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R2R Dakar14aThe retirement of the team’s two race cars on Stage 2 means all attention turns to team’s T4 race truck

Race2Recovery, the group of injured soldiers and civilian volunteers who made history as the first disabled rally team to complete the Dakar rally in 2013, has confirmed that its current 2014 Dakar challenge is still alive.  Having been forced to retire its two race cars after Stage 2 of this year’s race the team will now focus all efforts on its remaining T4 race truck.

Race2Recovery, sponsored by Land Rover, had entered two race cars and a T4 race truck into the 2014 Dakar.  Initially, the main role of the T4 truck was to enter each stage to support the two race cars along the route.  Entering a race truck as a support vehicle is a widely adopted strategy by Dakar teams, enabling them to rescue vehicles when stuck, provide mechanical and technical assistance, and also help ensure maximum safety for race crews.  The challenge for the truck is that it must also make it to the end of each stage in order to continue in the race.  With the exit of both Race2Recovery vehicles competing in the cars class, the team can now make the race truck its sole focus to achieve the goal of completing the Dakar for a second year running.

The truck’s crew includes driver Mark Cullum, from Hereford, co-driver Chris Ratter, from Knutsford, and injured serviceman Daniel Whittingham, from Nottingham, who is an amputee after injuries sustained in an IED explosion in Afghanistan.  During Stage 2, the truck’s crew showed true Dakar spirit when they risked missing the stage deadline in order to assist another team whose race car, and support truck, had become stranded.  With the rest of the team waiting nervously at the team’s end-of-stage bivouac, the T4 race truck finally arrived and it was confirmed that Race2Recovery’s Dakar adventure would live another day.

Speaking from the team’s bivouac in Chilecito, Argentina, driver and team founder Tony Harris said: “I’m extremely proud of the reaction of our team.  Having to retire two race cars was a big blow but the whole team committed to working as hard as possible to keep our T4 race truck in this year’s Dakar.  Our dream of finishing for a second year running is very much alive, although we’re conscious there is a long way to go.  The crew did a fantastic thing, turning around to help another stranded team, and for that act alone they deserve to continue on this adventure.  We’re receiving amazing support from spectators and other teams and we’ll do everything we can to repay their faith in us.  The longer we stay in the competition, the more exposure we can give to the charities that we’re supporting, such as Help For Heroes, Tedworth House, The Baton and Blesma.”

Race2Recovery operates to the motto ‘beyond injury, achieving the extraordinary’ and has raised over £250,000 for military charities including Tedworth House and Help for Heroes.  The team’s lead sponsor, Land Rover, has also confirmed that it will support the team’s entry into the new Defender Challenge by Bowler rally series that will launch in the UK in spring 2014.  Race2Recovery can use this competition to gain further experience ahead of future Dakar challenges as well as using it as an ideal platform to train up new recruits.

People wishing to find out more about Race2Recovery should visit http://www.race2recovery.com and http://www.uk.media.landrover.com

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