Expat appeal for Team BRIT, British vets at Le Mans
Team BRIT (British Racing Injured Troops) are hosting a friendly British expat weekend over July 16th and 17th, 2016, in the Marseille area, based around the 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car race at the Paul Ricard circuit in which Team BRIT are competing.
Team BRIT will be driving their Union Jack liveried 400bhp VW Golf race car, complete with full wide body kit, racing slicks and aero enhancements. These aren’t the only modifications made to the Team BRIT Golf. As the name suggests, Team BRIT has been set up for injured service personnel who have served Great Britain and have returned with horrific injuries. Ex-servicemen Martyn Compton suffered 3rd degree burns to 90% of his body and Mark Allen became one of Britain’s youngest double above-the-knee amputee. The car has a unique handbrake and paddle throttle mounted around the steering wheel with mounted buttons for the DSG gearbox, which are easily switchable for Mark to drive versus an able-bodied driver.
Martyn, Mark and their driver coach, David Pittard, make up 75% of the line-up with a fourth driver yet to be announced. The combination took to the track for their home race at Silverstone at the beginning of April, a giant killing performance saw Team BRIT running P2 in class and P7 overall before a gearbox failure after 18 hours dropped them to P10 in their first foray into international endurance racing against factory-supported cars and much more experienced able-bodied drivers.
Mark and Martin’s story doesn’t start here though. They joined Kartforce, the first step to Team BRIT, in 2012, where they learned race craft with their adapted karts and competed internationally at some of the biggest endurance kart events in the world.
The natural progression from their karting success was to Endurance Car racing, where they competed in the Britcar Championship, clinching 6 wins over 2015 and Mark won driver of the year.
This attracted the attention of Chris Martin and Coldplay – who have pledged to support the team in the efforts to reach their goal of competing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the largest motorsport event in the world – and, consequently, this has drawn in fans, media other sponsors alike.
The Team BRIT family-friendly event, aimed at British expats in the area of Marseille and Toulon, will take place over three days with the festival event on the Saturday until the early hours of Sunday, with British-themed events, Maypole, bunting, English music and refreshments. They hope to bring local expats together in the atmosphere during the day while enjoying the build-up to the Paul Ricard 24-hour race.