Driving Ambassador Ash Hall gets a F1rst
Driving ambassador and amputee Ash achieves top driving standard with IAM RoadSmart
War veteran turned racing driver Ash Hall, now an ambassador for road safety charity IAM RoadSmart, has two reasons to celebrate – not only has he achieved a top-rated pass in the charity's advanced driving course, he has received a new racing helmet sponsored by IAM RoadSmart too.
Ash, 27, lost both legs serving in Afghanistan and has since started a new career as a racing driver. He took up the role of ambassador for the road safety charity addressing issues concerning drivers with disabilities in August last year.
Ash decided to take the IAM RoadSmart advanced driver course during the charity's recent #FormulaDriveSmart event at Silverstone in partnership with the British Racing Drivers' Club. Along with 15 promising racing drivers aged 18 to 24 years, he completed a specially adapted two-day assessment programme and took his advanced driving test.
Not only did he pass the advanced test with flying colours, he achieved a F1RST – the highest rating achievable, which means no faults in any area.
Since becoming an IAM RoadSmart ambassador Ash has been giving feedback to IAM RoadSmart on its courses and products and how they can be made better for customers with disabilities. He also visits IAM RoadSmart local groups for talks.
Ash served in the Royal Engineers for 10 years. While serving in Afghanistan in 2010, he was hit by an improvised explosive device causing serious injuries - which led to the amputation of both legs above the knees and shattered his pelvis.
He spent many months receiving treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and at the military rehabilitation centre, Headley Court in Surrey, and underwent countless operations to provide him with greater mobility.
Ash then became involved with Team BRIT, which is aiming to become the first ever all-disabled team to enter the Le Mans 24 Hour race by 2020.
Ash said: "I am delighted to have passed the IAM RoadSmart advanced test with a F1RST. I know that whatever challenges life throws at you, you can overcome them and achieve something you never thought possible.
"As a motorist with disabilities, I know the challenges we face are great. However, we can all be better drivers and advanced driving can only make the situation for people like me less stressful and more comfortable. I hope others with a disability will also think about what advanced driving can do for them.
"I am proud I can raise the profile of IAM RoadSmart with my Team BRIT colleagues and more widely through the sponsorship of my racing helmet. I'm grateful to IAM RoadSmart for the support for my racing ambitions."
Mike Quinton, IAM RoadSmart Chief Executive Officer, said: "Advanced driving is good for the confidence, skills and safety of everyone who drives and makes an important contribution to road safety in the UK. We wish Ash every success with his ambitions to race in the Le Mans 24 hour race by 2020 and will be watching his progress with interest."
Ash has also starred in a video produced by IAM RoadSmart where he shares his best driving tip – one of a series of videos featuring all the charity's racing ambassadors. To watch Ash's, where he talks about the importance of the correct seating position, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3iiVoWH7LQ