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Paralysed man from Bath joins Team BRIT

A man from Bath, who broke his spine in a motocross accident has become the latest driver to join Team BRIT.

21-year-old 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.

Ryan, who lives with his parents and his brother, had been studying engineering prior to his accident. He left the course and has recently finished studying IT at Bath College.

Earlier this year, Ryan got in touch with Team BRIT to find out more about their world-leading hand controls, which he was interested in using in his own track car.  He visited the team’s base and HQ in Dunsfold, Surrey, met Race Engineer Al Locke and tried out the team’s top of the range racing simulator.  

He attended one of Team BRIT’s Racing Academy sessions and quickly impressed the team.  After a rookie assessment day at Brands Hatch, Ryan was invited to become a driver with the team, competing in the GAZ shocks BMW 116 Trophy in 2020.

Ryan has always had a deep love of motorsport, riding bikes from a young age before taking up motocross.  He enjoyed building bikes and watching racing with his Dad and his brother.

Ryan confirms said, “My accident hasn’t ever stopped my love of racing and even with my disability, I have done what I can to keep on the track.  I have run my own track car with traditional push / pull hand controls, but knew I wanted something better.  Team BRIT’s technology is amazing, it feels completely natural to use, you don’t have to overthink it, and it means you can be competitive against able-bodied drivers.

“I’m really looking forward to racing with the team next year and am so excited about getting the buzz of racing back.

“I’m really competitive and don’t enter anything to come last, so I’m keen to learn and be the best that I can be.  It’s going to take a lot of hard work and I’ll be searching for local support and sponsors, but I’ll give it everything I can to impress the team and provide some serious competition on the track.”

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