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Ex-serviceman-turned-racer Martyn Compton surprised with a special livery wrap ahead of his 14th 'Alive Day'

An ex-serviceman has been surprised with a special livery wrap to celebrate his 14th "Alive Day".

Martyn Compton, from Staplehurst, near Maidstone, will mark "Alive Day" on Saturday - 14 years to the day since he survived a near-fatal IED explosion in Afghanistan in 2006.

From left to right, Martyn Compton, Warren McKinlay and Jay Morton. Picture: Gary Knights
From left to right, Martyn Compton, Warren McKinlay and Jay Morton. Picture: Gary Knights

Mr Compton's team-mate Warren McKinlay - a fellow ex-serviceman - arranged for a surprise commemorative livery wrap to be added on the Praga R1 racing car they will share at this weekend’s race.

The announcement came at Brands Hatch as "SAS: Who Dares Wins" star Jay Morton announced he will make his motorsport debut in 2021, behind the wheel of a Praga R1 racing car.

Mr Compton, whose racing is part-sponsored by Coldplay’s Chris Martin, was part of a troop shot at with rocket-propelled grenades, which caused his tank to explode and led to him being engulfed in flames.

He suffered third degree burns to 75% of his body and has since undergone more than 500 hours of operations and years of rehabilitation.

Motorsport has played a significant role in the pair’s recovery.

Their one-off livery features a camouflage body incorporating a union jack across the roof.

“I’m overwhelmed to have this special livery revealed to me this morning ahead of such an emotional weekend," said Mr Compton on Friday.

"I can’t overstate the importance of motorsport in my recovery and all that it continues to offer in terms of renewed confidence, adrenalin and the camaraderie I miss from the military.

"Thank you to my friend and team-mate Warren for arranging this surprise, and to Praga and VR Motorsport for their support.

"I always try to mark the day with a positive event to remember the guys who didn't survive, and I can’t think of a better way to mark my 'Bangaversary' than to race a Praga R1s in this awesome commemorative livery around my home circuit.”

Mr Compton and Morton's Praga R1 racing car is one of three Praga entries in the Britcar Championship.

This weekend’s race at Brands Hatch will feature two races on the famous Indy Circuit.

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