Rally team all set for a new ‘rollercoaster ride’

Andrew Taylor, Dave Reeve and Debbie Harrison of the Race2Recovery team of injured soldiers and civilian volunteers competing in the 2014 Dakar rally to raise money for military charities Andrew Taylor, Dave Reeve and Debbie Harrison of the Race2Recovery team of injured soldiers and civilian volunteers competing in the 2014 Dakar rally to raise money for military charities

David Bale david.bale2@archant.co.uk
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
3:59 PM

Two Norwich men are taking part in this year’s Dakar Rally as part of the Race2Recovery group of severely injured soldiers.

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The group made history last year as the first disabled team to enter and complete the rally, which is known as the toughest race in the world.

The team, supported by Land Rover, has entered two race vehicles in this year’s event and includes Norwich men Andrew Taylor, 41, and David Reeve, 59.

Mr Taylor, formerly of the Royal Army Medical Corps, has been involved with the team for several years and was a key part of last year’s Race2Recovery line-up.

Mr Reeve is one of the civilian members of the team and a rally veteran of two decades.

His wife, Debbie Harrison, an occupational therapist and lecturer at the UEA, is also contributing to the team via her long-term role as social media manager.

Mr Taylor said: “Last year’s Dakar experience was something that none of us will ever forget.

“It was a rollercoaster ride of emotions, but to get one of our cars to the finish line was a monumental achievement.

“I’m delighted that we’re able to get back out to compete in the 2014 Dakar and it just goes to show what can be done when you have a group of people with such determination and drive.”

The Race2Recovery team has raised over £250,000 for Tedworth House Personnel Recovery Centre and Help for Heroes and, this year, is also raising awareness of military charity Blesma.

This year’s Race2Recovery team is made up of 16 injured soldiers and civilian volunteers, including drivers, co-drivers, support vehicle drivers and a crew of technical and mechanical experts.

The injured servicemen will be driving Land Rover Defender-based Wildcat rally-raid vehicles, both of which were entered in last year’s race, as well as a T4 race truck and a T5 support truck, which will follow the route providing support for both race vehicles.

Two Land Rover Discovery vehicles provided by Land Rover will support Race2Recovery along the assistance route and will provide support to the team throughout the 14-day epic, which started on Sunday and runs until January 18.

The team will traverse three countries; Argentina, Bolivia (motorcycles only) and Chile.

The members will travel more than 9,000km, including crossing the Atacama desert and the Andes mountain range, in temperatures that could reach between 40 to 50 degrees Celcius.

Visit www.race2recovery.com and www.uk.media.landrover.com for more details.

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