The story of the 2012 Mission Motorsport team entry in the Britcar 24 Hour race at Silverstone. 13 minutes, pull up a sandbag, and enjoy.
You can play ‘spot the crew’ now, Gary is in a logistics role at Aston Martin Racing, Jimmy is working and instructing for Track-Group running race cars, James is in a Motorsport degree course at Derby University, while Matt is at Bentley in Crewe. Tony – stalwart crew chief, now bringing on the next generation of Mission Motorsport guys, and both Matt and James spend (long) weekends as race mechanics for Aston in the World Endurance Championships, just back from Spa, next stop Le Mans.
Will and Copey – unbelievably – are back in Afghanistan. Come home safely guys…
Last month, we accompanied the Help for Heroes ‘Band of Brothers’ at a Motorsport Endeavour event at Donington – was a great day for our lad Lionel, who was let loose in the Mission Motorsport M3. He got it rather sideways on the cold wet track, but did as taught and was relaxed enough to catch a rather tasty drift coming out of Coppice
We ended up helping fit something rather tasty with hand controls…
Huge thanks to the Maserati press team, that was a very excited young lady. Car sounded epic, and she didn’t hang around…
We were also fortunate enough to meet Stephen Carr, a veteran who has something of a gift for poetry. He finds it cathartic, we think it is brilliant. He’s been kind enough to allow us to reproduce his words here:
I did my duty
I did my best
I hid behind a bullet-proof vest
I walked the streets with gun in hand
I held the peace in a foreign land
People didn’t want me there
They would often stand and stare
But my duty was to keep the peace
I tried to save a life, at least
I saw men die
I saw men suffer
Life couldn’t get too much tougher
Bombs and bullets played their tune
And forced me deep in to the gloom
My duty there was never done
I worked until the passing sun
Then one day the years have passed
But memories would last and last
No corner of my mind is safe
I am haunted by that foreign place
I try to run
I try to hide
My demons always by my side
Did I serve my country true
Would I really die for you
Did I do my very best
Did I need my bomb-proof vest
Did I see my colleagues die
Or is it just a wicked lie
All I know is this you see
I can never be set free
The Troubles they have left their mark
They keep me trembling in the dark
So enjoy your freedom that I won
For this soldiers work is done
(c) Stephen Carr
Let us know what you think at http://www.facebook.com/missionmotorsport or on Twitter at @MissionMotorspt
Fantastic email received:
A winter’s tale, of sorts.
Myself, brother and sister-in-law sat around over Christmas, moaning about our seemingly spectacular collection of injuries; sister-in-law, broken wrist thanks to too many sherbets at the office party; brother, recovering from having a scheduled operation on Christmas Eve to remove some bone from his shoulder following a rugby injury; myself, damaged ankle ligaments from the Boxing Day charity rugby game that took place hours earlier. In the midst of our moaning, slightly belated Christmas gifts and cards were shared, including Mission Motorsport Christmas cards. I commented on the surprising relevance of the Jaguar-legged reindeer and our collective collection of injuries; how fitting that even the reindeers were crocked.
Then it dawned on me, the kind of injuries depicted by those reindeer and how pathetic and inconsequential our collective injuries are by comparison. In weeks and months, bone and ligament will heal, life will go on and Christmas 2012 will be a humorous anecdote up there with with the sister-in-law crashing the car in front of the family in 2009 and me accidentally firing fireworks at the family back on New Years Eve 2000.
For those brave boys and girls injured doing their job for their country, we salute you and hope that you all had a fantastic Christmas with family and friends and that 2013 is a fantastic year for all. We are thankful for what you did and greatly admire the way you are tackling your challenges going forward.
Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all at Mission Motorsport. Keep up the good work.
Thanks to Yokohama UK, we had a great opportunity to get one of our guys very close to the action at Brands Hatch last weekend. James sent us this lovely thank you:
I would just like to say a huge thank you to Major James Cameron and the rest of the team at Mission Motorsport for organising a fantastic weekend at Brands Hatch with Team Yokohama.
I am due to be medically discharged on the 6th August this year and going on to do a degree in Motorsport Technology at Derby University.
After being put in contact with the charity Mission Motorsport, they have been superb as they recognised my plans to go into the motorsport industry and they have been a fantastic help.
This weekend at Brands Hatch was second to none. Being integrated with Team Yokohama was a brilliant experience. I was welcomed into the team and given the uniform so from the off I was a part of them and they looked after me brilliantly.
I got a first hand look into the sport as I got face to face with the Formula 2 drivers and teams alike. Talking to the race teams and mechanics has given me a super insight into motorsport and I have gained some valuable knowledge I know I can take with me to university.
