Team Principal Dave Player speaks about the 2020 Le Mans grid line up announcement:
“This week it has been announced that French quadruple amputee, Frederic Sausset, will lead the first ever all-disabled team in this year’s Le Mans 24 hour.
It has been our long-term goal since our inception to take this prestigious title, and I’d like to send Frederic and his team our warmest congratulations.
Frederic has been given a ‘Garage 56’ entry into the race. This additional race entry was introduced in 2012, to leave room for innovation without taking the place of a conventional car. The Garage 56 entry is not part of the official competition and technical regulations do not have to be applied. I’ve always been open about the fact that when we reach Le Mans, it will not be through Garage 56, as we have always fought for equality, competing on a totally level playing field.
That’s not to take away what Frederic is achieving here. Anyone who lines up at the start of the Le Mans 24 hour, on the iconic La Sarthe Circuit, has proved they deserve to be there, and I can’t wait to see how his team performs. The Le Mans governing body – the ACO – should also be congratulated. Frederic was given a Garage 56 entry as part of a team in 2016, and having created his own Racing Academy to create a team of disabled drivers, they have now done this again. They are creating possibilities for disabled drivers at the highest level, and the rest of the motorsport world should take note.
Frederic’s team will race in an Oreca 07 which will feature adaptations to suit the drivers, two of which are paraplegic and one has only one hand. This is technology being used for incredible things – something we pioneer, promote and utilise for equality in our sport.
When I created Team BRIT, along with our original drivers, we knew that simply shaking up the motorsport industry wouldn’t be enough. We wanted to open up the motorsport industry, we wanted to change perceptions, but we also wanted to make history and prove the impossible.
Frederic and his team will do that this year and I couldn’t be happier for them. Everything I do as Team Principal, and everything our team achieves is for widescale change. We don’t licence or patent our technology, we don’t protect what we learn from our research and experience. Quite the opposite. I will share my learning with anyone that will listen and I hope that our ideas and our technology are ‘borrowed with pride’ far and wide.
Le Mans may not be happening soon for us, but as we slowly move ever closer, we’re creating opportunities for disabled people, changing lives through motorsport, and proving people wrong every step of the way.”