A man from Ashtead in Surrey who became a paraplegic following a motorcycle accident has become the latest driver to join Team BRIT – motorsport’s most inspirational team.
Talan Skeels-Piggins, who is originally from Falmouth, was thrown from his motorcycle in a road traffic collision in March 2003, causing extensive injuries and paralysing him from the chest down.
Talan, who is a former Royal Navy Lieutenant, was given just a 1% chance of survival in the first 24 hours after his accident, having broken almost the entire left side of his body, punctured his lung and broken his spine. Having been told he would be recovering in hospital for up to 2 years, he defied the odds and was discharged after just 6.5 months.
Just 12 days after his accident, whilst still in intensive care, Talan made the profound claim that he would learn to ski and go to the Paralympics. Less than a year after his accident, he went on his first skiing trip, learning how to ‘sit skit’, and in 2010 his goal was achieved when he competed for Great Britain at the Winter Paralympics in the Giant Slalom and Super G events. He then won Gold in the Super G at the 2010/2011 European Championships.
Talan went on to make history in 2012 by becoming the world’s first paraplegic motorcycle racer. He set up ‘Talan Racing’, a competitive team for paralysed motorcyclists that is now backed by Yamaha Racing, became an ACU Race Instructor and was the 2015 & 2018 600cc World Champion (Paralysed Class). He also teaches other disabled people how they can ride a motorcycle through his charity, ‘The Bike Experience.’
Now, Talan is embarking on a new challenge, becoming the latest driver to join Team BRIT. The team, consisting of disabled drivers, many of whom are injured military veterans, uses the world’s most advanced hand control technology to allow its drivers to compete on equal terms, and aims to become the first ever all-disabled team to compete in the Le Mans 24-hour race.
Talan took part in an assessment day at the end of 2018, and will compete in his first race for the team in the new BMW 116 Trophy on the 14th April at Brands Hatch.
Talan says, “Joining Team BRIT is an opportunity I couldn’t resist.
“I love motorsport and have been competing on both two and four wheels for some time, so this continues my passion for pushing myself and aiming high.
“Through racing, I want to show other people what’s possible and I hope that people take inspiration from seeing someone in a different situation overcome adversity and achieve something incredible.
“Team BRIT’s ethos of ‘Believe and Achieve’ is what I’m all about. As individuals and as a team, I think we can be the catalyst to change the way people think and that can only be a positive thing.”
Team BRIT will compete in the BMW 116 Trophy and the Britcar Championship in 2019.