Braintree veteran who suffered traumatic brain injury completes 24-hour Citroen race in Belgium

Warren McKinlay (second left) with his Philip Gough Racing team-mates at the Citroen C1 endurance ra

Warren McKinlay (second left) with his Philip Gough Racing team-mates at the Citroen C1 endurance race at Spa-Francorchamps. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

A Braintree veteran who survived a motorcycle crash which left him with a traumatic brain injury has taken part in a prestigious 24-hour Citroen endurance race.

Team BRIT at Brands Hatch. From left to right: Jimmy Hill, Andy Searle, Tony Williams and Warren McK

Team BRIT at Brands Hatch. From left to right: Jimmy Hill, Andy Searle, Tony Williams and Warren McKinlay. Picture: KINGSIZE PHOTOGRAPHY - Credit: Archant

Warren McKinlay suffered a motorcycle crash in 2005 while he was based at RAF Honington, which resulted in a traumatic brain injury, broken back and pelvis and Cotard’s Syndrome – a condition which left him believing he had died.

Having undergone years of rehabilitation and reignited his love for motorsport by competing with the all-disabled Team BRIT squad in the Fun Cup series, the tirelessly dedicated driver took his next step towards his dream of competing at the Le Mans 24 Hours with another special endurance race.

Warren joined five drivers at Philip Gough Racing to take part in the Citroen C1 endurance race, which tasks teams with competing at the legendary Belgian Grand Prix circuit, Spa-Francorchamps, for 24 hours.

He said: “I’ll admit I was sceptical about racing for 24 hours in a car that was designed to carry shopping bags around at an economical rate. However, I didn’t get far into my first lap around the famous Belgian circuit before my doubt was gone.

Warren McKinlay preparing to get into the car. Picture: KINGSIZE PHOTOGRAPHY

Warren McKinlay preparing to get into the car. Picture: KINGSIZE PHOTOGRAPHY - Credit: Archant

“These funky little town cars produced some of the closest, hard fought racing I have ever been involved in.


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“Lap after lap we drafted each other down the Kemmel Straight, trying to break the tow. Going side by side through Pouhon [corner] in wet conditions gives you a buzz that will be hard to equal.”

The team finished 36th out of the 101 cars, and 18th in their class.

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Warren has competed in the Fun Cup this year with the all-disabled Team BRIT, which aims to become the first entirely-disabled squad to compete at Le Mans by 2020.

He added: “We achieved a fantastic result for a team of racers who were new to 24-hour endurance events, and it was great that I was able to contribute learning from my experiences with both KartForce and Team BRIT.”

The race was only Warren’s second time at the undulating circuit, having taken part in the 25-hour Fun Cup race held at the venue earlier in the year.

He is now looking ahead to the start of the 2018 Fun Cup season, which is expected to get underway in April.

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