In South America, a group of mostly injured soldiers began their mission to be the first disability rally team to ever complete the Dakar Rally, considered to be the toughest race in the world. The goal of this team named Race2Recovery is to raise funds for Forces charities. With Land Rover as its sponsor, the team put four Defender-based Wildcat race vehicles at the start line in Lima, Peru on January 5.
This is the start of 15 days of racing 8500km through extreme mountain and desert terrain that passes through southern Peru, Argentina and past the border into Chile. The finish line is in Santiago on January 20. Last November, Race2Recovery became the first ever recipient of a grant from the Endeavour Fund, established by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
In just 18 months, the Race2Recovery team quickly turned into a fully functioning rally raid team. The campaign started with only one Land Rover Freelander and about five members but now, there are 28 people in the team with four Wildcat race vehicles and a fleet of support vehicles.
These include a 4x4 truck that will race the course so that it could support the race cars, as well as 8x8 support trucks and Land Rover Discovery vehicles to help in moving the support team and mechanical equipment. Land Rover's team of off-road experts provided training to Race2Recovery in November and December 2012 in the Sahara desert. They learned about the type of terrain that the team will be facing at the Dakar Rally.