A double amputee Afghan war veteran turned British Superbike competitor is taking on his biggest challenge yet.
Murray Hambro, from Upper Beeding , lost both his legs after stepping on an improvised explosive device (IED) in December 2010. But despite his disability is taking on the Triumph Triple Challenge at the British Superbike Championship.
“It’s all able bodied people in the race. The other lads in the championship are looking to further their career in superbiking,” the 32-year-old said. “So it’s a big task for me to get the recognition we’re looking for.”
Racing for the True Heroes Racing team, Murray is accompanied by his war colleague Nick Dinsdale, who was there the day he was injured.
Murray said:“We were doing a supply run and on the last returning journey back to the patrol base when the IED went off.
“We used six vehicles and drove over it throughout the day but the Taliban connected up the battery pack and that’s what caused the mine to go off.
“Nick was the guy who did all the first aid on me when I had the accident. He saw me go up in the air and got out of his vehicle to help me, so he’s a close friend.”
Murray was a Lance Corporal serving in the Second Royal Tank Regiment. He was sent to Headley Court, a rehabilitation clinic in Surrey.
But with a strong passion for motorbikes, Murray was determined to get back out on the road.
He said: “When I was approached last year if I wanted to race, I didn’t think it would be possible, but because I had a lot of spare time on my hands I though why not, it gave me something to focus on.”
The nine-part race will take place in the Snetterton 300 on July 5 and Brands Hatch on July 19 with Murray competing.
“My biggest hurdle at the moment is learning the tracks.
“I’ve been grabbing track days when I can for practice, but because I’m relatively new there’s a lot of circuits I’ve never seen let alone ridden on.”
By taking part Murray wishes to inspire other war veterans who have suffered their own injuries.
“We want to show people that it’s not the end of the world. By setting your goals and putting in the work you can achieve what you want.”
Hoping to encourage more people to join the team and eventually mentor new members, Murray looks positively to the future.
He said: “We have some great sponsors who are helping us get to the championships, but for us to progress we need more sponsors to come on board.”
The brainchild of team manager Phil Spencer and backed by Kent-based Laguna Motorcycles and Plastics Express, Murray has been using a specially adapted 2013 Triumph Daytona 675R since the races began in April.
“It’s humbling to know that people see me as an inspiration, but I don’t see myself as a hero, but if I inspire one person to get out of the armchair and do something then I’ve got be happy with that.”