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Exclusive opportunity to be the first to see a new documentary about Race2Recovery, a group of injured soldiers bidding to become the first amputee team to complete the world’s toughest rally

Gaucho Productions is holding an exclusive, charity premiere of its eagerly anticipated new documentary,  Dakar Rally: Frontline to Finish Line, which follows the Race2Recovery team of seriously injured servicemen from Britain and the US as they take on the world’s toughest rally. The screening will be attended by key members of the team and offers the chance to be the first to see what really happened in South America earlier this year. Tickets are still available and can be attained by emailing screening@gauchoproductions.com. They are available to everyone on a first come, first served basis and cost £20 for adults and £10 for children, with all profits going to the Tedworth House Personnel Recovery Centre for injured servicemen.

The Dakar saw the team race almost 6000 miles over 15 days through Peru, Argentina and Chile. They tackled some of the most challenging, isolated terrain in the world, from giant sand dunes to the Atacama Desert and the top of the Andes. The Dakar is the ultimate test of man and machine versus the elements, but for the Race2Recovery team, there was an added challenge. Each of the four cars contained an amputee serviceman as part of the two-man crew. Co-driver Corporal Tom Neathway, for example, is a triple amputee, having lost both legs and an arm while serving in Afghanistan.

The rally was the culmination of two years hard work. The idea for Race2Recovery grew out of a conversation between Neathway and Captain Tony Harris at Headley Court Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre and quickly grew into a twenty-eight strong rally team, comprised of volunteers and servicemen. Harris became the first amputee driver to enter the Dakar, using a specially adapted clutch pedal.

The team’s target was to get four Land Rover-based Wildcat vehicles across the finish line, but things did not go according to plan. Within days, three of the Wildcats had been forced to retire, one in a horrifying rollover crash. The tears flowed as the crews saw their dream turn into a nightmare. The infamous Dakar had bitten hard but against the odds, the remaining Wildcat, nicknamed ‘Joy’ after the wife of a team benefactor, struggled on. Joy made it to the finish line in Santiago de Chile and in doing so, co-driver Corporal Barney Gillespie became the first amputee to complete the Dakar.

“It is almost two years to the day since I was blown up in Afghanistan,” said Gillespie at the finish. “There were dark days when I thought life as I knew it was over, but I hope I’ve shown that serious injury is no barrier to doing extraordinary things. Everyone here’s been through so much, but we’ve all supported each other. It’s been an emotional journey, but we made it.”

Produced by Gaucho Productions and directed by award winning director Tim Pritchard (Ross Kemp on Gangs), this moving documentary uses a host of different cameras to capture the inside story of the tears, traumas and triumphs. “This has been an amazing story to tell,” says Gaucho Productions Executive Producer, Alistair Weaver. “Everyone involved in the project has been enthralled by the bravery and commitment of the Race2Recovery team. From a bar room chat to the finish line of the Dakar, they have had an extraordinary adventure and we’re thrilled to have brought it to life.”

Dakar Rally: Frontline to Finish Line, will then be shown as a two-part documentary on ITV4. The 2 x 1hr series will be aired at 9pm on Wednesday 24th, concluding on Friday 26th April 2013 at 9pm.

A trailer for the series can be viewed/embedded at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07HdX5LuaJ4

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