A disabled racing driver has joined the UK’s first and only team of all-disabled drivers, allowing him to channel his lifelong need for speed.
Tyrone Mathurin, 44 and originally from Battersea, has already raced for Team BRIT in both the 2022 and 2023 editions of the Britcar Championship, despite only beginning training in 2021.
Avowed petrolhead Mathurin travelled a tumultuous road to get to his current position, completing a stint in prison when he was 21 for dealing drugs.
That was before a 2005 motorbiking accident left him in a medically-induced coma for a week.
The accident, which happened when he ran over an obscured pothole, tore four nerves in his central nervous system.
During surgery to repair this damage, doctors also discovered a hematoma exerting pressure directly onto his spine.
It took seven months for even slight movement to return to his limbs and even longer for Mathurin to relearn how to walk, dress, cook and write.
To this day, the driver has no sensation below his right elbow to go along with weakness in his right leg and complete immobility in his right hip.
These ongoing difficulties led Mathurin to remark to sponsor Adrian Flux: “Having a disability means you’re always challenged.”
Accusations of a lack of diversity have long been levelled at motorsport and to begin with, Mathurin feared they were well-justified.
He told Team BRIT: “I’ve always assumed racing wasn’t for me.
“Firstly because I assumed it was ‘a rich man’s sport’, and then because of my disability.”
Yet even these obstacles have not been enough to stop him focusing all his energy behind the wheel.
Mathurin finished 16th in the standings alongside his partner Paul Fullick at the most recent race in this year’s championship, which took place on 25 June.
The two have previously finished as high as fifth, a position they reached in the second race of the season.
The Brit traces the source of his decision to pursue racing as a career to fellow disabled driver Nicolas Hamilton, the half-brother of seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton, who has cerebral palsy.
Hamilton was previously involved with Team Brit himself, attending and promoting the launch of their driving academy in 2019.
It was this very same academy which Mathurin joined to kick-start his racing career.
Now, the disabled racing driver hopes to emulate his role model and inspire others to push their limits.
He added: “If I can also inspire people with my story, by showing them that it’s never too late to turn your life around, I’ll feel very proud.”
Featured image credit: Team BRIT