lives in Eastbourne and is originally from Northern Ireland. James was born without fingers and has undergone more than 30 operations to improve his hand function, many which were carried out before he was five.
At the age of six he was involved in a serious boat accident when on holiday with his family in France which resulted in multiple injuries. After being in a wheelchair for almost a year, he was encouraged to contact the GB Paralympian ski team. He went along to a meeting of the development squad and by the age of 10 was invited to join the team.
James is currently competing in the 2022 Beijing Winter Paralympics and is number 5 in the world in super-combined slalom and super-G skiing. Having been a passionate fan of cars and anything to do with racing since he was a child, and aims to race in the team's BMW M240i this year.
In this episode, we speak with rookie driver Anji Silva-Vadgama.
Anji was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2018 and now has drug infusions every 6 months.
Motorsport has always been a part of her life. Her grandfather was a rally driving champion in Kenya, winning the first ever off-road safari rally championship in Tanzania and her dad is a mechanic.
She saw a piece on TV about Team BRIT, got in touch and had her first track day at Silverstone in September 2021. She's now on the rookie development programme and hoping to start racing in the Britcar Championship in 2022. Alongside this, Anji is also starting an IVF journey with her wife, Asha.
Find out more at www.teambrit.co.uk.
In this episode we catch up with rookie driver Tyrone Mathurin.
Tyrone, who is known by his friends as ‘Tee’ is from Battersea and joined the team as a rookie in August 2021.
Tee has brachial plexus injury following a motorbike accident in 2005, which means he has weakness in his right leg, no movement in his right hip and no feeling from his right hand to his right elbow. Tee is part of our rookie development programme and hopes to race our BMW 118 in the Britcar Championship in 2022.
Tee has turned his life around, having been involved in drug crime before his accident. Now, he's proving what you can achieve with determination and belief.
Learn more about Tee and his fellow drivers at www.teambrit.co.uk.
We talk to Team BRIT Founder Dave Player and Commercial Director Mike Scudamore on their thoughts following the unveiling of the team's McLaren 570s GT4.
What does it mean for the team, the drivers and the industry and how much closer are we to Le Mans?
We catch up with Team BRIT rookie driver Chris Overend.
Chris is a former fashion photographer, who has travelled the world working with London Fashion Week and for global titles.
Chris was born with development dysplasia of the hips. In his twenties, a surgeon confirmed that during puberty his femoral artery became pinched, causing his left hip and pelvis to become deformed. After operations to address the pain and discomfort this caused, Chris gave up fashion photography and became a technical instructor of photography at Solent University. He went on to discover wheelchair tennis, in which he received a world ranking. Chris joined the team in August this year and is currently undertaking a rookie development programme with the aim of racing at Donington in October 2021.
Find out more about Chris at www.teambrit.co.uk
We caught up with Team BRIT Driver Luke Pound.
Luke, from Abertillery near Newport, had an accident on his motorbike in 2011 resulting in brachial plexus injury – the breaking of all five nerves into his left arm. This has left him with no movement in his left hand and very little movement in his left arm. Luke is a planner for DHL’s Tradeteam and came across Team BRIT online. After joining academy sessions he was invited to join the team as a rookie. Luke now races in the team’s BMW 118 in the Trophy Category of the Britcar Championship.
We catch up with Team BRIT Videographer Darren Cook of Scruffy Bear Pictures.
Darren provides videography services to the team, attending races, events and academy track sessions at circuits all over the country, documenting the team’s progress and creating a range of multimedia assets to help the team tell its story.
Having trained as a videographer, editor and photographer, Darren established ‘Scruffy Bear Pictures’ 10 years ago. He was awarded at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010 for his short film ‘Broken Silence’ on post traumatic stress disorder, and his first feature film ‘Lucas and Albert’ was released in January 2020 and was recently named best feature film at the National Film Awards.
We catch up with Team BRIT Driver Coach Jamie Falvey.
Jamie, from Nottinghamshire, served in the Commandos from 2010 to 2016, to the rank of Lance Corporal. In 2016 he was medically discharged after sustaining permanent hearing damage and and joined Team BRIT in 2017.
After a successful season of racing with the team, he moved on to professional racing and has become a husband and a father.
Jamie now works alongside Max Coates to provide professional coaching to the team.
Find out more about Team BRIT at www.teambrit.co.uk.
Today we talk to David Butler MBE.
David led the way in influencing accessibility in motorsport, spending 30 years pushing to enable disabled drivers to be eligible to apply for race licences through the (then) Motorsport Association.
He has successfully changed national and international rules around this and served as the MSA's medical assessor for years, helping hundreds of disabled drivers to attain their licence and begin a career in racing.
Episode 8 features an interview with Team BRIT Race Engineer, Al Locke.
After graduating with an honours degree in Motorsport Technology, Al began his career in racing, looking after karts, single seaters and saloons. Alongside his racing commitments, in 2013 he started working with Team BRIT founder Dave Player as a mechanic, and then as Team Manager for Dave’s charity, Kartforce.
When Team BRIT was formed in 2015 he regularly helped the team in his spare time and in 2016 he became the race engineer for Plans Motorsport, who then took over the running of the Team BRIT cars.
In 2018 the team took on the full management of the Team BRIT fleet, under Al’s leadership as full time race engineer.
Hear about what day to day life in the Team BRIT workshop is all about, how the hand controls that are levelling the playing field for disabled drivers were created and just what it feels like to be at the helm of the crew on a race weekend.
In this episode we speak with Team BRIT GT4 driver Aaron Morgan.
Aaron joined Team BRIT last year, joining Bobby Trundley to drive the Aston Martin in the Britcar Endurance Championship.
