LR's wounded soldiers off to Dakar
GEARING UP TO DAKAR 2013: Land Rover recenlty provided desert training for Race2Recovery team members heading to the 2013 Dakar Rally.
Land Rover will provide desert training for a team of wounded soldiers who plan to enter the 2013 Dakar Rally and have successfully concluded a major desert training exercise.
The Race2Recovery (R2R) team plans to demonstrate “enduring human spirit” by entering the Dakar’s first ever amputee driver and co-driver.
Training and expertise is being provided by its Land Rover Experience team that includes members who have participated in the annual endurance race and the R2R team recently concluded its major desert training exercise, dubbed 'Bedouin Adventure', in Morocco.
Land Rover supplied three 110 Defenders for the team with which they negotiated jebels (mountains to me and you), boulder fields, wadis (valleys), sand seas and razor dunes.
Speaking during a brief halt in the Atlas Mountains on the exercise’s final day, Captain Tony Harris said: “Our four days of training in Morocco have been incredibly productive and will prove invaluable in preparing the team for the rigours of the 2013 Dakar.
“Driving more than 500km per day in temperatures up to 37 degrees and over 2000m peaks en route to the desert, with rough camping alongside our vehicles for three nights, enabled our team members to experience this unforgiving and demanding environment and develop essential skills for ensuring success on next year’s (2013) Dakar rally.”
AMATEUR DAKAR TEAM
Land Rover’s sponsorship of the Race2Recovery project will enable a 31-strong amateur rally team, which includes seriously wounded service personnel, to realise their ambition of completing the world-renowned Dakar Rally. Regarded as one of the world’s toughest motorsport events, the Dakar covers over 9000 km in 15 days through Peru, Argentina and Chile in January 2013.
Team member Mark Cullum said: “While constantly focusing on the core rally-raid driving disciplines of ‘traction, ground clearance and stability’, our time in Morocco exposed team members to a wide range of very different terrain for the first time.
“Biggest lessons learned were ground appreciation – the surface can change surprisingly quickly – and the importance of maintaining momentum over varying terrain, while simultaneously demonstrating mechanical sympathy for the vehicle.”
In conclusion Harris added: “There is no room for error on the Dakar and aggressive driving or lack of concentration can quickly lead to failure and retirement. The key overall approach to the training and ultimately to the Dakar must be the application of a restrained, sympathetic and alert driving style. Quick consistency is more important than outright pace and practising desert driving in Morocco with Land Rover’s support was of paramount importance.”
The four Wildcat rally-raid vehicles that Race2Recovery will enter in the 2013 Dakar are based on the Land Rover Defender and share running gear and some external visual similarities. Several elements of standard Land Rover vehicles are retained on the Wildcat including engines, axles and some cosmetic parts.