Mission Motorsport http://www.missionmotorsport.org Race, Retrain, Recover. Fri, 07 Sep 2018 11:48:07 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 82364927 Thakeham donates over 100 Goodwood Festival of Speed tickets to Mission Motorsport http://www.missionmotorsport.org/thakeham-donates-over-100-goodwood-festival-of-speed-tickets-to-mission-motorsport/ http://www.missionmotorsport.org/thakeham-donates-over-100-goodwood-festival-of-speed-tickets-to-mission-motorsport/#respond Tue, 31 Jul 2018 09:13:35 +0000 http://www.missionmotorsport.org/?p=1605 View Article]]> Massive thanks to Sussex-based property developer Thakeham, which donated over 100 tickets for this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed (July 12 – 15) to Mission Motorsport. These tickets were promptly distributed to our beneficiaries and their families, enabling them to enjoy this fantastic event.

Thakeham was the Goodwood Festival of Speed’s new sponsor of the family experience and hosted a range of new activities in the 2,500 square feet family experience, previously sponsored by Vauxhall.

Rob Boughton, Managing Director at Thakeham, said: “We take an active interest in any way our business can help former armed forces personnel in our local communities. We support events and have introduced recruitment programmes.”

“Our ticket donation was a simple way to share some fun at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. We were especially delighted to partner with Mission Motorsport who helped our tickets reach such worthy recipients. We hope everyone had a wonderful time.”

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Jaguar Land Rover donates two F-TYPEs to Mission Motorsport to transform the lives of military veterans http://www.missionmotorsport.org/jaguar-land-rover-donates-two-f-types-to-mission-motorsport-to-transform-the-lives-of-military-veterans/ http://www.missionmotorsport.org/jaguar-land-rover-donates-two-f-types-to-mission-motorsport-to-transform-the-lives-of-military-veterans/#respond Fri, 29 Jun 2018 07:09:49 +0000 http://www.missionmotorsport.org/?p=1591 View Article]]>
  • Jaguar Land Rover’s Castle Bromwich car plant donates two Jaguar F-TYPEs to armed forces’ charity Mission Motorsport
  • Two sports cars will kick start the recovery of wounded, injured and sick (WIS) veterans through a bespoke motorsport programme
  • Ex-services recruits and Mission Motorsport ambassadors helped Castle Bromwich workforce build the cars
  • To find out more and hear from those involved watch this film
  • Or see the full length version here  

    Jaguar Land Rover has strengthened its commitment to the armed forces with the donation of two F-TYPE sports cars to Mission Motorsport. The cars will be used by the charity to support the recovery and rehabilitation of ex service personnel affected by their time in the military.

    The donation, championed by the armed forces team at the Castle Bromwich manufacturing plant, was made in the run-up to Armed Forces Day on 30 June. It continues Jaguar Land Rover’s relationship with the forces’ motorsport charity established in 2014 with the creation of its Armed Forces Engagement Programme. A critical element of that project was the establishment of a Wounded Injured and Sick (WIS) training scheme, in which more than 45 WIS personnel have taken part and 29 have gained full-time employment with Britain’s biggest car maker. Six others had been employed by Jaguar Land Rover’s partner organisations.

    Rob Lummis, Head of Employee Experiences at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “These two cars will make an immeasurable difference to the Mission Motorsport team, enabling them to reach even more veterans who don’t know what the future holds after their discharge from the military.

    “At Jaguar Land Rover we have seen the benefits a programme like this can have in awakening new horizons, ambitions and careers. We look forward to seeing the next set of beneficiaries begin their new future with us”.

    Castle Bromwich workers were joined by some of Jaguar Land Rover’s WIS recruits and Mission Motorsport ambassadors to build the cars – a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder 300PS and a range-topping 5.0-litre V8575PS SVR. One of those spending a day on the production line was Jaco Van Biljon, who joined Jaguar Land Rover’s WIS training programme in 2017 and went on to secure employment in the firms powertrain division. He’s since represented Great Britain at the Warrior Games and has been selected, along with two JLR colleagues, as members of Team GB for this year’s Invictus Games taking place in Sydney this October. Jaco is also about to embark on a sponsored degree.”

