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New Rookie joins Team BRIT

Last Updated: Oct 17, 2016 06:42am
Newbury, West Berkshire
By TeamBRIT
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New rookie joins Team BRIT line-up
 
Endurance racing outfit Team BRIT (British Racing Injured Troops) continue their journey towards the goal of racing at the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans, as a new recruit joins the ranks alongside Warren McKinlay (pictured right), ahead of the team's efforts towards the 2017 BRSCC Fun Cup UK Championship. 
Torquay's Andy Searle (pictured left) joins the ranks, and has a true passion for fast cars and racing, who will now undertake an intensive training program to take part in the race series next year. 
Searle, 24, who still currently serves with 1 Rifles, was injured by an IED that he triggered during a patrol in Afghanistan in 2011. This changed his life, cutting short an active lifestyle that he pursued as a healthy young man. 
As a result of the blast, Andy lost both legs, part of his right hip bone and the index and middle finger on his right hand, with his mobility heavily restricted as a result. 
After much searching to try and find a sport that he could really get involved with, Searle was given the chance to get behind the wheel of Team BRIT's specially-adapted VW Golf GTi at Silverstone, grabbing the opportunity with both hands. 
He is a keen petrolhead, as he owns two American muscle cars, as well as having taken part in drag racing. But after a few laps in the Golf around the "Home of British Motor Racing," both as passenger and driver, he was eager to continue this new-found passion. 
Despite initial concerns about keeping his upper body stable in the faster corners, he was able to keep going, with CEO and Founder Dave Player giving him the go-ahead. 
"When I saw the huge adrenaline-fueled grin on his face, I knew he had been bitten by the racing bug.  So when he asked if he could go back out, we fueled the car and let him loose," explained Player, who started Team BRIT back in 2015, as the car-racing arm of racing charity KartForce. 
"This is what Team BRIT is all about.  Andy never imagined with the injuries he has that he could ever compete on a level playing field." 
"Andy has started the process to get his race licence and over the winter months we will hold track days and coaching sessions for Andy and other new rookies to get them race-ready by the start of the 2017 race season." 
Team BRIT has been able to develop the most advanced and state-of-the-art hand controls for racing, which allows drivers including Andy to take part on a level-playing field against other drivers, using just his hands to control the car. 
"As we no longer race with the Golf, we need to find £12,000 to get our new race car fitted with hand controls so we can get Andy and other similarly injured rookies out on track as soon as possible.  We can then get Andy to host track days for other disabled people so he can inspire them to push themselves and achieve beyond their wildest dreams." 
Follow Andy's jounrey, as he will go through an intensive driver development training program, culminating in competing in 3-4 hour team endurance racing events, along with the chance to race at the Fun Cup 25 Hour race at Spa-Francorchamps in July 2017.


Team BRIT logo'd Photo credits: © LukiePhotos

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