Aaron was originally a motocross racer, a hobby and passion that started for him at the age of 7. In April 2006 he broke his spine in an accident riding a jump on his favourite track. It wasn’t long before Aaron returned to motorsport, becoming the youngest disabled person to achieve a National B Race Licence. In 2014, he began racing in the BMW Compact Cup and was the only disabled driver to compete. This year, Aaron teams up with Bobby once more in the Endurance Category of Britcar.
Read more at www.teambrit.co.uk
Team BRIT aims to be the first all-disabled team to race in the Le Mans 24 Hour. Through its Racing Academy it supports people with physical and psychological challenges in accessing motorsport.
Team BRIT is not the only organisation supporting disabled drivers into racing and we're keen to share the good work and successes of other charities and organisations sharing our goals.
On this episode, we speak to Colin Duthie, founder and trustee of Disability Motorsport Scotland, which provides free motorsport opportunities for disabled people in Scotland.
Colin says "it's not just changing gears but changing lives" have a listen and found out how.
In this episode, we speak to the man behind it all, Team BRIT founder, Dave Player.
Dave served as a Royal Engineer in the Army from 1983 – 1988. He then joined the family real estate business in the Algarve where he suffered a spinal injury in 1991. After rehabilitation he set up his own businesses, all connected to sport, tourism and property. These included managing international sporting events at European & Paralympic levels. He returned to the UK and wanted to work with injured troops. Having experience in re-shaping and creating a new life in a wheelchair from the age of 23, he offers his knowledge & guidance to others in similar circumstances. Dave designed a set of hand controls that could fit any kart, allowing drivers with a wide variety of disabilities to compete on a level playing field with able-bodied drivers. This was the start of his charity, KartForce.
KartForce supports injured military troops in their rehabilitation through karting events. Dave created a set of simple, removable hand controls to fit in go karts so that troops, including those with amputations or limb disabilities, could race.
In 2015 he formed Team BRIT, giving KartForce drivers the opportunity to step up to competitive racing against able-bodied drivers. He has now gone on to develop world-leading hand controls putting Team BRIT at the pinnacle of disability motorsport technology.
For some of Team BRIT's drivers, the psychological impacts of a disability are just as impactive as those that are physical.
This is the case for Team BRIT driver, Andy Tucker.
Andy was riding his motorbike in Newport in January 2013 when a car collided with him when he was stationary at traffic lights, causing a range of serious injuries. He tore the ACL in his knee, which required partial reconstruction, he has an inverted right ankle, muscle damage to his lower leg and a large piece of muscle has had to be removed from the back of his calf. He also has limited movement and deformity in his right shoulder, trapped nerves in his neck, scoliosis and spondylitis in his spine and a deformed right hand and foot.
Alongside the physical damage, Andrew suffers with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety.
He joined the team in 2019 and is about to embark on his second year of racing in the Britcar Championship. Andy talks to us about how racing has a hugely beneficial impact on his mental health.
Find out more about the team at www.teambrit.co.uk
On this episode we speak to Jackie Trundley, mum of our GT4 driver, Bobby, and Tony Ballesteros, Dad to Sandro, a member of eTeam BRIT, our sim racing arm.
Bobby and Sandro both received diagnoses of autism when they were very young. Bobby is now 21 and Sandro is 14. Both have also found a passion for motorsport and now excel at racing, having been introduced to karting at a young age.
As part of Autism Awareness Week, we’ll be discussing Jackie and Tony’s experiences as parents of children with the condition, and we’ll learn how their sons have flourished given the chance to follow their dreams.
Find out more about Team BRIT at www.teambrit.co.uk
As part of Autism Awareness Week, we talk to Team BRIT driver, Matty Street.
24-year-old Matty was diagnosed with dyslexia, dyspraxia and Asperger’s (a form of autism) when he was at school. At the age of 12 he discovered karting, which had a huge effect on him and helped him manage the challenges that Asperger’s can cause. He won a £30k scholarship to go racing at the age of 14 which opened doors to the expensive world of motorsport. He studied motorsport engineering then went on to secure a degree.
At the age of just 19 he raised investment to buy out the business he was working in, Rochdale’s TeamKarting, so now owns the UK’s highest rated karting track. He has since launched 4 more businesses, all in the world of karting, including X-Kart, importing high end Italian-made go-kart chassis to the UK.
TeamKarting has won an award for being Autism Friendly and Matty has helped introduce numerous Autistic children to karting, some of which are now racing outdoors.
With recent national statistics showing that just 21% of people with autism are in employment, we talk about the challenges facing people on the spectrum and look at how changes could be made to support people with autism into careers.
Find out more about Team BRIT at www.teambrit.co.uk
As part of Autism Awareness Week, we talk to Team BRIT driver, Bobby Trundley.
21-year-old Bobby was diagnosed with severe autism as a child and it had a major impact on his time at school. When he was 10 he was invited to attend a go-karting birthday party. Despite initially wanting to run away from the situation, which to him was scary and unsettling, he was encouraged to take part, and from that moment motorsport changed his life.
Bobby won the race at the party that day and went on to become a 5 x karting champion. He has won numerous awards for supporting autism awareness and is an ambassador for the Anna Kennedy charity.
He joined all-disabled Team BRIT in 2019 and in his first year won 4 out of his 5 races for the team. He is now the team's fastest driver and will be racing its Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4 in the Britcar Championship this year. Bobby calls his autism his 'superpower' on the race track and shares his story to help other people realise the positives that can come from the condition.
Find out more about Team BRIT at www.teambrit.co.uk