    He said: “I did not know that my journey from Mission Motorsport to Jaguar Land Rover would be life-changing when I made that first phone call. I left the military because of a degenerative condition and really didn’t know where to turn. Today, I’m here at Jaguar Land Rover in a job I love, with a team that support me and a bright and exciting future. It’s been quite incredible”.

    James Cameron, CEO at Mission Motorsport, said: “This has been an incredible gesture by Jaguar Land Rover and an extraordinary commitment to reinforce our hard work in support of those leaving the armed services. It is our responsibility now to harness the excitement that these cars create to help inspire those who have so much to offer. We are very grateful indeed for this transformational gift.”

    Since signing the Armed Forces Covenant in 2014, Jaguar Land Rover has recruited more than 850 ex-forces personnel and is committed to seeing this number rise as it aims to become the employer of choice ex-military. Whether choosing to leave the armed forces, or having been wounded in action in, Jaguar Land Rover has a programme in place to support those transitioning from forces life to civilian career whilst meeting its own need to advance the skills and capability of the automotive industry. From leadership and team working skills to the ability to cope under pressure, the armed forces community has many of the core skills needed to help Jaguar Land Rover succeed in the future.

    The launch of new retailer technician training programme earlier this year is just one new way the company aims to upskill ex-military personnel for employment in Jaguar and Land Rover retailers across the UK. So far this year 12 technicians have been employed.

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    Charity partner for Motorsport Magazine’s Hall of Fame http://www.missionmotorsport.org/charity-partner-for-motorsport-magazines-hall-of-fame/ http://www.missionmotorsport.org/charity-partner-for-motorsport-magazines-hall-of-fame/#respond Wed, 06 Jun 2018 07:21:51 +0000 http://www.missionmotorsport.org/?p=1581 View Article]]> Mission Motorsport is charity partner for Motor Sport Magazine’s Hall of Fame awards, in support of our work in harnessing sport to help those leaving the Forces.


    At the event on 4th June, members of the Mission Motorsport team rubbed shoulders with the biggest names in motorsports and CEO James Cameron was welcomed to the stage to explain the vital work that the charity undertakes in using motor racing to aid the recovery and rehabilitation of military personnel.

    The exclusive annual event celebrates the greatest names in motor racing and welcomed new members in to the Motor Sport Hall of Fame. Previous inductees include heroes such as Mission Motorsport Patron Stirling Moss, Jim Clark, Tazio Nuvolari, Niki Lauda and Alain Prost and many others.  

    This year’s event was attended by motorsport heroes including Mission Motorsport supporter and Le Mans legend Derek Bell, former Formula 1 driver Karun Chandhok, Formula E champion Nelson Piquet Jr and a handful of Mission Motorsport beneficiaries.

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    Swift Group donates luxurious motorhome to Mission Motorsport http://www.missionmotorsport.org/swift-group-donates-luxurious-motorhome-to-mission-motorsport/ http://www.missionmotorsport.org/swift-group-donates-luxurious-motorhome-to-mission-motorsport/#respond Tue, 15 May 2018 13:42:15 +0000 http://www.missionmotorsport.org/?p=1573 View Article]]> A new Swift Bessacarr motorhome has been donated to Forces’ charity Mission Motorsport to use at events across the UK and worldwide, as part of a new partnership with Swift Group.

    Mission Motorsport plans to use the motorhome at over 100 events – including the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the British GT at Brands Hatch, and the charity’s own Race of Remembrance held on Anglesey in North Wales this November. The Swift Bessacarr will enable the team of staff, beneficiaries and volunteers to rest between and after races in comfort and style.

    The partnership was kicked off at Swift Group’s headquarters in Cottingham, East Yorkshire, when Swift Commercial Director Nick Page handed over the keys to Mission Motorsport CEO James Cameron.