I helped the Yokohama Team changing race tyres and balancing the completed wheels along with being shown how to interpret tyre degradation and testing the tyres’ temperature ranges in the pit lanes. Learning how different tyre pressures,suspension and tracking set-up can effect the performance of the tyres and cars.
The highlights of the weekend had to be being able to walk the grid as the F2 cars lined up ready to race and meeting the GT Open drivers Nick Tandy and Marco Holzer. Also having pictures taken with them and the Manthey racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR by Jochen from Frozenspeed motorsport photography.
Well what an amazing weekend. I’m sure I will be the envy of a lot of people when I do start my degree at Derby and this weekend has just made me all the more eager to get started and get involved with motorsports more than ever.
Thank you Mission Motorsports for a fantastic weekend and one I won’t forget for a very long time.
L/Cpl James Longmate
Yokohama HPT Head of Motorsport, Mark Evans said:
“When Mission Motorsport asked if we could integrate one of their members into our team for the weekend, we were more than happy to help. James will be leaving the Army soon and embarking on a career in motorsport, so a weekend behind the scenes with us at Brands Hatch gave him a useful insight into not only how the supply of control tyres helps make the series such a success but also, the numerous other aspects of motorsport.”
Not counting MM Ambassador, Brigadier Mike Hickson who is defending last year’s trophy in a borrowed Aston, Sgt Nat Blewer is our man on Tour Britannia – in the unbelievably fast Radical SR3 SL
Driven by our friend, Aston works driver and EVO writer, Dickie Meaden, they’ve already finished 2 competitive stages. Only 24 to go, then, including Harewood, Croft, Cadwell, and a legendary final party, by all counts.
Looks cosy, doesn’t it?
The Meaden / Blewer ‘bromance’ has paid off, royally. They’ve only bloody gone and won it! Huge thanks to Radical for an amazing car, and for a great event (and the attrition that goes with it!)
Amazing 2 days.
Lots of laps, the M5 didn’t do 155mph down the Kemmel straight, honest…
The lads have been out in a couple of F458 Italias, having a dice with Porsche Cup cars at Spa. Utterly, utterly nuts.
What an amazing month March has been. We’ve put guys on track, raced across the Solent, taken families out for the day and built track cars.
We’ve also made a lot of new friends… and are co-ordinating the placement of three guys with motorsport companies with the Defence Employment and Opportunities Team. This is really exciting – but just the beginning as the Summer will see our program with Bentley kick in.
April sees us driver training, deliver RYA qualifications to the first power boaters, and do the paperwork for our new workshop. We are also taking in the iconic Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium in a pair of BMWs including the new M5, and racing a Porsche at Donington Park.
Oh yeah. And someone gave us this:
Amazing generosity. Thank you so much to Tim and Chris, you’ll see it in use very soon, and you’ll see us up in Anglesey before long too.
Now then. Fundraising. HELP! Please drop us a line on firstname.lastname@example.org
PRESS RELEASE 1 MARCH 2012
MISSION MOTORSPORT LAUNCH HEADLINE
1 March 2012: The official launch of “Mission Motorsport” a new organisation that uses motorsport to deliver rehabilitation opportunities to injured service personnel, took place at Thruxton Circuit today.
Formed by a dedicated group of serving soldiers, officers and Motorsport professionals; Mission Motorsport’s mission is to aid in the recovery and rehabilitation of those affected by military operations by providing opportunities through Motorsport.
After a number of very successful events in 2011, the organisation has today been granted charitable status by the Charities Commission and British racing legend Sir Stirling Moss OBE has been confirmed as the charity’s first patron. Mission Motorsport has exiting plans for 2012 which include a driver development program, including skills training, coaching and licence acquisition. A fleet of race and track cars have been prepared, and will be developed and maintained by the servicemen as they train and campaign in a number of race disciplines. The charity is planning to enter the Britcar 24hr race, the 25hr Fun Cup race at Spa Francorchamps as well as a full season entry in the Superstock Powerboat championship in the P1 class.
Through engagement in the sport – the charity has a secondary aim, to open up a series of vocational opportunities, placements and secondments for injured servicemen considering a return to civilian life. In addition it was confirmed today that Mission Motorsport will work with Bentley Motors to set up its first industrial placement later this year.
James Cameron, co-founder and Director of Mission Motorsport said:
“The formal launch of Mission Motorsport and the confirmation of our charitable status is a landmark achievement for us.”
