Land Rover is returning to Dakar! Well, sort of. In truth, Land Rover is sponsoring a team of wounded soldiers racing under the Race2Recovery banner. Land Rover will be supplying Discovery support vehicles, off-road training, spare parts, public relations, marketing support, logistical support, management assistance, and a financial contribution. Race2Recovery’s mission isn’t just racing the Dakar Rally come January of next year. The organization will be raising money for Help for Heroes and the Tedworth House Personnel Recovery Centre.
The team will be the first Dakar Rally team with an amputee driver and co-driver.
The team will be the first Dakar Rally team with an amputee driver and co-driver. The leadership of the 31-member team is made up of 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), and mechanic Corporal Wayne Williams (paralyzed vocal cord).
“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,” said Mark Cameron, Land Rover Brand Experience Director.
The 2013 Dakar Rally will cover over 5,000 miles of terrain over 15 days and take the team through Peru, Argentina, and Chile. After security threats in Africa caused the cancellation of the rally in 2008, the Dakar Rally was moved to South America the following year.
Four Qt Wildcat rally raid vehicles will be entered into the Dakar Rally. The Wildcats — formerly known as the Bowler Wildcat before manufacturing rights were sold to Qt in 2007 — are based on the Land Rover Defender, but are largely custom engineered vehicles. The Defender and the Wildcat share engines, axles, and some cosmetics.
Race2Recovery driver and co-founder Captain Tony Harris (right) and co-driver Quin Evans.
Co-driver Phillip Gillespie looks on as the Wildcat is checked over.
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