    From left to right: Swift Group’s Commercial Director Nick Page, James Cameron, CEO of Mission Motorsport, Aston Dimmock, Mission Motorsport Workshop Manager and Head of Marketing at Swift Group Andy Newhall.

    Nick Page said: “We are delighted to partner with Mission Motorsport through the donation of a Swift Bessacarr motorhome. The work they are doing is incredible – helping our heroes to make a fresh start. We hope the Bessacarr can bring the team a little more comfort when trackside and contribute to the charity continuing its excellent work.”

    James Cameron, CEO Mission Motorsport, said: “Our work in support of the Forces’ community sees us deliver a calendar that spans motorsport events across the country, from Elite level sport to low level, recovery events. With so many events planned in 2018, across the UK and beyond, this Swift motorhome will make an enormous difference in our ability to look after our guys and girls attending. We are hugely grateful to the Swift Group for this generous donation and look forward to getting on the road with this luxurious motorhome.”

    Mission Motorsport relies on donations and industry partners to help men and women affected by military operations to ‘race, retrain and recover’. Launched six years ago, the charity has worked with 1,400 ex-servicemen and women, providing 4,500 days of sport and helped 120 wounded, injured and sick service leavers and veterans to find employment.

    Swift Group is Europe’s No1 leisure vehicle brand and the UK’s biggest manufacturer of caravans, motorhomes and holiday homes. The Swift Bessacarr is a premium motorhome range – a true icon of luxury and high performance. It was completely redesigned for 2018 with a streamlined low profile and a lavish interior.

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    Mission Motorsport gears up for fifth Race of Remembrance http://www.missionmotorsport.org/mission-motorsport-gears-up-for-fifth-race-of-remembrance/ http://www.missionmotorsport.org/mission-motorsport-gears-up-for-fifth-race-of-remembrance/#respond Tue, 20 Mar 2018 14:59:51 +0000 http://www.missionmotorsport.org/?p=1569 View Article]]> Entries now open for this special event that commemorates 100 years since the end of First World War

    Forces’ charity Mission Motorsport is today launching its fifth Race of Remembrance, a special event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day and the sacrifices made by all service personnel and their families.

    The race, now a highlight in the UK racing calendar, takes place at the beautiful Anglesey Circuit in North Wales from 9th – 11th November and will this year be bigger and better than ever, with 50 teams competing in a 12-hour endurance race. The action-packed weekend will feature a Heroes Dinner in the marquee, night racing and at 10.45 on Sunday morning the track will fall silent as the race pauses to hold a very special service of remembrance.

    Sir Chris Hoy, Olympian and competitor at Race of Remembrance, talks about the event in a short film. He said: “The event was amazing. I knew a bit about it beforehand, I’d seen videos from previous years and spoken to people about it but you really have to be here to understand the spirit of the event. You get caught up in it all, it’s amazing. Incredible people that do such an amazing job in helping these injured service men and women. Not just those that are getting involved in the racing but those who are helping out the teams and just getting them out and interacting with people, it’s incredible. And to have the service half way through the race as well was a really special and emotional moment.”

    Watch this film from 2017 Race of Remembrance…

    As well helping to attract new beneficiaries, raise awareness and support for Mission Motorsport, Race of Remembrance plays a vital role in raising funds to support the charity’s work. Mission Motorsport engages new beneficiaries through motorsport and, through its accredited training centres and corporate partnerships, gives them new skills and work placements, providing a network of support and pastoral care throughout each person’s journey.  In six years, the charity has seen impressive growth and delivered more than 4,000 training days of sport for almost 1,300 beneficiaries, leading to over 200 placements and more than 100 jobs.

    James Cameron, CEO of Mission Motorsport, said: “Race of Remembrance is always a special event and one that is eagerly anticipated by a growing number of people from across the charity, racing industry and further afield. This year will be especially poignant, falling as it dos on the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, and we will be commemorating the sacrifices made by service men and women in a very special way”.

    There are plenty of opportunities to get involved in Race of Remembrance, as a driver, volunteer or sponsor. Please contact us for more information.


