The Race2Recovery blog: It’s only going to get bigger

dakar 2 300x225 The Race2Recovery blog: It’s only going to get bigger

Some of the Race2Recovery team

Race2Recovery is the first disabled team ever to enter the Dakar Rally, the world’s toughest motorsport event. Comprised predominantly of British and American servicemen, wounded in action, the team has set out to prove that serious injuries are no barrier to extraordinary achievement, and to raise money for the Tedworth House Personnel Recovery Centre. Donations to the team’s fundraising campaign can be made at

For the Race2Recovery team, today marked the end of the beginning. After almost two years of hard work, four Wildcat rally raid cars past scrutineering, climbed a ceremonial ramp, took the applause of the Peruvian crowd and officially began the world’s toughest rally.

The car’s have now entered the parc ferme compound and won’t be returned to the team until the rally begins on Saturday. The mechanical prep is over: now it’s time to dust off the jet lag, repack the bags and look ahead to rally that will span 15 days and over 5,000 miles.

Since arriving in Lima on the 31st, the team have been based at the official rally headquarters on the Pacific Coast. Looking more like a scene from Mad Max than a traditional motorsport paddock, it’s an extraordinary sight. In the heat and the dust, eccentric beach buggies vie for attention with giant trucks, motorbikes and crazy quads.

And in the middle of it all has been a team of injured servicemen trying to grasp the scale of just what they’re taking on. “We’ve just two days to go before the start, but it’s still not really hit me that it’s about to happen,” says Tom Neathway, a triple amputee who’s a co-driver. “It’s all a bit surreal. We’ve had so much attention: spectators want our autograph and just about every news agency in the world wants to talk to us. It’s nuts; it’s a hell of a lot bigger than I thought it would be.”

Come Saturday and the start of the rally proper, it’s only going to get bigger.

Tagged in: , ,
  • Eric Bowyer-Wilson

    And it won’t be shown on British television bacause it’s not tribal warefare with a plastic ball.

Property search
Browse by area

Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter