44-year-old Tyrone Mathurin has lived in Battersea since he was six. After completing a Foundation Art & Design course, Tyrone began dealing drugs and later spent time in prison.
He was riding his motorbike in 2005 when he crashed after riding over an obscured pothole. The accident caused four nerves to be torn from his spinal cord.
During surgery to reattach the nerves, doctors were unaware of a hematoma putting pressure onto his spinal cord. A week later he awoke from an induced coma, paralysed from head to toe. He spent seven months on a hospital bed, slowly gaining slight movement in his limbs.
Eventually he learned to walk, dress cook and write for himself once again. He now has weakness in his right leg, no movement in his right hip and no feeling from his right hand to his right elbow.
Tyrone joined the team in August 2021 and began a rookie development programme. He raced the team’s BMW 118 in the Britcar Championship in 2022 alongside Paul Fullick and returns to the championship in 2023, driving our BMW M240i.
“After my accident, everything changed. I knew I wanted to change my life and keep out of trouble. It wasn’t just me I was affecting by being involved in drugs, it was everyone around me.
“When I came out of hospital it was almost like coming out of prison. Both times I was in places where I was looked after and had everything done for me, so I was really anxious about living on my own. Eventually I met film producer Pikki Fearon who was also disabled and he encouraged me to do more. He showed me how to use the gym, get in and out of my car more easily and boosted my spirits. I then set myself goals, and the more I achieved, the more I pushed myself forward.
“I’ve always loved motorsport, particularly motorbikes, but I’ve always assumed racing wasn’t for me, firstly because I assumed it was ‘a rich man’s sport’, and then because of my disability. I was inspired by the story of Nic Hamilton and his racing career and saw that he had been involved with Team BRIT.
“Now, I’m excited about what’s ahead, I’m ready to push my limits and see how far I can take this. If I can also inspire people with my story, by showing them that it’s never too late to turn your life around, I’ll feel very proud.”