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    Jaguar Land Rover extends Armed Forces recruitment to retailer network http://www.missionmotorsport.org/jaguar-land-rover-extends-armed-forces-recruitment-to-retailer-network/ http://www.missionmotorsport.org/jaguar-land-rover-extends-armed-forces-recruitment-to-retailer-network/#respond Fri, 09 Mar 2018 09:50:46 +0000 http://www.missionmotorsport.org/?p=1553 View Article]]>
  • Training programme, run with Mission Motorsport, is part of Jaguar Land Rover’s commitment to employ 1,000 former military personnel by 2020
  • Expanded technician programme will help ex-services find jobs with Jaguar Land Rover retailers
  • Second wave of technician training follows successful pilot in which six ex-military personnel secured UK retail network roles
  • Programme is the next phase of Jaguar Land Rover’s commitment to become the automotive employer of choice for ex-military

    From left – right: Andy Green, Luke Oakley, Keiran Cook and Tony Cromwell

    Jaguar Land Rover is helping ex-servicemen and women find new careers as technicians in its UK retailer network. A three-week intensive course will help those who have served their country transfer their valuable skills to the retailer network of Britain’s biggest carmaker.

    Phil Cannell, Jaguar Land Rover’s Technical Academy Manager, said: “This intensive, fast-track programme aims to capture the unique and transferable skills of armed forces personnel, giving them an opportunity to forge new careers as retail vehicle technicians. It addresses the challenges of supporting military into civilian careers while providing our retailers with the highest calibre of staff.”

    Technical, electronic and mechanical training is held at the Jaguar Land Rover Academy in Warwickshire. The expanded project follows a successful pilot in late 2017, which saw six technicians recruited by Jaguar Land Rover retailers.

    Joshua Gelder joined the military at 17 and now works at Hunters Land Rover in Chester after training on the pilot scheme. He said: “I applied for the opportunity because I knew Jaguar Land Rover had a strong connection with the military. I wanted to find something that would developed the skills I had

    gained in the military and allow me to feel part of a team again. The course really helped take my practical and theoretical skills to the next level.”

    Rob Lummis, Head of Employee Experiences at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “This initiative represents a partnership between Jaguar Land Rover, Mission Motorsport and our retailers across the country. The project is the first time that we’ve looked directly at how we can link our ex-service personnel in this way with vehicle technician roles and we’re really pleased to see these people have settled in so well in their new jobs.

    “We’d like to thank the retailers who have already signed up to this initiative. They’ve got some great technicians.”

    Simon Broughton, Head of Business at Hatfields in Liverpool, has employed two new technicians. He said: “For us to employ and train someone for a level two technician role would usually take around a year, so this programme is fantastic in securing the right people, in a timely way, to support our customers.

    “Ex-forces personnel are very focused and structured thanks to the environment they’ve come from. Other retailers should consider signing up for this because the experience has been nothing but positive.”

    Mission Motorsport has worked with Jaguar Land Rover since 2014 helping them develop their pioneering Armed Forces Engagement Programme that has helped 800 service leavers find employment. The expansion of this initiative, finding nationwide opportunities for service leavers and veterans in the national retail network, is another step forward.



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    Mission Motorsport celebrates sixth anniversary and record year of beneficiary and motorsport successes http://www.missionmotorsport.org/mission-motorsport-celebrates-sixth-anniversary-and-record-year-of-beneficiary-and-motorsport-successes/ http://www.missionmotorsport.org/mission-motorsport-celebrates-sixth-anniversary-and-record-year-of-beneficiary-and-motorsport-successes/#respond Thu, 01 Mar 2018 11:36:18 +0000 http://www.missionmotorsport.org/?p=1547 View Article]]> Forces’ charity Mission Motorsport is today, March 1st, celebrating its sixth anniversary and a record year in terms of the number of wounded, injured and sick (WIS) servicemen and women that it has helped to ‘race, retrain and recover’.

