A SIXTEEN-year-old from Bridgwater has competed in a charity karting event as part of Team ‘Racing with Autism’ (RWA).

On Tuesday, August 6, Sylvain Vessier was part of Team RWA, made up of two teams of three young drivers, all with autism and racing in a charity kart event against 16 other teams in a three-hour endurance race.

Sylvain was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome when he was 14, having displayed symptoms of autism since the age of four.

He has been karting for three years and races in the Senior Max Championship, gaining several novice trophies in his first races.

He will also take part in a Formula Renault test drive at Magny Cours in France this August.

Team BRIT is aiming to become the first ever all-disabled team to race in the Le Mans 24 hour, and supports drivers with a range of physical and psychological challenges to access motorsport.

On Tuesday, Sylvain’s team put in a fantastic performance, finishing fourth out of 18 teams. The other RWA team finished second.

Sylvain’s mother, Lianne Vessier, said: “Sylvain is honoured to be racing as part of Team BRIT.

“His karting has really brought him out of his shell, and he is determined to succeed.

“This September he’s starting a motorsport engineering course at Bridgwater and Taunton College. Motorsport’s all he wants to be involved in.

“Thank you to Haworth Racing, ASGUKLTD, and Lonewolf custom paint for support and sponsorship so far in his career.”

One of Team BRIT’s drivers is 20-year-old Bobby Trundley who lives with autism, and 22-year-old Matty Street, who also has autism, has recently been supported into racing through the team.

Working together, Matty and team founder, Dave Player, invited Sylvain and his fellow young kart racers to form a team, putting the other teams of sponsors and corporate supporters to the test.

Alongside Sylvain racing for RWA were 12-year-old Sandro Ballesteros from Rochdale, 15-year-old Jack Ferguson from Ipswich and Jenson Jowett, 10, from Buckingham.