Team Manager Paul Davies explains just what it’s all about:
A little over 6 months ago eTeam BRIT came to be; the Sim-Racing team of Team BRIT, an all disabled driver racing team who aim to inspire people with disabilities, PTSD and mental health issues, by demonstrating what can be achieved through motorsport. Perhaps unique amongst all sports as disabled people can compete on equal terms with the able-bodied. Team BRIT's goal is to be the first all disabled racing team to compete at the Le Mans 24hr & are racing in the BritCar championship at GT4 level this coming year.
The aim with eTeam BRIT is to take the lessons learnt in the race team over the past few years and apply those to the far more accessible world of sim-racing. We had a clinical study done by the University of Nottingham on the long-term impact of competitive motorsports on mental health. Aspects such as teamwork, communication, the sense of community and having a goal to work towards; all have proven benefits for our disabled drivers.
At eTeam BRIT we can offer disabled sim-racers all these benefits of being in a racing team, including interaction within the main team at events & academy days on track. Beyond this we aim to bring the Hand Control expertise of Team BRIT to sim-racing. As it stands there are very few options from the main manufacturers and a few independents, like Glenn Sidman at SimAbility, do a fine job but cannot possibly meet all the demand out there. As a result alot of sim racers who need hand controls have to spend great time and expense making bespoke systems.
We also have interest in ensuring disabled sim racers can get the seat inserts they may need depending on their disability to open up the possiblity of visiting Sim Centres, LAN events and even track driving. eTeam BRIT driver Ben Warren was born with a rare condition called Lumbosacral Agenesis & while he is absolutely comfortable with his rig at home (pictured) and driving his road car, driving on a track was something he never thought possible. Thanks to a recently made seat insert, he will now be taking to the Silverstone GP circuit in the race prepared Team BRIT BMW 116i later in January (follow our social media for updates!). This just goes to show that with the right support and technology anyone can take part in whatever form of motorsport they wish.
In the future we aim to make our hand controls and seat inserts available for purchase with the ability to have these tailored to the buyers disability. Missing fingers on your left hand? No problem, the wheel/paddles/switches can be adjusted to suit whatever the needs of the driver.
A significant means of achieving all our goals is for us to be as visible as possible, out there competing on a level playing field. We race primarily on the iRacing platform which affords us a decent level of exposure and an excellent online framework but we also compete at 'in-person' events. Planned so far for 2020 is the Simply Race Endurance Series held in Milton Keynes and the GTR24h which culminates with the eRacing Endurance World Championships in Denmark.
So come October 22nd we will be there in Denmark with our Rig, Hand Controls and an array of different disabilities, some obvious & others invisible, to show that regardless of any drivers situation it makes absolutely no difference out on the track, as it shouldn't in life.