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Hand control technology

Racing hand controls

Our hand controls are the world’s most advanced and allow our disabled drivers to race on equal terms with able-bodied competitors.

Our technology has enabled true equality regardless of disability – something no other sport can offer.

Developed by Team BRIT and Slovenian motorsport experts, MME Motorsport, the hand control system uses a combination of pneumatic, electronic and hydraulic technology to enable the steering, brakes, clutch, throttle and gears to be controlled seamlessly using hands alone. Before this innovation, disabled drivers would need to use standard ‘push/pull’ hand controls, which require one hand to be removed from the steering wheel. This places the driver at a disadvantage against able-bodied competitors. Our controls enable drivers to keep both hands on the wheels at the same time, saving valuable seconds on the track.

Fully adaptable, technologically sound, and inspected by Motorsport UK’s technical experts, the hand controls mean that every driver racing on the track is equal, with no-one at a disadvantage due to an amputation, injury or congenital defect.

What makes the system so effective is that is can also be instantly removed, unplugged and replaced with an ordinary steering wheel so the car reverts to standard specification. This means that drivers with a range of disabilities can drive on the same team.

Bespoke tech solutions

Our racing hand controls are just one example of our technology at work. We can also provide bespoke tech solutions for disabled drivers with a range of needs.

Hand Control Technology

Case Studies

Case study - Paul Rowlands

Paul Rowlands

  • Disability Paralysed from waist down
  • Car Polaris RZR Rally

In 2008, a severe quad racing accident left Paul Rowlands paralysed from the waist.

Paul began his pursuit of motorsport at 10-years-old as a motocross racer. In his early 20s he moved to quad bikes, becoming British champion across a number of disciplines.Soon after his accident, he worked with Honda, running their motocross team in the UK for seven years, leading the team to 27 British Championship titles.

A couple of years after his accident, Paul, the owner of Par Homes, was keen to get back to the track, and purchased a Polaris 800 buggy. Paul developed his own hand controls over the years, but realised they wouldn’t be compatible with the rally or Ultra 4 events he wished to participate in, which would involve stopping a car weighing nearly two tonnes with the equivalent of motorbike brakes.

He then discovered the Team BRIT system which allows drivers to effortlessly control the vehicle using hands alone, and solved the problem he had faced in finding waterproof solutions that could withstand the off-road races he competes in.

The controls are now in Paul’s Polaris RZR and the Lofthouse rally car which he raced in the British Cross Country series, which sees 40 competitors racing down forestry trails. He also competes in two-day competition safaris on farmland.

With a packed racing calendar, the controls have also been added to Paul’s bespoke-built racing buggy and Ultra 4 car.

“The controls give me the confidence to push the car to its limits, knowing that I can stop the car….they give me the competitive edge, and I don’t have to hold back. I want to be winning.”
Case study - Lewis Meldrum

Lewis Meldrum

  • Disability Spinal cord injury
  • Car Seat Leon Cupra 300

Lewis raced pit bikes and supermotos on tracks all over the country as a teenager, progressing to bigger and faster machines, culminating in racing super-sport 600s.

When he was 19 he suffered a horrific accident at Oulton Park circuit during a race. The accident paralysed him from the waist down but it hasn’t deterred the 24-year-old who uses Team BRIT’s hand control system to race, having heard about it at track day.

“It gives me a lot more control as I can keep both hands on the steering wheel at all times. And it allows me to race able-bodied drivers on an even playing field. The system seems complex when you start but soon feels very natural after you’ve used them a few times. For the ultimate controls to allow you to race able bodied people, look no further.”
Case study - Ryan Ashman

Ryan Ashman

  • Disability Spinal injury
  • Car BMW M3 E46 / BM W116

Ryan Ashman was racing his motocross bike in 2015 when he crashed, breaking his T6 and T7 spinal vertebrae, causing him to be paralysed from the chest down. After the accident he was air lifted to Southmead Hospital where he underwent spinal surgery and had two metal rods inserted into his spine. After six weeks of bedrest he was taken to Salisbury Hospital Spinal Unit where he spent six months, learning how to live as a wheelchair user.

Having spent some time with Team BRIT in 2020, Ryan left to continue with his work in IT and to gain experience on the track. Race Engineer Al Locke fitted the Team BRIT hand controls into his personal track car, a BMW M3 E46. Ryan also purchased the team’s BMW 116, which was used to race in the 116 Trophy in 2020.

Ryan uses the controls as he participates in track days to gain experience before exploring racing option.

“The hand controls help with being competitive on track. With the standard push/pull system I was using before, I felt I was at a disadvantage. Now, there’s nothing holding me back and it’s just down to me to become as competitive as I can.”

More Information

Hand controls can be made to work on any vehicles or sims and made bespoke to suit the driver’s personal requirements.

Contact our engineering director with details of your vehicle or sim, for a bespoke recommendation and quotation.