Saturday, 10 September 2011

Ride with Ben Collins for a good cause!


a) Castle Combe's Rallyday is a great event to visit if you're into Rallying or just motorsport in general.
b) Race2Recovery is a brilliant initiative to help Help the Heroes

And what's more it's closely linked to the British Cross Country Championship, who we met at the Autosport show back in January.

So what better way to support this worthy cause by scaring yourself silly with a ride with Top Gear's former tame test driver Ben Collins (Whom Clarkson seems to revel in calling "Sacked Stig"), and what a car to take the ride in other than the Wildcat, which prompted Top Gear's Richard Hammond to proclaim himself "A Driving God". Yeah Right...

We hope that visitors to Overdrive will support this project wholeheartedly!

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This can do what a Land Rover does. At the speed of a Jaguar. We want a go.
Visitors at this year’s Rallyday, at Castle Combe in Wiltshire on Saturday 17 September, can enjoy the ride of their life, as passenger in a Qt Services Wildcat 500 driven by Top Gear’s former ‘Stig’, Ben Collins. However, not only will they experience a once-in-a-lifetime thrill, they will also support the Race2Recovery campaign, as it raises money for wounded and disabled British servicemen.

The Race2Recovery campaign is supporting three charities – Help for Heroes, the Royal British Legion and Combat Stress - and has set itself a challenging goal: to compete in, and finish, the 2013 Dakar Rally and in the process, raise £2m for wounded British servicemen and their families. The team will run a pair of Qt Wildcats on the event, one driven by amputee Captain Tony Harris and co-driven by Captain Matt O’Hare, while the second will be driven by Qt’s Dave Marsh and co-driven by triple amputee Corporal Tom Neathway.

The team will be familiar to fans of BBC’s Top Gear, as they featured in the last episode of the latest series, preparing to begin competition in the Britpart British Cross Country Championship and gain their necessary license to compete on the Dakar.

Their cause has also attracted the attention of several celebrities, notably TG’s former ‘Stig’ and experienced racer, Ben Collins, who became the campaign’s Patron.

Collins will be one of the drivers giving passenger rides at RallyDay, rallying’s premier fan event. Other drivers will also be giving passenger rides, including Harris, who recently claimed Race2Recovery’s first class win in the BCCC, partnered by O’Hare.

Over the last few years, the organisers of the event, which draws huge crowds every year, have been developing the off-road, rally-raid presence at the show and this year, the Race2Recovery team will feature in this.

Passenger rides with Collins are priced at £250 while rides in one of the other Wildcats are priced at £20, with all proceeds going directly to Race2Recovery’s goals.

We loved our time in this roadgoing Evolution X
a rally prepped one would be even better!
However, it’s not only rides in off-roaders that are available to supporters of Race2Recovery. Through the organisers, the team has secured two passenger rides in state-of-the-art stage rally cars: one in the works Ford Fiesta WRC, built in the UK by M-Sport and one in the Mitsubishi Lancer EvolutionX R4, also developed in the UK by the company formed from the ex-works Mitsubishi World Rally Team, MML Sports.

The driver of the Fiesta is yet to be confirmed but at the wheel of the Lancer will be former works Mitsubishi driver, Harri Rovanpera, who claimed second overall in Mitsubishi’s last official event in the WRC.

Both the rides in the Fiesta and the Lancer will be auctioned by Race2Recovery online, with the proceeds again contributing to the campaign’s goals.

Commenting, Harris said: “Rallyday is, without doubt, the biggest rally show in the UK and it was a bit of a no-brainer that we had to attend. Ben came up with the idea of ‘selling’ passenger rides in the Qt Wildcats to raise money towards our goals.

“The Rallyday organisers were incredibly supportive of the idea and we are all delighted to be at the event. Personally, I think £250 for a ride with Ben in one of the Wildcats is great value and will help our cause enormously. But of course, we will be just as grateful to anyone who goes for a £20 ride with one of the other drivers or simply makes a donation on the day.”

Collins is also excited by the prospect of the event: "I'm looking forward to seeing the R2R Team in action again at Rallyday at Castle Combe - the last time I saw them was on BBC's Top Gear program and we were driving down a cliff face, so it should be exciting to see what the Team come up with this time out. Supporting this remarkable charity is a huge amount of fun and I would invite as many people as possible to come and meet the Team and to feel as inspired by their adventures as I do.”

Wildcat rides with Collins are limited and must be pre-booked, by emailing Race2Recovery Team Manager Andrew Taylor at Andrew@race2recovery.co.uk. Rides in the other four Wildcats can be booked on the day, though.

For more information on the Race2Recovery campaign and how to support the cause, go to www.race2recovery.co.uk. The website will also feature links to the auctions for the passenger rides in the Fiesta and Lancer, each of which also come with a pair of ticket for entry on the day.

Fiesta WRC Ride:
Item number: 220844889023
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220844889023#ht_701wt_1

Lancer EvoX R4 Ride:
Item number: 220844896447
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/220844896447?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p39


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UPDATE

The organisation featured on BBC's Top Gear programme was in fact, Project Mobility, who have made a statement as follows :


Following the overwhelming public reaction to Project Mobility’s appearance on BBC’s Top Gear we are celebrating some great achievements for our cause; not least winning tremendous support from wonderful, generous people and being able to purchase essential hardware such as a trailer and fire safety equipment.
There appears to be some confusion to why there are two different disabled rally teams being represented in the press and over social media. For the record, we would like to clarify;
Top Gear was filmed in May 2011. All those involved in the film were racing under, being interviewed in front of, and representing the Project Mobility banner.
Shortly after Top Gear was filmed, the two drivers featured in the film formed the UK’s second disabled rally team - Race to Recovery. Project Mobility welcomes their independence and delights in being the catalyst and inspiration they needed to set out on their own. We are very proud to have been there in the early days for those guys. Motorsport is fierce and competitive, whether you are able bodied or face any kind of disability. It is to everybody’s advantage that our disabled drivers can now compete with their peers as they also work towards the goal of competing in the Dakar Rally.

Our mechanic Gavin, whose moving story was told on Top Gear, remains the linchpin of a growing team of new drivers that Project Mobility is committed to training.
Our mission remains unchanged... to engage, involve and inspire as many injured personnel, and the wider disabled community, to participate in motorsport and offroading activities; enhancing confidence, independence and a sense of achievement from behind the wheel.
http://www.projectmobility4x4.org/news_News/13/An-Important-Statement-From-Project-Mobility.html
Thanks to Sally at Project Mobility for pointing this out to us.