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- Land Rover to support wounded soldiers’ rehabilitation program via Race2recovery Dakar Rally Dream
Race2Recovery Team and Car
Land Rover has taken the major decision of extending sponsorship support for a team of wounded soldiers. Since these maimed brave men look for opportunities to come out of their injuries, this ‘automobile’ support will provide them a perfect platform to delve into a top-tier arduous off-road racing challenge. The next Dakar Rally will be special from the point of view that in its history the first participation instance of an amputee driver and co-driver will take place.
Land Rover’s sponsorship of the Race2Recovery project will cover a 31-strong amateur rally team, including the brave soldiers who have been seriously injured but have not lost their zeal. It will help them to fulfil their dream of getting engrossed in the thrills of the famed action-packed Dakar Rally in January next year. Moreover, the raised money will be utilised for charity purposes, such as contribution to ‘Help for Heroes’ with an eye on wounded soldiers’ recovery and rehabilitation programs.
Land Rover’s association with Race2Recovery includes the delivery of Land Rover engines for their actual utilisation in the team’s race vehicles, Land Rover Discovery support vehicles and off-road driving training. That is not all; comprehensive spares and parts supply facility, besides providing promotional and PR coverage and marketing and financial assistance are also parts of Land Rover’s support purview. All these facilities and financial help will indeed play a big role in better managing the team’s logistical and management activities, generally a cost-consuming affair.
The four Qt Wildcat rally raid vehicles under the hood of Race2Recovery at the Dakar Rally arena have close similarities with Land Rover Defender in both running gear and external visual aspects as well. Engines, axles and some cosmetic parts are some of the quality ingredients of Land Rover vehicles that have been reserved on the Wildcat.
Commenting on the grand initiative, Mark Cameron, Land Rover Brand Experience Director, Global Marketing, said: “Race2Recovery truly exemplifies ‘enduring human spirit’ and powerfully symbolises hope for all servicemen, and indeed civilians, recovering from disabilities caused by serious injury. We are proud to support the team’s efforts to complete this incredible feat and raise funds for the service charities that helped them in their own recovery and rehabilitation.”
“Competing in the Dakar Rally will challenge the team to go beyond their life-changing events. The determination and mental attitude required by the team to take part in the world’s toughest rally raid epitomises the human spirit of adventure, determination and teamwork. Land Rover is pleased to support the rehabilitation of the courageous individuals within the team, and to help them positively impact on a much larger number of their fellow service personnel through the money they are raising,” Cameron further added.
Established last year by a group of injured warriors, Race2Recovery is a challenging cross-country racing and aims at participating in the Dakar Rally in full gear.
The Race2Recovery Dakar team includes the following:
- Driver Captain Tony Harris (one leg amputated below knee)
- Co-driver Corporal Tom Neathway (triple amputee)
- Team Manager Warrant Officer Andrew ‘Pav’ Taylor (spinal fusion)
- Co-driver Corporal Phillip Gillespie (leg amputated below knee)
- Mechanic Corporal Wayne Williams (paralysed vocal cord)
The entire team will leverage rich advantage from the presence of experienced rally raid biggies, such as Pierre de Frenne, Team Principal, and Quinn Evans, a co-driver who hit the fourth place in the Dakar.
Besides its involvement with the rehabilitation of wounded ex-servicemen, Race2Recovery also strives at raising money for Tedworth House, a military personnel recovery and assessment centre part funded by the Help for Heroes charity.
“Race2Recovery is immensely proud that Land Rover has chosen to support our ethos and determination to succeed in the Dakar,” said Captain Tony Harris, driver of one of the Dakar Wildcats. “Our team recognises the power and strength of Land Rover-based products and technology and it’s reflected in our choice of vehicle for this project…For all of us on the team, this is an opportunity to push the boundaries of the possible and to challenge the human spirit of adventure and ensure that our injuries do not dictate our lives. We are incredibly grateful for Land Rover’s backing for our comrades, colleagues and families who still require on-going care and support,” Harris further added.
To strengthen the preparation ground before hitting the Dakar Rally track, the Race2Recovery team will participate in a slew of competitive rallies during the next seven months, including the Pharaohs Rally Raid in Egypt in October.
The Dakar Rally Raid will throw a challenge to the team to cross over 5,000 miles (9,000 km) in 15 days through a vast tract of Latin American countries, including Peru, Argentina and Chile in January next year. It is expected that the rally cars will achieve a speed of 70-120mph while covering up to 700km per day. This event will be marked by some of the most difficult terrains in the world. Naturally, the driving teams, including their drivers, mechanics as well as the competing vehicles go through a tough phase of stress and anxiety during such meets. However, iron-will of the ex-army men will motivate them through the entire route.
Fans motor racing enthusiasts will get the opportunity to hook up with the Race2Recovery team and get closer to the competing vehicles at several places in this month. The Cholmondeley Pageant of Power in Cheshire (June 15th to 17th) and the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Sussex (June 28th to July 1st).are some of the names worth mentioning in this regard.
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