A DISABLED racer from Newport remained calm despite his car catching fire during a race.

Andy Tucker, from Llandevaud, was racing for Team BRIT at Silverstone in the Britcar Championship last weekend when his car caught on fire in the final minutes of the race.

Looking back on the freak accident Mr Tucker said: “I came out of a corner, went into fourth gear, then fifth, pushing on the accelerator when I noticed a strange, high pitched ‘whooshing’ noise. I looked at the rear camera and could see smoke bellowing out.

“I had a feeling there was oil leaking causing the flames, so I pulled the car off the track to avoid putting the other drivers at risk.

“I drove it along the escape road and stopped it outside the marshal post. I got out of the car and pulled the cable for the Lifeline fire extinguisher before the marshals got straight to work and put the fire out.”

Mr Tucker – who was seriously injured when hit by a car while stationary on his motorbike in 2013 – prevented more accidents occurring (and saved tens and thousands of pounds worth of damage to the car) with his quick thinking.

Despite the ordeal he did not panic.

“I knew what I had to do from the training I’d received in the academy and the help I’d received from the team,” he said.

“I’ve followed motorsport all my life and have seen how other drivers have coped in these situations. Ultimately, I also had faith in the car – our crew have built an amazing machine that is as safe as it can be, the firewall meant that no flames got inside the car.

“I also knew that the marshals would do their job – they are all incredible volunteers and I’m so grateful for their quick reaction.”

Despite the incident, caused by a turbocharger failure, Mr Tucker secured crucial points by completing the distance for the race and is now pushing for third place in the class championship. He was joined at Silverstone by guest driver Paul Voakes.


Team BRIT Race Engineer, Al Locke, said: “I can’t praise Andy highly enough for how he dealt with the situation. It was the perfect response.

South Wales Argus: Racer Andy Tucker (Picture: Darren S Cook/Scruffy Bear Pictures)

Racer Andy Tucker (Picture: Darren S Cook/Scruffy Bear Pictures)

“The whole time he was on comms, telling me what was happening. He got the car off the track immediately which prevented serious risk to other drivers and parked right next to the marshal post where he was able to get help.

“I’m so pleased he is safe and well and our thanks and gratitude go to the fantastic actions of the volunteer marshals."

“This also reinforces why we make sure we have only the best safety kit across our fleet. Andy was able to access our LifeLine fire extinguisher which was immediately available to the marshals.”

Team BRIT aims to be the first all-disabled team to race in the Le Mans 24 hour and supports people with physical and psychological challenges in accessing motorsport.

Mr Tucker races again at Brand Hatch on August 1.