L&T Motorsport

Tony Williams – From Afghanistan to the greatest race in the world

Tony Williams has been on quite a journey before even starting his racing career.

Serving in Afghanistan in 2010 in the Royal Army Nursing Corps, Tony survived two grenade blasts and, just weeks later, he was shot six times.

After his critical injury, Tony was told he would never walk again and had a less than 5% chance of having children.

He defied the odds in both cases – and now he has begun his journey to the top of the Motorsport ladder, aiming to race at the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours with his team in 2020.

Starting out with KartForce as a bit of fun, on Tony’s third induction day he won the race.

“That said to me that I had a bit of a knack for it,” said Tony.

“I loved it – the adrenaline rush and everything else – and without realising I was back in a rehab process.

“I was getting physically stronger; my core stability, endurance and stamina was getting better.”

All the while, Tony was also improving his performance out on track, becoming faster and more consistent.

“That’s when Dave Player – head of Team BRIT – offered me a seat in the team.

“So I joined and I’ve come out pinching myself because this is every boy’s dream – being a racing driver.

“I just can’t believe the position I’m in and I’m so grateful for it.”

The two Team BRIT cars out on track at Silverstone.

This year, Tony is racing with Team BRIT (British Racing Injured Troops) in the VW Fun Cup endurance championship, which got underway with a four-hour race last weekend.

His team-mates are all ex-servicemen or serving troops that have sustained serious physical or mental injuries and are disabled.

Tony’s car, the #158 VW, started from last position on the grid after the random-selection process determined the line-up for the race.

Racing alongside fellow rookie Jimmy Hill, the #158 machine crossed the line in 22nd position, showing promising pace and improving lap times as the race progressed.

Tony celebrating with fellow Team BRIT racer Warren McKinlay.

The next round of the VW Fun Cup championship makes its way to Oulton Park on the 6th May.

Beyond this season, the team aims to keep progressing through various Motorsport series, stepping up to GT4 level next season and then GT3, eventually working their way up to become the first ever all-disabled team to reach Le Mans.

“We’re not here to make up the numbers,” said Tony. “We’re even more competitive than what we once were, before we were injured.

“I want to inspire other people who think they can’t compete or enjoy sports such as this due to a disability.

“And – most importantly – I want to make my children proud.”

Read Tony’s remarkable story in the full feature here

Pictures: Credit to Team BRIT and kingsize Photography.

 

Michael Haffenden

Second year Journalism student at the University of Kent, with a huge passion for Motorsport. Love all types of motor racing from F1 to touring cars but endurance and sportscar racing has to be my favourite.

Primarily cover IMSA United SportsCars for L&T Motorsport, but can be found writing about other series, including ELMS, WEC and 24H Series races.

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