This June will be a busy month for Race2Recovery, the team of predominantly injured and disabled service personnel raising money for charity by targeting a finish on the 2013 Dakar Rally. The team will be attending two of the season's highest profile events to raise awareness of the campaign and funds for the Race2Recovery Foundation charity, which in turn supports the Help for Heroes Tedworth House project.
This weekend, the team will be at the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power, held in the grounds of Cholmondeley Castle in Cheshire. The event is in its fifth year and brings together some of the highest-octane action on land, water and in the air.
There is a huge array of action for any enthusiast and particularly relevant for the Race2Recovery team are two main areas: the Dakar Rally arena will allow the team to demonstrate its Qt Wildcats, which it will be using on next year's gruelling event in South America while the event's Military Combat Vehicles Area will have a familiar feel, as many of the Race2Recovery team members are serving military personnel.
However, the activity will begin even earlier than the official start of the Pageant, as the team has been invited to take part in a cavalcade from MediaCityUK in Salford to the venue on Thursday 14 June. This will see one of the Race2Recovery Qt Wildcats on display at Media City early on Thursday morning before forming part of the procession to the event, which will eventually mark the official opening of this year's Pageant.
Two weeks later, the team will again be out in force, this time at the world-famous Goodwood Festival of Speed. Here, it will be split across three distinct areas: several Qt Wildcats will be seen running through the Forest Rally Stage. The team will also have a presence in the main arena where visitors can find out more about the personalities of the team, a chance for fans to donate to the cause as well as purchase Race2Recovery merchandise.
However, by far the most interesting aspect for visitors will be the team's 'Dakar Experience' area set up close to the Formula One paddock. Here, they will build a section of sand dunes, similar to those they faced on the recent Tuareg Rally in Morocco and will face again on the Dakar next year.
But this will not be a static display; fans will have the opportunity to experience, first-hand, some of the pressure and demands that the most arduous motorsport adventure in the world places on team members. The Race2Recovery team will be running a Wheel Change competition, where members of the public can try their hand at changing one of the Silverline wheels and Cooper Tires that the team uses on its Wildcats.
Determination and teamwork, two of the key qualities personified by the team, will be crucial to success here and there will be daily prizes for the fastest time, as well as a unique, money-can't-buy prize donated by the motorsport community for the best time over the course of the three-day event.
Commenting, team driver and co-founder, Captain Tony Harris, said; "We are incredibly excited and honoured to have been invited to attend these two events. They are both very high profile and attract a huge attendance, so we are hopeful that not only will we be able to raise significant funds for the Race2Recovery Foundation and therefore, to directly support Help for Heroes and the Tedworth House project but also, raise awareness of the campaign even further than so far.
"The Cholmondeley Pageant of Power may be a relatively young event but it is one that is incredibly close to our hearts. The fact that it draws together action from land, sea and air makes it particularly relevant to us, as our team is made up of personnel from all three branches of the services. The combat power on display will also be very interesting to see, bringing our 'Day Jobs' into contact with the project we have chosen to demonstrate that our injuries, and wider disabilities, don't necessarily mean an end to your dreams.
"The Goodwood Festival of Speed is probably the best-known motoring event in the world and it is an honour to be invited to attend, and in so many ways. We are delighted that several Qt Wildcat owners are supporting us, as they did at RallyDay last year, by providing passenger rides on the rally stage with proceeds going directly to the Foundation.
"We will also have a big presence in the main arena, where we will be able to chat to people, explain what Race2Recovery is all about and raise more funds for the charity. But of course, it's the Dakar Experience that we are most excited about.
"We know from this year's Tuareg Rally just how demanding competing in the sand dunes can be - half of the eight-day event was run in the Sahara. So it will be really good to see how people react to changing a wheel and tyre on one of our Wildcats. We have had some amazing prizes donated by members of the motorsport community and will be giving these to the best time of the day, as well as the best overall time all weekend."
The Cholmondeley Pageant of Power takes place at the Cholmondeley Castle, Malpas in Cheshire on 15-17 June while the Goodwood Festival of Speed takes place at Goodwood House, Chichester, from 29 June - 1 July.