Given its reputation for rugged off-road vehicles and participation in off-road competition, Land Rover's decision to back a Dakar Rally team is hardly a surprise. What is pleasantly surprising, however, is that team in question is UK-based Race2Recovery, a team comprised largely of injured British war veterans. They will campaign four Land Rover Defender-based Qt Wildcat off-road vehicles in the 2013 Dakar Rally.
The Race2Recovery team with one of the four Qt Wildcats it will use on the 2013 Dakar Rall
In addition to their 2013 Dakar Rally effort, the Race2Recovery team is helping to raise money for Help for Heroes, a UK-based charity providing support to wounded soldiers in their recovery and rehabilitation, and Tedworth House Personnel Recovery Centre. Among the team members are driver Captain Tony Harris, who had one leg amputated below the knee; co-driver Corporal Tom Neathway, who is a triple amputee; Co-driver Corporal Phillip Gillespie, with a leg amputated below the knee; team manager Warrant Officer Andrew 'Pav' Taylor, who underwent a spinal fusion procedure; and team mechanic Corporal Wayne Williams, who has a paralyzed vocal cord.
The team isn't waiting until Dakar in January 2013 to jump into the action. They will compete in the Pharaons Rally Raid in Egypt in October along with several other events in preparation for the grueling 5000-mile Dakar Rally in South America. The team and its race vehicles will also be in attendance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Sussex from June 28 to July 1.
Source: Land Rover
Race2Recovery driver and co-founder Captain Tony Harris (right) and co-driver Quin Evans
The Land Rover-inspired and based Qt Wildcat
Land Rover support means latest technology and training for the Race2Recovery team
Co-driver Phillip Gillespie looks on as the Wildcat is checked over
Driver Harris is a left-leg amputee following an IED explosion in Afghanistan