Team BRIT Interview - Bobby Trundley
From racing in an Aston Martin and competing against Damon Hill and Jenson Button, the Team BRIT driver's doing it all.
Bobby Trundley was diagnosed with autism when he was four years old and from an early age, he has found motorsport to have a profound impact on the way he copes with the condition. His passion for the sport was ignited when he first sat in a go-kart at the age of ten. Since then, Bobby has been awarded with the Charlie Parker Memorial Trophy at Buckmore Park in 2011 as the most promising driver and in 2014, with very little experience, he became a finalist out of sixty participants in the Ginetta Junior Scholarship.
In 2015, Bobby raced in the Daytona Dmax Endurance Championship, starting two rounds down and only just missed getting onto the podium by a narrow margin of just three points. He is now the reigning Dmax champion, with five titles to his name - three time Endurance Champion and two times Heats Champion in 2017 & 2018 respectively. Furthermore, Bobby has been awarded a wealth of trophies, and has taken part in charity events such as the Damon Hill Kart Challenge in aid of the Halow Project and the Back on Track Charity Kart Race. He has also been awarded the Anna Kennedy Autism Award, the Autism Hero Award for outstanding achievement in sport and was awarded the ANCA World Autism Festival Excellence in Sport Award 2017.
I spoke with Bobby recently about how racing first came into his life, his favourite moments and much more.
Photo Credit: Darren Cook, Scruffy Bear Pictures, Team BRIT.
Motorsport's something that has helped you manage your condition – how does it help so much?
I have everything in my head but my wiring is different. It’s difficult to put my words and thoughts into practice. Racing is my passion. Consequently as with many on the autistic spectrum, I am able to shut out all the unnecessary noise and distractions around me and focus solely on my obsession. I have the need to constantly improve, it’s something beyond my explanation but in order for me to be the best I can possibly be I have to be able to communicate and heed instruction from my team. Without motorsport I would be trapped within my own world and unable to find a way out.
My obsession from the day I could sit up and push a toy car, was to see how fast it could go. I am a qualified level 3 mechanic but my dyspraxia makes it difficult to use the tools quickly. I am grateful for the work experience I have received but appreciate that prospective employers do not have the time to nurture me. I become anxious of making mistakes and my confidence takes a nose dive. Employment around motorsport would be my dream. I am sure I would thrive.
Did you ever think about doing something other than racing?
With my autism I am pretty much fixated on racing so I have to say no, not really.
Can you describe how you felt driving a kart for the first time?
At 8 years old I attended a karting party. The noise and the smells etc. made me race for the door. I was allowed back in when the other kids had a lunch break and I had the track and instructor to myself. The feeling of being totally in control and the helmet shutting down the world around me was indescribable. I won my first race that afternoon.
What’s your favourite moment from racing so far?
Every milestone has been a favourite. The first place at the party, my first win in the Daytona Dmax, my first Dmax championship and then the win in my first race with Team BRIT in the Gaz Shocks 116 trophy. All were incredible but I would say Britcar Endurance, Brands Hatch, 2020. Racing the beautiful Team BRIT Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4. To get to race such a car especially in my second year was beyond words. My team mate Aaron Morgan and I secured third place and I was honoured with the Dunlop Driver of the Day. Magic!
Photo Credit: Anthony Hobbs Photography
What is it about Team BRIT that made you want to join and race with them?
I could never put into words the support that I have been given with Team BRIT. From the moment I met Warren McKinlay who introduced me to Dave Player the team founder, my life has changed beyond belief. The work that goes on behind the scenes of this great team is incredible. Everyone gives 100%. Dave and the team have done more for disability in motorsport in the past few years than has been achieved in a century.
If you could race on any track in the world, where would it be and why?
It has to be the Circuit de la Sarthe. The 24 hours of Le Mans is the pinnacle of worldwide endurance racing. What a dream come true that would be!
If you could get to race any other motorsport driver, who would it be?
I did get to race on the same track as Jenson Button in a recent sim race and another of my racing highlights was racing alongside the great Damon Hill in his charity kart race team. I would love to race Lando Norris in a tin top because he is great fun to watch and a brilliant driver.
What have you been getting up to in order to deal with the lack of racing in
I have missed actually racing but sim racing has been keeping me busy and is very enjoyable. Racing with eTeam BRIT and competing in RFactor 2, iRacing and Assetto Corsa Compatizione representing Team BRIT keeps my hand in the game.
I spoke with the Team BRIT driver recently about his accident, his racing and much more.
It’s clear that, as with all of the Team BRIT drivers, Bobby doesn’t let his condition dictate what he can and can’t do – and the levels of success he can achieve are a testament to this. One of Team BRIT’s big goals is to reach Le Mans one day and race in the 24 hour race as the first all disabled British team. One has to think that there’s no reason why this can’t happen when they’ve got drivers like Bobby on their side.
What was your favourite part of our conversation? Let me know in the comments below.