Next weekend will see a busman's rally for the Race2Recovery team, as it joins the Armed Forces Rally Team (AFRT) on the Tempest Rally, to gain essential training and experience towards its campaign on the 2013 Dakar Rally. The Tempest Rally is based in Aldershot and the stages run over military land, much of which will be familiar to the team from training exercises in the past.
The Tempest will be the second of three events that Race2Recovery team members contest with the AFRT: the first, the Trackrod, saw Major Alan Paramore and Race2Recovery's Corporal Tom Neathway win the Land Rover Challenge class convincingly. The Tempest will see Neathway co-driving for Sgt Ewen Christie who is a regular AFRT driver and will also see Captain Tony Harris from Race2Recovery take the wheel for the first time in anger of one of the AFRT's famous Land Rover Wolfs. Tony will have Cpl Curtis McKerlie who is an experienced AFRT driver and co-driver alongside him for advice and guidance.
The one-day event will give the Race2Recovery team members invaluable experience and training in a host of areas, including stage and road navigation and event infrastructure. This will then be supplemented by the final outing of the year, on the National event of Rally GB in mid-November. This runs on the same stages as the concurrent World Rally Championship event, which will see the 2011 WRC Drivers' title decided.
Commenting, Harris said: "We're incredibly grateful to the Armed Forces Rally Team once again for welcoming us to the team and helping us to gain the experience and knowledge we will need as we move towards our goal of the Dakar Rally in 2013.
"To the AFRT, it is irrelevant that we have been injured in action and are disabled; to them, we are just fellow serving soldiers and as such, they have welcomed us into the Team without any compromises just like all the other newcomers who join them each year. To us, that is exactly as we would want it; Beyond injury, achieving the extraordinary.
"In addition to raising funds for the Race2Recovery Foundation, our aims are to inspire the wider disabled community to realise their goals and demonstrate what is possible, not impossible."
The one-day event runs on Saturday 5 November and is based in and around Aldershot.