This weekend will see arguably the biggest leap into the unknown for Race2Recovery, the charity rally team comprised predominantly of injured British servicemen. The team will contest its first international rally raid, the Tuareg Rally, as it moves into the next phase of preparation for its assault on the 2013 Dakar Rally.
Having spent 2011 competing in the British Cross Country Championship in the Race2Recovery Land Rover Freelander and selected events in the Qt Wildcats, the Tuareg will be the first major international event for the team. As such, the team members are expecting the learning curve to steepen to the point of becoming near vertical but are relishing the challenge of moving their programme up several gears.
The team has been heavily involved in the preparation of the two Qt Wildcats that will contest the event at the Qt Services premises in Plymouth. Both cars have had new Quaife gearboxes fitted, Alcon brakes tested and Donerre dampers fitted which has allowed the team to familiarise themselves with the systems and components ready for the service intervals on the event.
Several key members also took part in specialised driver training prior to the event, including low grip simulations, sand skills and recovery and repair practices.
The Tuareg Rally itself is a perfect initiation into International Rally Raids, since the bulk of the competition is based predominantly around a single central service area or 'camp', based at Mersouga in Morocco. There is a single overnight halt on the way to Mersouga from the port of Nidor at the beginning and the end of the event but the Tuareg Rally will give Race2Recovery the first taste of what they will face on the Dakar; high altitude driving over the Atlas Mountains, sand dune driving and navigation in the Sahara and the stamina and endurance necessary for eight days at the wheel and under the cars for the technicians.
This event will provide exactly the right balance of training and experience for the team. It will allow them to develop their skills in a progressively more complex environment whilst ensuring that vital lessons can be learnt both in the camp and racing. The added bonus of a slightly more stable bivouac and excellent facilities will allow the team a chance to look after their injuries and learn from their mistakes without an absolute fear of sleep deprivation.
The event begins in Almeria in Spain on Sunday 18 March and the crews travel to Morocco overnight by Ferry.
Day 1, 19 March - Nidor/Missor
390 Km including tricky navigational sections
Day 2, 20 March - Missor/Mersouga
340Km including sand dunes at Erfoud
Day 3, 21 March - Circuit Mersouga
230Km around the camp at Mersouga
Day 4, 22 March - Kingstage
280Km, the first foray into the sand dunes
Day 5, 23 March - Dune Race
80Km purely run in sand dunes of the Sahara
Day 6, 24 March - Mersouga/Missor
400Km as the crews head back north and towards the finish
Day 7, 25 March - Missor/Nador
400Km back through the Guercif section from Day 1. Overnight ferry back to Spain
Day 8, 26 March - Almeria/Mojacar
110Km including dried gorge, to the finish
To read the full press release, please click here