With less than 50 days to go until the start of their 2013 Dakar Rally challenge, Race2Recovery has already raised £100,000 for Tedworth House and is committed to continuing this fundraising drive. The team members spoke about their excitement and anticipation ahead of the race. They were also on-hand to demonstrate their race vehicles, including Land-Rover based Wildcats, 4x4 and 8x8 support trucks, which they have been working on day-and-night in order to have them fully prepared ahead of their shipping to South America on November 22. The 2013 Dakar starts in Lima, Peru on January 5 and finishes, via Argentina, in Santiago, Chile on January 20. click here for Dakar
The R2R team, whose motto is ‘beyond injury – achieving the extraordinary’, consists of people from all backgrounds and walks of life: injured servicemen, former soldiers, sailors and airmen, and generous people with no military background who have given their time and commitment to the endeavour. Those members of the team that have been wounded in combat have a huge variety of injuries - some are more apparent than others but each person has had their life completely changed. Whether dealing with missing limbs, spinal and respiratory injuries, or psychological and fragmentation injuries, each has resolved to prove that their injury will not stop them completing the toughest race on the planet. click here for Dakar
Tedworth House in Tidworth, Wiltshire, is one of six Personnel Recovery Centres that have been established as part of the Defence Recovery Capability. The Defence Recovery Capability is an MoD-led initiative in partnership with Help for Heroes and The Royal British Legion to ensure wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women have access to the key resources they need as they recover.
Captain Tony Harris, 31, one of Race2Recovery’s rally drivers who is a below the knee amputee as a result of injuries suffered while serving in Afghanistan, said, 'I’m delighted that Race2Recovery is able to come together as a full team one last time before we wave goodbye to our vehicles when we ship them to South America for January’s Dakar Rally. I’m particularly pleased that we’re able to celebrate here at Tedworth House Personnel Recovery Centre, which has been the recipient of our ongoing fundraising activity. We’re very proud to have raised over £100,000 to date and we hope that our continued efforts as a successful rally-raid team will continue to see donations increase, directly benefitting our country’s injured servicemen and women.'
Team navigator Corporal Tom Neathway, 28, who lost both legs and his left arm as the result of a booby trap explosion when serving in Afghanistan, said, 'It’s great to come together as a team to celebrate the fact that, in only 18 months, we have established a highly capable rally raid team and that we’re set to race in our ultimate goal, the 2013 Dakar Rally. We really believe in our motto, Beyond Injury – Achieving The Extraordinary, and I really feel that Race2Recovery can show people that, despite facing adversity, illness or injury, it’s still possible to do great things. The whole focus of our Race2Recovery project has been about the team’s abilities, rather than disabilities, and I hope this is a message that we can communicate to people who may find themselves in similar situations to myself or other members of the team.'
People wishing to find out more about Race2Recovery, make a donation to the fundraising campaign, or become a sponsor of the team should visit www.race2recovery.com click here for race2recovery
The team operates four Land Rover Defender-based Wildcat race vehicles as well as a 4x4 support truck and run the project in their spare time. During the Dakar Rally, the four race vehicles will run in two pairs, supporting each other across the gruelling course, whilst the support truck also tackles the race and ensures it is on hand for any of the four Wildcat cars. The fleet will also consist of two 8x8 support trucks, providing the team’s service areas, as well as three Land Rover Discovery support cars to ferry the mechanics and team management. A typical day will see the racers spend over 10 hours in their Wildcat racers, covering anywhere between 500 and 800km, largely off road, at speeds of up to 120mph. The 18-strong logistical and mechanical team will follow a separate liaison route but the journey is arduous for them too. Most of the mechanics will only sleep for a couple of hours each night and the support fleet, as well as the race vehicles, needs to be looked after.
All charitable money donated to Race2Recovery by the public or companies goes to support the Personnel Recovery Centre at Tedworth House and sits completely separately from the team's racing activity (which is paid for by personal contribution and corporate sponsorship). Fans and potential supporters of Race2Recovery can follow the team’s progress and make donations at www.race2recovery.com click here for race2recovery