“We know from first-hand experience that participating in motorsport offers an incredible rehabilitation opportunity”
“We’re therefore delighted to be able to take our project forward and deliver a full programme of activities this year. With Sir Stirling and Bentley already on board, we’ve the chance to really make a difference to the lives of those affected by military operations”
Christine Gaskell, Member of the Board for Personnel at Bentley Motors said:
“Everyone at Bentley is aware of the sacrifices made by our armed forces and the challenges many servicemen face adapting to life after service. So when we were approached by Mission Motorsport we jumped at the opportunity to work with them”
“With the entire Bentley operation taking place at our site in Crewe we are able to offer a wide range of opportunities that reflect the skills and experience of the individuals”.
Notes to Editors:
1. Mission Motorsport has been officially appointed as the British Army’s provider of adaptive motorsport following a very successful year in 2011 establishing the principle. The new organisation will work with the Defence Recovery Capability, Help for Heroes, Battleback and the veterans of Help for Heroes’ ‘Band of Brothers’ to deliver stimulating, constructive and competitive activities ranging from high level racing to educational programs and vocational opportunities in partnership with the UK’s automotive industry.
2. Mission Motorsport’s activities can be divided into three main themes.
a. EXPERIENCE: Days out, privileged access to big events and in a first hand, front seat, white knuckle introduction to an exciting and engaging sport.
b. COMPETITION: The preparation, development, coaching and teamwork involved in competition is a hugely cathartic experience. By engaging in track racing and offshore powerboating we engender a real team ethos. It is about much more than just the driving – car and boat preparation, logistics, support and race management all present challenges to be overcome. This can greatly help in the rebuilding of an individual’s confidence and provides emotional as well as practical support.
c. EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Mission Motorsport provides a range of training courses and educational opportunities to suit the needs of individuals. These range from one day basic car maintenance courses at our workshop near Tedworth House; to a motorsport foundation course culminating in a residential placement working with a major race team. Our powerboat crews will be provided the opportunity to gain RYA qualifications up to Instructor level or a City & Guilds in seamanship skills. In 2012 we have mechanic placements with race car manufacturers and race teams, including a team racing at Le Mans – the pinnacle of endurance motor racing.
Event Name: Mission Motorsport Launch Event – 1st March 2012
What exactly is being offered:
Open to serving soldiers and veterans alike, Mission Motorsport have arranged for exclusive use of a trackday at Thruxton circuit, offering a taster of the activities planned by Mission Motorsport on behalf of servicemen and veterans in 2012. They will have on track and on display race cars, adapted karts, with passenger rides on offer in race and track cars (including Porsche, Lotus, Mazda and BMW) with professional racers as well as with some of the lads who benefitted in 2011. In addition Bentley will have the new, as yet unseen in the UK, Continental GT V8 on track for our entertainment with a works driver. There is also some opportunity, subject to availability, for individuals to take their own cars on track with instruction. In the paddock we will also have our powerboat that will be racing this season around the UK in the P1 Superstock Offshore series, with the current series champion on hand to give advice and answer questions from prospective racers.
Date: 1 March 2012
Timings: 0800 – 1600
Thruxton Motorsport Centre, Thruxton Circuit, Andover, Hampshire SP11 8PW
PLEASE NOTE – IF YOU USE SAT. NAV. TO FIND US, PLEASE SEARCH FOR THRUXTON CIRCUIT, DONT USE OUR POSTCODE.
Thruxton is readily accessible from both the M3 and M4. It is approximately 1.5 hours from London and 2.5 hours from Birmingham. Once on the A303, follow signs for Thruxton Circuit ONLY, ignore signs for Thruxton village. Apon leaving the A303 follow signs for Thruxton Circuit.
Proceed through the main entrance and through the tunnel. The tunnel entrance is slightly off to the left at the top of the rise. On exiting the tunnel turn immediately left into the paddock car park. At the far end of the paddock you will see the media centre building where you will need to sign on.
Hospitality that is being offered:
Indoor event, with outside activity on circuit and in the paddock.
Tea and coffee will be available, and there is a cafe at the circuit for lunch.
Requirements of the attendee:
Prospective drivers will have to bring both sections (paper and card) of their full, current driver’s licence.
Noise test for participating vehicles are very strict (90db limit static, 80db drive-by)
There will be a limited number of helmets on loan, if participants have a current CE rated SNELL compliant helmet then they may prefer to bring their own.
Is there disabled / Wheelchair access:
Yes. All activities are at ground level on the flat. There is ample parking. In case of inclement weather Thruxton Media Centre will be used which has easy access and seating.
Full Contact details:
Deadline for responses:
29 Feb 2012.
Number of spaces available:
50. Track places subject to availability
Any other information that may be relevant:
This is the opportunity to see Mission Motorsport’s line up and register an interest in race tuition, licensing, racing and team mechanic qualifications in 2012. It will also prove to be a very good day out, and the opportunity to meet those soldiers who participated in 2011.