39-year-old Chris Overend from Southampton was born with development dysplasia of the hips and spent years from the age of 12 suffering with injuries and pain caused by an undiagnosed problem.
When he was 24, he was skiing in France when he suffered a severe back spasm undoing his boots. When he returned home a surgeon confirmed that during puberty his femoral artery became pinched, causing his left hip and pelvis to become deformed. The top of this femur had rotated 90 degrees from where it should be and his right hip was 30% bigger than it should be and was partially dislocated.
Prior to this, Chris had forged a successful career as a photographer, working with London Fashion Week and travelling the world on commissions for global titles. He eventually gave up the profession after other operations and became a technical instructor of photography at Solent University.
Chris went on to discover wheelchair tennis, in which he received a world ranking.
Chris joined the team in August 2021 and began a rookie development programme. He raced for one round of the Britcar Trophy in 2021, taking home silverware in his first ever race. In 2022, he drove our BMW M240i in the Britcar Trophy, pairing up with James Whitley. They won the championship, becoming the first ever all-disabled team to win a national racing championship. In 2023 he steps up to GT4 racing, driving our Mclaren 570S GT4 in the British Endurance Championship.
“A move into motorsport is just incredible for me. I’ve had a love of racing since I was child when I would regularly go to Brands Hatch to watch. Before now, my only experience of competing has been in an endurance kart race when I was 16 which I won and through gaming. I was obsessed with Gran Turismo as a teenager and as an adult I was lucky to win a regional shootout sim racing event hosted by Aston Martin
“It’s hard to sum up what this opportunity means to me. Being a racing driver is something I’ve dreamt of since I was a kid, and even more so when I was a teenager, spending 5 or 6 hours a night racing sims. It’s so surreal to be given this chance but I’m determined to work hard to get as fit and healthy as I can. I want to be part of the team that makes it to Le Mans and I’ll be doing all I can to get there.”