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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

F1 champion Damon Hill joins Essex drivers from all-disabled Team BRIT at Brands Hatch

PUBLISHED: 17:21 05 March 2018 | UPDATED: 17:21 05 March 2018

Braintree's warren McKinlay (far left) and Colchester's Ash Hall (third right) with Damon Hill at the Brands Hatch test day. Picture: DAVID ARCHER PHOTOGRAPHY

Braintree's warren McKinlay (far left) and Colchester's Ash Hall (third right) with Damon Hill at the Brands Hatch test day. Picture: DAVID ARCHER PHOTOGRAPHY

DAVID ARCHERk <

Two armed forces veterans from north Essex who now race competitively in the all-disabled Team BRIT motorsport squad were joined by Damon Hill for a special event at Brands Hatch.

Damon Hill tested the modified Team BRIT Aston Martin at Brands Hatch. Picture: DAVID ARCHER PHOTOGRAPHYDamon Hill tested the modified Team BRIT Aston Martin at Brands Hatch. Picture: DAVID ARCHER PHOTOGRAPHY

The 1996 Formula One world champion tested the squad’s new Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4 in a special press day at the Kent circuit, experiencing first hand the modified controls used.

The team, which helps injured armed forces personnel rehabilitate through motorsport, runs unique technology in the car which enables its drivers to compete competitively, despite the range of injuries its drivers have.

Braintree veteran Warren McKinlay suffered a traumatic brain injury in a motorcycle crash in 2005, while Ash Hall had both legs amputated following a bomb explosion in 2010 in Afghanistan.

The pair both compete with the team, and with the outfit looking to enter various GT series this year – including the Creventic 24 Hours and British GT – the pair were buoyed by the former Williams driver’s input.

Colchester veteran Ash Hall with the Team BRIT Aston Martin at Brands Hatch. Picture: DAVID ARCHER PHOTOGRAPHYColchester veteran Ash Hall with the Team BRIT Aston Martin at Brands Hatch. Picture: DAVID ARCHER PHOTOGRAPHY

Mr McKinlay said: “Getting to spend the day with the 1996 F1 world champion at the Team BRIT Aston Martin press day at Brands Hatch was a real treat.

“If that wasn’t enough on its own, I got to drive the GT4 spec Aston Martin for the first time too. The whole day was a massive success for the team and having Damon’s support is unbelievable.

“With people like Damon getting involved and demonstrating our world leading hand controls, coupled with the whole team’s efforts, really helps put Team BRIT on the map.”

Alongside GT, the team is planning to be the first ever all-disabled squad to compete at the Le Mans 24 Hours by 2020.

Damon Hill tested the modified Team BRIT Aston Martin at Brands Hatch. Picture: DAVID ARCHER PHOTOGRAPHYDamon Hill tested the modified Team BRIT Aston Martin at Brands Hatch. Picture: DAVID ARCHER PHOTOGRAPHY

Ash Hall added: “Not only did the drivers get their first experience behind the wheel of the Aston, we also had the pleasure of meeting Damon. It was great to see how impressed he was with the car and our hand controls. Having his support as we move towards our Le Mans target is fantastic.”

Damon Hill added: “TEAM Brit have created the perfect rehabilitation challenge for injured servicemen and women. If you are out of action for the services, there are plenty of challenges ahead in motorsport, which is the perfect medicine for putting history to bed.”

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