    During the last 12 months Mission Motorsport has:

    • Reached 446 WIS, of whom 384 were new to the charity
    • Provided 1,258 training days of sport
    • Secured a further 25 WIS into employment

    In the past six years, Mission Motorsport has worked with 1,296 WIS beneficiaries and secured employment for 103.  Its veteran programs have enabled over 1,000 veterans to find employment in the British Automotive sector.

    Mission Motorsport is also celebrating its long-term partnership with Help for Heroes, which is 10 years old in 2018.

    In the past 12 months Mission Motorsport has been involved in an ever increasing number of high profile and special events, with highlights from the last year including:

    Poppy car

    Mission Motorsport, The Royal British Legion and Jaguar Land Rover unveiled two Jaguar F-Types with a truly special commemorative #Poppycar vinyl wrap, created by Mission Motorsport beneficiaries ahead of Remembrance Sunday. One of the cars is affixed 50ft in the air to the outer wall of the Jaguar Castle Bromwich Plant – famous as the factory that built Spitfires and Lancaster Bombers in WW2. The other has since been the safety car at Race of Remembrance and appeared at Autosport International as the compere’s car. The story behind the Poppy car can be seen here.

    Autosport International

    At this year’s Autosport International Mission Motorsport beneficiaries took centre stage with teen racing driver and double amputee Billy Monger. Charity beneficiary Lionel O’Connor and his stung driving team worked with Billy for four months to help him drive again in adapted vehicles, and to gain the confidence to drive with precision to the limits of the vehicle and beyond. In the past five years, Mission Motorsport has helped hundreds of injured servicemen and women to race in specially adapted vehicles and first started stunt training with Terry Grant in 2012. Lionel O’Connor was one of the first students who, despite a high left leg amputation, showed exceptional ability and was mentored by Terry to go on to become Mission Motorsport’s lead car control instructor. As part of the stunt show with Terry Grant at Autosport International, Lionel led four Mission Motorsport beneficiaries driving in the two ‘Tron’ liveried Mission Motorsport F-Types. Multiple World Record holding stuntman Terry Grant explains in this powerful short video.

    Also at Autosport International, four more of the charity’s beneficiaries were named as drivers of the new Invictus Games Racing (IGR) team to compete in 2018-19 British GT Championships. At the Invictus Games Foundation’s request, Mission Motorsport established the ‘Mission Motorsport Academy’ which ran the selection event for 60 WIS Invictus hopefuls, and trained and campaigned the drivers to enable them to progress from beginners to experienced racers holding the required International C race licence for British GT. The charity’s beneficiaries who now work at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) are also part of the build team at Special Vehicle Operations for the F-TYPE SVR’s build to GT4 specification.

    Race of Remembrance

    Now a highlight in the racing calendar, Mission Motorsport’s fourth Race of Remembrance at Anglesey Circuit on Remembrance weekend was the biggest yet. The 2017 event saw more than 150 drivers in 45 teams compete in the 12-hour endurance race, which stops on Sunday for a poignant Remembrance tribute attended by hundreds of service men, women, veterans their families as well as civilian supporters.  US Army, US Marines and US Air Force as well as Canadian veterans participated alongside their British counterparts as ‘Operation Motorsport’ was launched.

    Training wing

    Mission Motorsport’s training wing has also grown in the past year. First opened in 2015, it offered Level 3 NVQs in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair and was established as an accredited satellite centre to Tedworth House with full City and Guilds support. Mission Motorsport can now also offer a Level 3 VRQ Diploma in Motorcycle Maintenance and Repair.

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    The McLaren F1 and the Skidpan http://www.missionmotorsport.org/the-mclaren-f1-and-the-skidpan/ http://www.missionmotorsport.org/the-mclaren-f1-and-the-skidpan/#respond Thu, 01 Mar 2018 08:20:07 +0000 http://www.missionmotorsport.org/?p=1538 View Article]]> Mission Motorsport’s 6th Anniversary celebrations

    The penultimate day of February was a fun (if cold) day. I was at the Goodwood Motor Circuit (home of the Revival meeting every September) to lend a hand to my favourite charity, Mission Motorsport. For the last 6 years, they have been assisting with the rehabilitation of Wounded, Injured and Sick British Armed Forces personnel, through the medium of motorsport. It might start with an invite to a trackday to get them out of the house and reconnecting with like-minded people. It leads on to training and involvement with fun motorsport activities of all kinds, including taking part in real races, rallies, and even offshore powerboats.

