Bernie Broad, a former Army Major with the Grenadier Guards, has spent the day with Team BRIT, to test his skills as a racing driver.
Bernie, who is from the Derbyshire area, lost both his legs below the knee due to injuries sustained in an explosion in Helmand Province in 2009. He underwent four and a half years of extensive surgery whilst at the same time undergoing rehabilitation at DMRC at Headley Court.
Team BRIT aims to be the first ever all-disabled team to race in Le Mans. They have taken part in the UK Fun Cup championship this year – the first stage of their motorsport journey – and will move on to GT4 racing in 2018.
After medically retiring from the armed forces in 2014, Bernie has used sport to kick start his drive and fitness and regularly swims, walks and plays golf. This year he was invited to head up the UK team at the Invictus Games held in Toronto.
Bernie met the team at their recent race at Oulton Park and was invited back to take part in a testing day at Brands Hatch held on Thursday 2nd November.
Bernie was able to test the team’s world-leading hand controls that have been designed to ensure that the team’s disabled drivers can compete on a level playing field with able-bodied drivers.
He was also taken out in the cars by current rookies undergoing coaching at the track. Bernie will now be invited back for further coaching sessions over the winter so that he can learn more about the team and the potential to become a driver in 2018.
Bernie said: “I had such a great day at the track with Team BRIT. The last time I had such an adrenaline rush was when I was dodging rockets in Afghanistan, however, the racing was definitely a lot more fun! The team, the ethos and the supporting staff just inspire confidence in what is a very demanding sport. What a fantastic opportunity to be able to participate in such a challenging sport, only made possible by the team and the supporting staff who give drivers the confidence to achieve.”
Team BRIT founder Dave Player said, “It was great to have Bernie join us at our coaching session this week. Bernie is the perfect kind of person to join our team. He loves sport, is driven, passionate and enthusiastic, and does not let his disability hold him back.
“I hope he enjoyed his time out on the track and we’ll be looking forward to inviting him back for some more driving soon.”