Former Pride of Britain nominee and Military veteran dies during 200mph record attempt on motorcycle

Tributes have been paid to a former Pride of Britain nominee who died in a tragic motorcycle incident.

A former Pride of Britain nominee and military veteran has died attempting to break a 200mph record on a motorcycle. Martin McConnell, who was in his 50s, was killed in a crash at Tibenham Airfield in Norwich, Norfolk during the Terminal Velocity show on Sunday (June 23).

The event features a ‘rolling half mile’ at which those taking part drive along the runway at high speeds. Mr McConnell had previously announced he had intended to break the 204mph record for the event.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, police and paramedics were called to the airfield at around 11am and Mr McConnell was pronounced dead at the scene. No other vehicles were involved.

Mr McConnell, who was from the Royal Tunbridge Wells area of Kent, was a prominent fundraiser and campaigner. He served in the Royal Corps of Transport and in 2015 set up a support group for military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, called Exforces PTSD.

The group raises money for families of ex-servicemen and women to go on holidays. For his efforts raising more than £33,000 and funding 25 holidays to Jersey, Mr McConnell was nominated for the Pride of Britain Fundraiser of the Year Award, in 2018.

Last year, he travelled across Europe to deliver aid to Ukraine, after the Russian invasion. Following his death, his son, Jamie, posted a tribute on social media.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He said: "I am lost for words at the minute. We all know the risks taken when competing in motorcycle racing - unfortunately today is a day I never saw coming.

"We have lost my dad Martin McConnell in a high-speed crash at Tibenham Airfield this morning. I know for a fact he died smiling and doing what he loved.

"Rest in peace Dad, I will never forget you - the memories we have will live on forever in our hearts.” On their website, organisers of the Terminal Velocity event say they are "committed to safety".

They say: "Terminal Velocity was set up, to give owners the opportunity to experience the full potential of their cars’ performance without endangering their own licence, liberty or anyone else’s safety."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Military veteran Martin McConnell was killed in a crash at Tibenham Airfield in Norwich, Norfolk during the Terminal Velocity show on Sunday. Military veteran Martin McConnell was killed in a crash at Tibenham Airfield in Norwich, Norfolk during the Terminal Velocity show on Sunday.
Military veteran Martin McConnell was killed in a crash at Tibenham Airfield in Norwich, Norfolk during the Terminal Velocity show on Sunday. | Suzuki Turbo Racing / SWNS

An advert for the Tibenham show asked: "Will our 204mph record be beaten this year?" Before the event, the Suzuki Turbo Racing group posted online that Mr McConnell would be attempting to break that record.

Police and the Health and Safety Executive have launched an investigation into the tragedy.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.