    The end game is to get their beneficiaries into rewarding careers in the automotive and related industries. So far, they’ve entertained/assisted/encouraged 1400 people, with 120 of them now in full time employment. All disabilities (visible and invisible) are catered for. It’s a very meaningful and rewarding way to spend time. They have counterparts across the Atlantic in the form of Operation Motorsport in the US and Canada, and other countries’ veterans groups are taking note.


    Porsche 904GTS replica by Martin & Walker. Looks and sounds like the real thing
    To celebrate 6 years of operation,Mission Motorsport took over Goodwood, and invited beneficiaries and donors for a day of motoring fun and cake. 55 cars of all kinds, from a Triumph TR3 to a new Lamborghini Huracan Performante would be turning up to provide high-speed passenger runs around the famous circuit. In addition, the car control area would make use of Goodwood’s skid pan in conjunction with Mission Motorsport’s fleet of Mazda MX5s (one of which has a steering wheel on the left side and the pedals on the right side, which is fun).


    Ex-works Aston Martin DB2 team car, which competed at Le Mans in 1950


    Each of the 55 track drivers had their own allocated paddock garage, and it was going to be my team’s job to direct them in groups to the pits ready to take on board passengers. However, it didn’t quite work out, as the weather intervened. Freezing overnight temperatures and the arrival of snow took away the opportunity to use the circuit. Many beneficiaries and drivers couldn’t make it, or didn’t want to risk their health standing around in the cold.

    No prizes for guessing which Porsche this view belongs to…


    For the people who did turn up, there was a great social atmosphere, and there were still lots of fun cars to look at and talk about. Just as things were calming down and some were starting to make their way home, a McLaren F1 appeared…


    This is the bit where you point to the screen and say “those rear lights are from a Bova bus”.


    The owner (Francois) had brought along chassis number 69, one of the last F1s to be built in 1998. The colour is called carbon black, which is fairly appropriate for a carbon composite-bodied monocoque car. It is a truly magnificent machine, and Francois was kind enough to let everyone present have a very close look, up to and including climbing into the central driving seat (I managed to get in there, of course). The hatches over the engine bay were opened up, revealing the 24 carat gold heatshielding and a non-original exhaust system. It’s also possible to admire the special brake ducts which open up when the brakes are applied and the rear wing/’air brake’ lifts up. The pressure difference between the wheel arches and the air rushing over the upper bodywork acts to suck air through the disks and up over the rear wing.

    Clever stuff, but nothing unexpected from Gordon Murray.


    Non-standard headers and exhaust allow a better view of the BMW V12. Rear brake ducts on left and right.


    The dihedral (‘butterfly’) doors open wide enough to grant access to the 3 seats inside, and it’s surprisingly easy to get into the driving seat (it’s all relative, but certainly easier for me than, say, a Lotus Elise S1 with it’s roof on). I tried the clutch pedal, and it has a very short action. Unsurprisingly, I understand it’s a difficult thing to master (although Francois certainly didn’t stall it). The gearchange to the right of the steering wheel is perfect. I’m not going to attempt a real review here, but if you moved it around I’m sure you’d come to the same conclusion.

    A mixture of bespoke and borrowed controls in here. Still perfect.


    In fact, everything about this car is perfect. It’s the best thing ever. I told you about that review thing, didn’t I? Francois even demonstrated the luggage hatch behind the door when he had to store his crash helmet and jacket.

    After some more discussion and admiration of the car, it was suggested that the skid pan would be made available to anyone who fancied having a go. This seemed like a fun idea, so the F1, Huracan Performante and Carrera GT formed a very unusual convoy to the far end of the paddock, accompanied by a 911 GT3, 911 Turbo and a BMW Z3M coupe, among others.

