War veteran Warren McKinlay, who was left disabled after a bike crash, to race at Snetterton as part of recovery journey

Warren McKinlay. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Warren McKinlay. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY - Credit: Archant

A war veteran left disabled after a motorcycle crash while serving in the Army is to take to the race track this weekend as part of his ongoing recovery.

Warren McKinlay, from Braintree in Essex, suffered a traumatic brain injury after a motorcycle accident during his military service in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers in May 2005.

The crash left him with a broken back, pelvis and with brain damage, as well as Cotard's Syndrome - also known as 'walking corpse syndrome', where he believed he was dead and living in purgatory.

Since then Mr McKinlay - who joined the Army aged 19 in 1999 and was based at RAF Honington in Suffolk - has become a driver for Team BRIT (British Racing Injured Troops), a motor racing team of disabled ex-soldiers.

The team, which aims to make history by being the first disabled team to complete the Le Mans 24-hour race, will be taking part at the 4th race of the Fun Cup motor racing championship at Snetterton on Saturday, August 6.

Mr McKinlay says racing has given him an escape from his injuries, which cause him to suffer anxiety and difficulty concentrating.

'As soon as I'm in the car, all of these issues go away and my only focus is driving,' he said.

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'I am 100pc committed to the challenge we have set ourselves and hope that I can inspire other people with brain injuries or disabilities to try something new and see what they can achieve.'

Mr McKinlay will be at the track the day before as well, where seven children from schools across East Anglia will visit the team during their practice session with the Panathlon Foundation.

The children all live with disabilities and are supported by Panathlon - a charity that provides competitive sports opportunities specially designed for young people with disabilities.

Those visiting include 14-year-old Alisha Orris, of Thomas Wolsey School in Ipswich, who is practically blind in one eye and has taken part in Panathlon competitions including running, standing jump and table cricket.

Nine-year-old Riley Barber - of Albert Pye School in Beccles, who has dyspraxia and learning difficulties - will also be visiting.

Children from the John Grant School in Caister, near Great Yarmouth, will be attending with their families.

On Saturday, former Rifleman Chris Ganley, a 28-year-old motorcyclist from Clevedon will visit the team.

Mr Ganley lost his left arm and broke his spine in three places in a motorcycle accident, leaving him with nerve damage. He also suffered a bleed on his brain, broken ribs and popped lung.

He continues to ride his motorbike with one arm and aims to set up a race team for disabled riders before entering the world famous Isle of Man TT race.

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