A military veteran from Essex has been announced as the newest driver to join Team BRIT – a motor racing team of disabled drivers, which is aiming to be the first ever all-disabled team to race in the Le Mans 24 hour endurance race.
27-year-old Ash Hall from Colchester in Essex served in the Royal Engineers from 2007 to 2017. When serving in Afghanistan in 2010, he was hit by an IED causing serious injuries including the amputation of both legs above the knees and a shattered pelvis.
He spent several months at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham before receiving treatment at military rehabilitation centre, Headley Court.
Team BRIT is currently competing in the Fun Cup championship – the first stage of its motorsport journey towards Le Mans and recently completed ‘the Longest Race in the World’ at Circuit de Spa Francorchamps – a 25 hour endurance race.
Ash took part in a rookie day with the team at Brands Hatch on Wednesday 4 October and was assessed for his driving skills and ability. Having passed the assessment, he will now join the team at their last two races of the season later this month. Ash has previously been involved with similar motorsports organisations but none could offer him the chance to attain his race licence and race competitively in the way that Team BRIT can.
Ash has continued to participate in sports at a high level since sustaining his injuries and represented Great Britain in the Invictus Games in Toronto in September where he won a silver medal for wheelchair rugby – a sport he competes in with Ospreys wheelchair rugby team.
He is also the Guinness world record holder for longest distance travelled in 24 hours using a go-kart with hand controls – completed when driving with KartForce, the charity linked to Team BRIT.
The team has developed the world’s most advanced hand control technology to allow its drivers to compete on equal terms with able-bodied competitors. These controls are specially adapted for each driver, allowing drivers with varying disabilities, such as Ash who is a double leg amputee and Olivia Jackson who has one arm, to race as part of the same team.
The team is not a charity, but a competitive racing team like any other, with each driver being taught the business of motorsport. Powerful partnerships are set up with corporate backers such as title sponsor Brit Insurance, and Ash will be working to engage with personal sponsors to progress his driving career.
Ash said: “I’m really excited to be a part of the team and part of the journey towards Le Mans.
“I think what the team is trying to achieve is pretty remarkable. To take part in what is widely regarded by most racing drivers as the toughest race in the world is a big enough challenge in itself. To do it and then add on the fact that every driver in that team will have their own unique challenges to face due to their differing injuries is truly incredible.”
Further information on Team BRIT is available at www.teambrit.co.uk. Follow the team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for up to date news and announcements.