Race2Recovery's Castrol Fiesta R2 driven by below knee amputee Tony Harris with expert co-driver Quin Evans alongside marked a superb start to tarmac rallying finishing 15th out of 80 competitors on the London Rally for Heroes and bringing home a 2nd in class trophy too.
Race2Recovery's incredible Dakar adventure will be aired on ITV 4 at 9pm on Wednesday 24th and Friday 26th April 2013 as two 1 hour specials television company Gaucho Productions have proudly revealed. The film crew have had exclusive access to the team for 8 months which will culminate in this unique programme following the highs and lows of the year's most remarkable rally team.
THE Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sent a personal message of congratulations yesterday (Sunday 20 Jan 2013) to the Race2Recovery team of severely injured soldiers and civilian volunteers following their historic success in completing the gruelling Dakar Rally in Chile, South America.
Race2Recovery, the group of predominantly injured soldiers who formed a rally team to raise funds for Forces charities, were today celebrating making history by becoming the first ever disability team to complete the world’s toughest race – the Dakar Rally.
We stood on top of the dune for three hours. It was thirty-five degrees Celsius, we could see for over 20km and we could see no-one else. Sun cream was applied, cameras were readied, GPS coordinates were confirmed and then Robby Gordon’s Hummer appeared, powering up the sand with an angry snarl. Man and machine were in charge of nature.
Today the Dakar Rally crossed back over the Andes to Copiapó, Chile. The journey began with a 392km road section, which should have been a relaxing drive through some of the world’s most desolate and dramatic scenery.
There’s little to report today. The perilous stage from La Rioja to Fiambalá was cancelled due to flooding. The whole rally has thus been teleported forwards a day. “I just can’t believe it’s been cancelled,” said Major Matt O’Hare, “My co-driver, ‘Barney’ (Phillip Gillespie), and I were so looking forward to the dunes.”
According to the official Dakar guide, today’s stage might have reminded, “the most open-minded of participants of Ireland in some places.” Race2Recovery’s resident Irishman, Philip ‘Barney’ Gillespie, wasn’t convinced.
Today was the Dakar’s only rest day and the drivers and co-drivers had a decent night’s sleep for the first time in a week. For those still left in the rally it was also a chance to reflect on the hard work done and to look ahead to another challenging week.
Today was supposed to be another monster for the Race2Recovery team, but then the rain came and washed away the jeopardy. The special stage was cut short by flash floods and the team retired to the bivouac in Tucumán, Argentina, in spirits as high as the altitude.
The Race2Recovery team of injured soldiers and civilian volunteers currently competing in this year’s Dakar Rally today confirmed that two of its cars have made it through a gruelling fourth day to compete in Stage 5, whilst another car has been forced to retire.
Today’s been true to the old cliché about the calm before the storm. With the cars in parc ferme, the team have had a day to wash some clothes, take a deep breath and prepare for the extraordinary challenge that is the Dakar.
For the Race2Recovery team, today marked the end of the beginning. After almost two years of hard work, four Wildcat rally raid cars past scrutineering, climbed a ceremonial ramp, took the applause of the Peruvian crowd and officially began the world’s toughest rally.