Disabled driver hopes to make motor racing team
PUBLISHED: 11:00 13 February 2018
A disabled sportsman from Nailsea is hoping to compete in GT motor racing competitions with his new team.
James Russell is a driver for Team BRIT (British Racing Injured Troops) which wants to become the first ever all-disabled team to race in Le Mans.
The team is a step closer to realising its dream after securing an Aston Martin Vantage GT4 car – which features world-leading hand control technology which allows their drivers to compete on equal terms with able-bodied drivers.
A number of the drivers are injured troops with a wide range of disabilities. In September the team invited civilian drivers to join and James made the cut.
The drivers are now gearing up to take part in a selection of blue ribbon races in the new motor, including the Aston Martin Owners Club GT4 Challenge, the British GT Championship and the Creventic 24H series.
James, aged 35, said: “As a relatively new member of the team, I feel extremely proud to be part of this latest stage in Team BRIT’s journey.
“The progress the team has made has been fantastic and is proving that we can be seen as real competitors in motorsport.
“Our ethos is ‘believe and achieve’, which is an attitude I have always lived by, having been born with my disability, which I have never allowed to hold me back.
“We want to show disabled people all over the world that anything is possible and I hope we’re inspiring others to get out there and try things they may never have considered before.
“The move to GT racing will be a huge achievement for us, and I will do everything I can to get on the GT team this year.”
The team is looking to normalise disability and revolutionise the motorsport industry through its adaptive technology.
James, who has two children with his wife Charlotte, was born with a congenital defect to his right lower leg – leaving him without a fibula bone and an angulated tibia.
This condition gave James a shorter lower leg and incomplete ankle. He had an operation to straighten the limb when he was one and he now wears a prosthetic leg.
James is hoping to impress the team’s management to make his way into the driver line-up for the first GT race.