Motorsport News

Overend has matters in control


If you were to sum up Team Brit’s two main activities, it wouldn’t be a bad summary to say it provides a progressio­n pathway for disabled racers and develops hand controls that can be used by all kinds of disabled drivers. Chris Overend is a significan­t figure in both.

A year ago Overend’s on-track motorsport experience was some laps of Castle Combe in a road car years previously. Now he leads Britcar Trophy’s standings racing Team Brit’s BMW M240i, and made his British Endurance Championsh­ip debut last month in the team’s Aston Martin GT4.

And Overend, who also achieved a wheelchair tennis world ranking, only first got in touch with Team Brit because he was interested in using its hand controls for his sim racing.

He has since been active in developing the controls’ design, as he found his own sim paddles weren’t ideal.

He told Motorsport News: “I started to mock up some shapes trying to visualise what I thought would be a good grip position. I tried about 12 different designs that I then had laser cut out of acrylic.

“It’s quite brittle, so I snapped a lot of them. And then once I finalised the actual design [Britcar Trophy racer] Paul

Fullick said ‘I could probably 3D print you some paddles’. So suddenly I’ve got the same thing but much stronger out of 3D-printed acrylic.

“I was like ‘Paul it would be really good if we could somehow get the paddles a centimetre closer to the wheel’, next thing I know Paul’s gone into his CAD file and he’s 3D profiled the paddles so that they had a step on them. At the top there was a bit too much flex so we came up with another design with a thicker profile, and I’ve been using that for pretty much the last four or five months.

“It’s been really useful for the team for us to have done this explorator­y work, because if we’re going to race in the 24-Hour of Le Mans we need to factor in things like hand fatigue. The amount of work we’ve done with our sim racing hand controls we’ve be able to feed that back to Al [Locke, Team Brit engineerin­g director] who’s then been able to apply that to the real race cars.”

 ?? ?? Budding academy drivers take the team’s VW Polo out on track
Budding academy drivers take the team’s VW Polo out on track
 ?? ?? Overend is developing hand control paddle designs
Overend is developing hand control paddle designs

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom