Following on from its exceptional stage rally debut, where Corporal Tom Neathway co-drove Major Alan Paramore to victory in the Land Rover Challenge category of the recent Trackrod Rally, Race2Recovery has confirmed its program of stage rallies to the end of the season. The team will compete on the UTS Cheviot Keith Knox Stages Rally, the Tempest Rally and the finale of the FIA World Rally Championship, Wales Rally GB as it amasses experience and knowledge to use in its campaign to compete on the 2013 Dakar Rally and raise much-needed funds for service charities.The Cheviot Keith Knox Stages Rally takes place on 23 October on the infamous Otterburn Ranges, a venue familiar to most of the Race2Recovery team, from numerous training exercises. However, the rally will put a very different spin on the venue, with Captain Tony Harris taking the wheel of the team's Land Rover Freelander, which it currently uses in the Britpart Cross Country Championship.
Neathway is also keen to compete and the team is in discussion with several teams and drivers to secure a seat for Tom in another vehicle contesting the event, since regulations do not allow two disabled competitors in the same vehicle.
Two weeks later on 5 November, the team will head for Aldershot, the famous military base and the Tempest Rally, based at the Pegasus Village sport arena. The event runs primarily on gravel but around 10% of the full distance is on asphalt, making it very tricky and technical. Tony Harris should be competing and once again, Tom Neathway will assume co-driver duties on the event.
But by far the biggest challenge will be one week later on Wales Rally GB, the finale of the WRC. The final round of this year's series will most likely see the drivers' championship decided, since there are three drivers within three points of each other with two rallies to go.
Neathway will join the Armed Forces Rally Team again, in one of its famous Land Rover Wolfs. Running at the tail end of the field, the AFRT is renowned for its spirit of competition but also, it's propensity to forgo competition to help out other competitors in need. For example, three years ago the team used its Wolfs to aid two wheel-drive competitors up an ice-covered hill and two years ago, were more than happy to help stranded competitors back onto the road.
Tony Harris will again take to the wheel of the Race2Recovery Freelander on the event with an experienced stage rally navigator, as they tackle the event, which this year sees the return of the infamous Great Orme road, as the event stretches the full length of Wales.
Commenting, Captain Tony Harris said: "I am delighted that the Race2Recovery team will be competing in three more stage rallies and of course, extremely grateful to our comrades in the Armed Forces Rally Team, for helping to make these events possible.
"Tom gained a huge amount of experience alongside Major Paramore on the Trackrod and these next events will add to that greatly. They will also give the rest of the team the chance to work alongside the AFRT and begin to work together under pressure, developing their mechanical skill, teamwork and communication massively. These will all be essential skills that we will need when we get to Dakar and before that, the two international cross-country events we will be contesting next year."Wales Rally GB begins on 10 November and is based in Builth Wells, with the finish of the event in Cardiff on 13 November.