Matt Allen, a former engineer from West Sussex, has joined the support crew of motorsport’s most inspirational team.
36-year-old Matt from Lancing is the simulator instructor for Team BRIT – a team of disabled drivers who are aiming to become the first ever all-disabled team to race in the Le Mans 24 hour.
Most of the drivers are injured military troops and the team has developed the world’s most advanced hand control technology to allow its drivers to compete equally on the race track.
Matt previously worked as an aircraft engineer based at RAF Northolt, before becoming a CNC machine operator in Burgess Hill. In 2017, he met up with an old friend through Facebook who was working for Team BRIT. Al Locke, from Worthing, is the team’s Race Engineer, and invited him along to some team events. Matt, who has been racing since 2013, and currently races in the Toyota MR2 Championship, began helping at race weekends and started to learn more about the team and its aspirations.
In March 2018, Matt left his job to focus on motorsport and driver coaching, combining simulator and circuit-based tuition. Working with Team BRIT is a big part of this, and he now works with current drivers, including the newest rookies, to develop their confidence and ability behind the wheel of a race car.
Simulator experts Vesaro have provided the team with a top of the range race simulator, on which Matt bases his training sessions. It allows him to teach car control and race-craft, as well as operating the team’s unique hand control system.
The Team BRIT Racing Academy launched this year, offering any disabled driver with a full UK licence the chance to access race tuition and coaching, and Matt’s work will be a key part of this.
Matt said, “Working with Team BRIT is the perfect place to explore the links between sim racing and real life motorsport which is something that fascinates me.
“The team is working with top of the range technology to ensure they’re competitive and I’m 100% behind their goal of inspiring other people to set their sights high and challenge convention.
“I hope I’ll be making a real impact on the confidence and ability of the team’s drivers, whether they’re experienced or novices. The simulator allows us to work on specific aspects of a driver's performance without the cost and time constraints of running a car at a circuit.
“We’ve got a big year ahead and I’m looking forward to supporting the team in breaking even more boundaries.”
Team BRIT will compete in the BMW 116 Trophy and the Britcar Championship this year.