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Andy Neate signs for BTCC with WSR

Monday, February 22 2010

Sportscar racer Andy Neate will contest his first full season in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship after signing for title-winning squad WSR in 2010.

The announcement marks a major milestone for Neate, who was seriously injured in a sportscar accident in 2008.

The 35-year-old suffered multiple injuries including a broken neck and two decompressed lungs, spending two weeks in a coma before taking four months to learn to walk again.

"I basically suffered the same injury as the actor Christopher Reeve who played Superman. The only difference was my spinal chord didn't break away from the vertebrae. Really, when this happens, at best you're looking at terrible paralysis," Neate told btcc.net.

"Somehow, I came through it. There were some very tough moments. Waking up and having no mobility. But eventually my fitness, strength and sensations started to come back and now I'm ready to race again. I've still got a titanium plate in my neck which slightly limits my neck movement but that's about it.

Neate has already competed in one BTCC race - piloting a privately-run Vauxhall Astra at Brands Hatch in 2005 - but a full season with WSR, who won last year's title under the Team RAC banner, is a dream come true for Andy.

"I did say I wouldnt race again but the BTCC is all I've ever wanted to be in since I started out," he added. "To me it's the best race series in the world.

"To be with a team whose past drivers have included the likes of Ayrton Senna and Mika Hakkinen is a very special feeling. Dick Bennetts who runs the show is just the best team boss I could wish for.

"I'm not going to make any grand predictions. The BTCC is as tough as it gets but I definitely want to be in the championship and with WSR for some years," Neate concluded.

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will compete at Oulton Park on 5/6 June. Tickets are available now from £24 for adults, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0870 950 9000 or click on the link below.