Colchester amputee Ash Hall targets Le Mans 24 Hours after joining Team BRIT racing squad
- Credit: Archant
A Colchester war veteran who survived a bomb which caused both his legs to be amputated has found a new lease of life as a sports star – having won an Invictus Games medal and joined a professional motorsport squad.
Ash Hall, 27, had been serving in the Royal Engineers in Afghanistan in 2010, when he was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED), which left him with a shattered pelvis and needing both legs amputated above the knee.
After several months at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, Ash began his rehabilitation at Headley Court, and after years of dedicated graft has become a committed sports star.
In September, Ash won a silver medal in wheelchair rugby at the Toronto Invictus Games, and also holds the Guinness world record for longest distance travelled in 24 hours using a go-kart with hand controls – a feat he achieved with KartForce, the charity linked with the Team BRIT motorsport squad he has joined.
Ash said: “Sport has been really important for me in regaining my confidence and in building up my fitness since my injuries.”
The team is an all-disabled squad taking part in the Fun Cup series, and aims to be the first all-disabled team to compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours by 2020.
He added: “I’m really excited to be a part of the team and part of the journey towards Le Mans.
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“I think what the team is trying to achieve is pretty remarkable.
“To take part in what is widely regarded by most racing drivers as the toughest race in the world is a big enough challenge in itself.
“To do it and then add on the fact that every driver in that team will have their own unique challenges to face due to their differing injuries is truly incredible.”
Ash took part in a rookie test day at Brands Hatch on Wednesday, October 4, where the team assessed his abilities.
Impressed by his efforts, the team signed him up, and he made his debut at the final round of the season at Oulton Park in Cheshire.
Team manager Dave Player said: “Being able to help him with his ARDS test and get him racing with our hand controls has been fantastic.
“His competitive edge and team spirit mean he will be a very strong team member, something which was very evident at the recent rookie day.”
Ash, who joins the team alongside fellow Essex-veteran Warren McKinlay, added: “Team BRIT will give me a new challenge to focus on.
“I’ve enjoyed wheelchair rugby for some time but have also been a big driving fan, so I’m really looking forward to the races ahead.
“Oulton Park was a great first race weekend. I’ve got a lot to learn about the cars and the hand controls but it gave me the first taste of competing with the team and I can’t wait to race again this weekend at Silverstone.”