Disabled man from Somerset joins Team BRIT

A 40-year-old amputee from Somerset has been announced as the newest driver to join Team BRIT.

Ollie Maxwell lives in Minehead with his wife, Anna and daughter Jessica.  He grew up on Exmoor and has always had a passion for all things mechanical, especially fast cars and motorbikes. He became a left above-knee amputee in February 2017 after elective amputation surgery to alleviate the pain caused by a complex fracture and nerve damage from a motorbike accident in 2001.

He is a fully qualified automotive technician by trade and built his first car when he was only 14 from unwanted and scavenged car parts to race in a local off-road charity event.

He went on to design and build two licensed rally cars, the most recent of which is a BMW M-powered Land Rover Discovery, and competed in both national off-road competition safari championships and stage rally races in these vehicles.

He is new to circuit racing and is keen to see how his rally and technical experience will translate onto the track.

Team BRIT is currently competing in the Fun Cup championship – the first stage of its motorsport journey towards Le Mans, and will also begin GT racing this year its new Aston Martin V8 Vantage.

Initially, the team was open to military veterans only but has recently opened its doors to civilian disabled drivers in an effort to widen opportunities for disabled people to access competitive motorsport.

Ollie will race for the team for the first time at Oulton Park on Saturday 7th April. The team has developed the world’s most advanced hand control technology to allow its drivers to compete on equal terms with able-bodied competitors.  These controls will be specially adapted for each driver, allowing drivers with varying disabilities, such as Ollie who has a prosthetic leg and Warren McKinlay, who has a brain injury, to race as part of the same team.

The team is not a charity, but a competitive racing team like any other, with each driver being taught the business of motorsport.  Powerful partnerships are set up with corporate backers such as title sponsor Brit Insurance, and Ollie will be working to engage with personal sponsors to progress his driving career.

Ollie said “the opportunity to be a part of Team BRIT couldn’t have come at a better time. My leg was only amputated in February 2017 and I thought that returning to competitive Motorsport was realistically beyond reach with adaptations being impractical and simply unaffordable in my rally car. Through the support and dedication of technicians, engineers, developers, team managers, team mates and incredible sponsors who all support Team BRIT I am able to focus on my passion of Motorsport once again and be part of this amazing team.”