Jon-Allan Butterworth, a Paralympian and military veteran who lost his arm following a rocket attack in Iraq, has been announced as the latest driver to join Team BRIT.
Jon-Allan is the country’s most successful military Paralympian and the first to ever win a gold medal.
32-year-old Jon-Allan from Manchester joined the RAF in 2002 and served in Afghanistan in 2005 and Iraq in 2007 as a SAC(T) Weapons Technician. On 4 August 2007 he was involved in a rocket attack on Basra Air Station, Iraq. He was operated on by doctors in a battlefield hospital who carried out an above the elbow amputation of his left arm.
While recovering at the defence medical rehabilitation centre, Headley Court, in Surrey, Jon-Allan first made contact with British Cycling coaches at a Paralympics GB talent day in Loughborough. He joined the Para-cycling Development Programme in 2009 via Help for Heroes’ partnership with British Cycling and the British Paralympic Association to introduce military personnel to Paralympic sport.
In his first international event, the 2011 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, Butterworth set a world record and won a gold medal in the kilo, performances which were followed by three silver medals at the 2012 London Paralympics and further success at the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in 2014 and 2016.
The 2016 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, in particular, were a huge success as he joined Jody Cundy and Louis Rolfe to win gold and set a new world record in the team sprint - and the trio carried that form into the Rio Paralympics, winning the team sprint while setting a new world record in qualifying and the final.
He has also starred in Channel 4's 2015 series of ‘The Jump’ where he finished 6th and became the first above elbow amputee to do a skeleton run.
The majority of the team’s drivers are injured military veterans. Last year it also opened its doors to civilian disabled drivers in an effort to widen opportunities for disabled people.
Jon-Allan will join the team as a rookie driver as it competes in the UK Fun Cup Championship this year. His first race was at Oulton Park on Saturday 7th April and he will compete with the team at Anglesey Circuit on April 28th.
Jon-Allan said, “I’m really excited to be joining Team BRIT and racing in the Fun Cup series this summer - the first step on the journey to Le Mans. I look forward to the challenge and hope that I can emulate my cycling success!”
Team BRIT founder and CEO Dave Player said, “We’re delighted to welcome Jon-Allan to the team. With his military background and experience in the Paralympics, he has everything needed to become a Team BRIT driver – drive, enthusiasm and a passion for competing at the highest level.
“Jon-Allan has shown what is possible for disabled athletes through his cycling career. Now as a driver for Team BRIT he will help us show the world that disabled drivers can compete on a totally level playing field with able-bodied drivers.”