Team BRIT has launched the UK’s first racing academy for disabled drivers, at a special event supported by Nicolas Hamilton.
Yesterday, Wednesday 27th February, Nicolas joined the team at its base in Dunsfold, Surrey, to launch the Academy, which will offer the estimated 2 million disabled drivers in the UK*, a completely new opportunity.
Any disabled driver with a full UK licence, can now have the chance to receive race coaching, mentoring and tuition. The Academy will give drivers access to the team’s world-leading hand controls, which use fly by wire technology to provide electronic acceleration and braking from a steering wheel that can be adapted to different physical disabilities.
Team BRIT is aiming to become the first ever all-disabled team to race in the Le Mans 24 hour race and its drivers are working their way up the motorsport ladder, currently competing in the BMW 116 Trophy and the Britcar Championship.
The new Academy, supported by Brit Insurance, will allow even more disabled people the chance to access motorsport at entry level, with the opportunity to undertake their race licence test.
Some of Team BRIT’s drivers are part of the academy’s coaching team and have worked their way up from rookie driving in kart racing. Many of the drivers are injured military troops and have used motorsport as part of their rehabilitation and recovery.
Yesterday, Nicolas Hamilton showed his support of the project by demonstrating the team’s cars and hand controls to guests at a launch event.
Nicolas has cerebral palsy and was the first disabled driver to race in British Touring Car. He has recently announced he will return to championship this year, racing a specially modified Ford Focus RS.
Nicolas confirms, “I’m really pleased to be able to support the launch of Team BRIT’s Race Academy. I’m all about championing disability in motorsport, having been working at establishing myself in the sport since 2011.
“Disabled people are used to being told what they can’t do. I’m all about proving what’s possible, and I’ve learnt that sharing my story inspires others, which can only be positive.
“Team BRIT is inspiring others in the same way, and now, the Academy will open doors people haven’t had access to before, providing the same chances that able-bodied drivers have.
“This is a huge step forward in motorsport and something I’m proud to support.”
Team BRIT Founder and CEO Dave Player said, “Disabled drivers make up around 5% of the UK’s driving population, but historically, accessing motorsport has been incredibly hard.
“We’re really proud that through Team BRIT, we have supported more than half of the UK’s disabled racing drivers, but now we want go further.
“The Academy gives anyone interested in racing the chance to give it a go, something that hasn’t been possible before. We will support them right from the start, providing simulator training before they get on the track, expert coaching and specialist controls to suit most disabilities.
“Now is the time to level the playing field, if anyone is interested, I’d urge them to get in touch and give it a try.”