TWO extraordinary racing drivers are leading the way in showing that physical and mental challenges should be no barriers to success.

Rich Newton, 45, and Bobby Trundley, 19, have both overcome adversity to join the Team Brit racing outfit which competed at the Croft circuit near Darlington over the weekend.

Mr Newton is a double amputee, having lost his left leg in a motorbike accident in 2003, followed by the right leg in a car accident in 2016.

After suffering such horrific injuries, many may have turned their backs on motorsport, but Mr Newton was behind the wheel of a BMW 116 on Saturday in his first competitive race since losing both limbs.

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Meanwhile, Mr Trundley is something of a rising star in racing, despite having autism which can make social situations and new environments challenging for him.

As a child he felt instantly at home behind the wheel of a go kart and he went on to compete in the sport, winning five national karting championships.

Mr Newton drives a modified car in which all the controls are operated by hand so his disability is not necessarily a disadvantage.

He said: “I am quite lucky in that my brain picks things up quite easily, I am getting used to it (the car) in all fairness but it is quite a simple system to figure out.”

He added: “Genuinely the only thing that has slowed me down a bit is my age. You start thinking about self preservation, I have got a young daughter as well.”

Mr Newton, who works as a car restorer, credits his wife Elena for helping him to pursue his racing ambitions and said keeping busy was key to overcoming his disability.

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He said: “If you get it in your head that it can be done, there is nothing to stop you doing what you want really.”

Mr Trundley, whose ambition is to compete at Le Mans, has already started his first season in fine form by winning at Brands Hatch last month.

That was his first race for Team Brit and he says the track environment helps him overcome his autism.

He said: “I don’t like new places and noises and smells, I am very sensitive I would say, although I have probably not got the most severe form of it (autism).

“Being behind the wheel of anything is my home; I love it, it just helps clear my mind and makes me smile.”

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Team Brit formed in 2015 with the aim of enabling disabled drivers the chance to compete against able-bodied racers across the country.

Initially called the British Racing Injured Troops (BRIT) team, many of its drivers are ex-forces personnel.

The team’s main sponsor is Brit Insurance after the company’s boss heard about the scheme on breakfast TV and immediately offered sponsorship.

Team engineer Al Locke said: “It was like it was meant to be.”

He added: “Motorsport is the only sport where a guy with no legs can compete against able-bodied people.

“If you are in a race car and the person in the car next to you has no legs, you don’t know and you don’t care - you just want to get to the corner faster than them.”

Mr Trundley won Saturday's race - finishing an incredible 22 seconds before the second placed driver.

Mr Newton came tenth, which Mr Locke described as "brilliant" considering it was his first race.