A Chat with Al Locke, Engineering Director at Disabled Motorsport Team: Team BRIT

Team BRIT is the world’s only all-disabled competitive racing team. It aims to be the first ever all-disabled team to race in the Le Mans 24 hour and supports people with physical and psychological challenges in accessing motorsport.

We have developed world-leading hand control technology which enables disabled drivers to compete on equal terms against able-bodied drivers.


How did you come up with the idea for the team?

Team BRIT was formed by our founder, Dave Player as an extension of his charity, KartForce. KartForce supports injured military troops with their rehabilitation and recovery by providing karting opportunities.

Some of the drivers wanted to step up to car racing and Team BRIT was formed. We’re unique in every way as no other team in the world is doing what we’re doing. Our work is so important because we’re making real in-roads in changing motorsport to make it more accessible. Motorsport is one of the only sports in which disabled and able-bodied people can compete against in each other in the same championship, and this is possible due to our technology.

When he established KartForce, Dave developed a simple set of hand controls that could be easily installed into karts so that people with disabilities and amputations could race.

I began supporting Dave with KartForce alongside my other work within the industry. When Team BRIT was formed in 2015, Dave wanted to develop the hand controls to make them suitable for competitive car racing and I was part of the process to get this right. We created the initial concept, then looked for specialists to help us develop the first prototype. Now, we refine and develop the technology in-house, adapting the controls for new drivers with individual needs.


How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

Our growth has been huge. When we were formed in 2015, we had 2 drivers and 1 car. Now, we have our own HQ and workshop based at Dunsfold Aerodrome, home of the Top Gear Track, I manage a crew of full-time mechanics and we run 4 cars across 3 racing championships, with 9 drivers. When I look back at how we started, it’s staggering to see what we’ve achieved and the momentum we’ve now built up.

Our technology, expertise and experience is influencing others right across the industry. We’ve helped make positive changes to the process in place for disabled people to obtain a race licence and we share our learning and our technology with others to help more people access this brilliant sport.

What can we hope to see from Team BRIT in the future?

The future is bright!

Our long-term aim is to make history at Le Mans – something we will achieve.

We’ve already re-written the history books this year by entering a team in the British GT Championship – this is the first time an all-disabled team has taken part. We have 2 incredible drivers racing our McLaren 570S GT4, and six other drivers are racing in the British Endurance Championship and the Britcar Trophy.

Looking ahead, we’re developing each of our drivers, refining and further enhancing our technology and making new relationships across the sector to bring others into our work around accessibility.