Google has today announced its backing for Race2Recovery, the group of injured soldiers aiming to become the first disability team to complete the Dakar Rally. Google has offered the Race2Recovery team significant financial support to help benefit their final preparations ahead of their challenge.
Race2Recovery is a rally team racing to inspire people who are injured, disabled or facing adversity by being the first team of predominantly injured servicemen to complete the formidable Dakar Rally in South America, January 2013. The team, whose motto is ‘beyond injury – achieving the extraordinary’, consists of people from all backgrounds and walks of life: injured servicemen, former soldiers, sailors and airmen, and generous people with no military background who have given their time and commitment to the endeavour.
Since appearing on the BBC’s Top Gear programme in 2011, the team has gained significant public and media attention and will be the subject of a five-part documentary, airing on Eurosport on consecutive nights from 24th December.
Through its racing activity, Race2Recovery has committed to raising money for a charitable cause close to the hearts of its team members – the Personnel Recovery Centre at Tedworth House. Based in Tidworth, Wiltshire, Tedworth House is one of five Personnel Recovery Centres that have been established as part of the Defence Recovery Capability.
The Defence Recovery Capability is an MOD led initiative in partnership with Help for Heroes and The Royal British Legion to ensure wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women have access to the key resources they need as they recover. Race2Recovery has already raised well over £100,000 for the Personnel Recovery Centre at Tedworth House but has its sights set on achieving a much higher target. Donations to the fundraising campaign can be made at www.race2recovery.com
The Dakar Rally, formerly known as ‘The Paris-Dakar’, is an annual off-road desert race organised by the Amaury Sport Organisation. The race is considered the ultimate driving, mechanical and navigational test, stretching over 9000km of extreme mountain and desert terrain with only 40%-50% of all competitors completing the course. Since 2009, the race has switched to South America, with the Dakar 2013 starting in Lima, Peru on 5th January and finishing, via Argentina, in Santiago, Chile on 20th January.
The Race2Recovery team has already shipped its fleet of ten race and support vehicles to South America and the drivers, co-drivers and support team will arrive in Lima, Peru, on 1st January.
Dan Cobley, Managing Director at Google UK, said: "Google is pleased to be supporting the team’s racing endeavour and we will be following their progress with great interest. We wish them well."
Captain Tony Harris, 31, one of Race2Recovery’s rally drivers who is a below the knee amputee as a result of injuries suffered while serving in Afghanistan, said: “For a global brand like Google to support the Race2Recovery team in this way just shows how far we have come. We are delighted that they have shown such faith in our team by making such a significant investment to our racing activity. We have worked extremely hard over the last 18 months to build this team and, without the support of our sponsors, we would not have even been able to get to the start line. As it is, Google’s sponsorship has given the team an extra lift ahead of our Dakar Rally challenge and we are all extremely excited to get to South America and start racing.”