P1 SuperStock UK Championship organisers are proud to welcome charity Mission Motorsport - a group set up to provide engaging rehabilitation opportunities for service personnel injured in the line of duty - into Britain's premier powerboat racing series.
Launched recently at Thruxton motor racing circuit in Hampshire, Mission Motorsport will enter a team into the P1 150 Class of SuperStock UK this year as part of a wider programme which uses motorsport to aid the recovery of those affected through military operations.
Mission Motorsport's maiden season in SuperStock UK has already started with a major boost as the team will run the 2010 P1 150 Class title-winning 'Premier Cru' boat of John Wilson. After meeting Mission Motorsport, reigning P1 250 Champion Wilson was so enthused with the aims of the charity he kindly offered the use of his Pertemps-backed vessel for the 2012 season.
"Whilst Mission Motorsport was in its embryonic stages last year, 'testing the water' in a couple of races, we were lucky enough to meet John Wilson", explained Mission's Nigel Hindmarsh, "When he heard what we were doing for our injured servicemen, he selflessly offered the use of Premier Cru to the cause.
"The competitive and exciting one-design racing in P1 SuperStock is exactly the sort of cathartic experience which brings a focus, determination and energy back to some of our servicemen with life-changing injuries. The plan is to rotate our drivers and navigators during the year."
Mission Motorsport has been named the official provider of adaptive motorsport, on land and water, to the British Army and the charity's profile has been massively increased by the appointment of Grand Prix legend Sir Stirling Moss OBE as its first patron.
After becoming firmly established in 2011, the year ahead promises a major breakthrough for the charity which will work with the Defence Recovery Capability, Help for Heroes, Battleback and Help for Heroes' veterans 'Band of Brothers'. Mission Motorsport delivers everything from educational programmes to vocational courses, in partnership with the UK automotive industry.
The involvement with P1 SuperStock means the service personnel will not only get to experience the adrenaline buzz and excitement of one of the UK's most accessible and cost-effective forms of motorsport, they will also learn about logistics, race management and boat preparation. There will be opportunities to gain RYA qualifications, up to Instructor level, or a City & Guilds in seamanship.
Looking forward, Hindmarsh adds: "One thing is for sure, we're not here to make up the numbers! Our servicemen are determined to be competitive with no desire for sympathy. They are in the sport for the challenge, to provide a focus for their recovery and to prove they can still participate in high-octane, adventurous sports, despite their injuries.
"Some of their injuries are starkly obvious, but for many there are mental scars as well as physical ones. We aim to offer as many of them as possible the opportunity to drive, navigate and help manage the powerboat team, gain qualifications and seek opportunities for future employment in the maritime industry."P1 150 Class Looking Strong AgainWith 10 weeks remaining until the opening round of the 2012 P1 SuperStock UK Championship, the Plymouth Grand Prix of the Sea on 19/20 May, the P1 150 Class already has a number of strong entries confirmed.
Poignantly for Mission Motorsport, the opening event of the season in Plymouth involves a visit to the home base of the Royal Marines - one of the armed forces to have suffered the highest proportion of injuries to its troops in recent conflicts. On the same weekend as the Plymouth Grand Prix of the Sea, the Olympic Torch Relay will also pass through the south coast town.
Joining Mission Motorsport in P1 150 this year will be Sam Whittle (Twickenham), who returns in the Aztec Racing vessel he navigated last season, and Jersey-based Fox Marine who will be back with navigator Liam McDermott (St. Helier). Father and daughter team Vince and Jade Berridge (Hemel Hempstead) return in Black Magic and husband and wife crew David and Kirsty Toozs-Hobson (Arundel) are back in Macdonald Mermaid.