Dakar 2013 Tour: the British take their place
The British world of motorsports, which has traditionally focused on circuits, has its eye increasingly trained on the king of off-road events. Several drivers are now starting to make a name for themselves, whereas the Race 2 Recovery project has immediately captured the human essence of the challenge.
A date had been set and the venue was Gaydon. The village is renowned for its discretion but it also conceals one of the most important centres in the history and the life of British automobile sport. This is because the parish of Gaydon, which has 376 inhabitants, is also home to Aston Martin. And it is precisely here in the Heritage Motor Centre, a prestigious museum dedicated to historical vehicles, where Bowler played host to the organisers of the Dakar. Among the former and future drivers and bikers invited to the reception, the biker Stanley Watt, who completed his third Dakar with a 25th place in Santiago, was able to convey his passion for the event to the people from Ireland, Scotland and Wales who had all travelled to England for the event.
The story of an immediate and intense bond was the subject of a speech by Tony Harris, after having steered the Race 2 Recovery project though the last edition. In accounting parlance, the balance was not quite as stellar as expected, with only one car at the finish out of four starting out, taking 91st and last place in the overall ranking. But that was not the key issue for these veterans of the American and British armies, most of them disabled following missions to Iraq or Afghanistan. The collective challenges that they faced reveals an extraordinary human experience, which ITV4 viewers were able to discover in a documentary made about their adventure. The organiser of Race 2 Recovery, willing to get a team together at the start in Rosario next January, has already conquered people’s hearts. The dunes are waiting for them
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