Last week I completed the CarBon baseline assessment as part of the RESCUE-RACER study which is gathering data on concussion in Motorsport.
Many of my BTCC competitors have joined me on the study to help the FIA understand more about the issue of concussion and its after effects on the brain. In the past two 2 years both Jeff Smith and Rob Collard were involved in pretty substantial shunts which led to both of them experiencing concussion. They spoke openly about it all in a drivers’ briefing last season and it’s really scary how long the after effect can stick around for and how it affects your everyday life.
I’ve never experienced concussion personally, so the purpose of my test was to create a baseline to look up if I ever needed to be tested again. As well as being assessed on vision, thinking and memory, I also went through a pretty intensive brain MRI scan which was 70 minutes long – seeing a 3D image of my brain afterwards was a cool moment but it just brings home how vulnerable it is and the importance of safety in motorsport.
I’m also wearing special ear moulds in all my BTCC races that record data on body temperature and G-forces.
Massive thanks to Dr Naomi Deakin, from the University of Cambridge/Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, who is leading the project on behalf of the FIA Foundation.
Follow this link to learn more about the study: www.rescueracer.org