    There followed some of the most surreal things I’ve seen. With 2 beneficiaries at a time allowed to jump into the passenger seats, the F1 slid around at low speed, spinning it’s wheels (and body) as 627bhp found it’s way through that sharp clutch to the rear wheels. Bonkers.


    The sprinklers came on occasionally, which added to the spectacle:


    After a very dizzying display (for the occupants and spectators), it was time for a rest, and then some lunch. As far as weather-related washouts go, it was the finest ever. I’m very much looking forward to returning for the rescheduled track action. Maybe Francois will be kind enough to bring his other F1 along to that one. Yes, he has an F1 GTR as well. Because of course he does, wouldn’t you?


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    Mission Motorsport’s beneficiaries take centre stage at Autosport International http://www.missionmotorsport.org/mm-beneficiaries-take-centre-stage-at-autosport-international/ http://www.missionmotorsport.org/mm-beneficiaries-take-centre-stage-at-autosport-international/#respond Thu, 11 Jan 2018 13:58:42 +0000 http://www.missionmotorsport.org/?p=1520 View Article]]> Forces’ charity trains Billy Monger to drive again for stunt show with Terry Grant, and supports Invictus Games Racing launch

    Forces’ charity Mission Motorsport beneficiaries, including teen racing driver and double amputee Billy Monger, will take centre stage at Autosport International, which will see more than 80 wounded, injured and sick (WIS) service men and women experiencing the event across the four days.

    While Billy takes centre stage at the Live Action Arena along with stuntman Terry Grant and Mission Motorsport drivers and crew, four more of the charity’s beneficiaries will be named as drivers of the new Invictus Games Racing (IGR) team to compete in 2018-19 British GT Championships. At the Invictus Games Foundation’s request, The Forces’ Motorsport charity established the ‘Mission Motorsport Academy’ which ran the selection event for 60 WIS Invictus hopefuls, and trained and campaigned the drivers to enable them to progress from beginners to experienced racers holding the required International C race licence for British GT.  The charity’s beneficiaries working at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) are also part of the build team at Special Vehicle Operations for the F-TYPE SVR’s build to GT4 specification.


    Autosport International will also be showcasing Mission Motorsport’s livery skills on the Motor 1 supercar stand. The ‘Poppy Car’, a Jaguar F-Type was designing and individually wrapped by ex-servicemen Lance Corporal Chris Read, Guardsman Chris Walker, Private Dan Elliot and Lance Corporal Francis Stokes.  Launched ahead of Remembrance Day 2017, the special commemorative wrap was made from a new 3M polar reflective vinyl material. The design incorporates the words from John McCrae’s Poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ (written in May 1915), which shine through the poppy design when the panels are lit up.  The car has supported Recovery and Remembrance events, including a tour of the Somme battlefields and the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Cambrai.


    In the past five years, Mission Motorsport has helped Billy Monger and hundreds of injured servicemen and women to race in specially adapted vehicles and first started stunt training with Terry Grant in 2012. Lionel O’Connor was one of the first students who, despite a high left leg amputation, showed exceptional ability and was mentored by Terry to go on to become Mission Motorsport’s lead car control instructor. As part of the stunt show with Terry Grant, Lionel will lead four Mission Motorsport beneficiaries driving in the two ‘Tron’ liveried Mission Motorsport F-Types. Lionel and his team have been working with Billy Monger for the last four months to help him drive again in adapted vehicles, and to gain the confidence to drive with precision to the limits of the vehicle and beyond.

    Mission Motorsport has also been nominated for a ‘Services to the Industry’ award at the Motorsport Industry Association Awards dinner and MM beneficiary Alex Fogg, now at Jaguar Racing Formula E team has nominated for a 2018 Royal Foundation Endeavour Fund award.

    James Cameron, CEO at Mission Motorsport, said: “Autosport International is always a very special event for us but this year is exceptional in terms of the success and major contribution from so many of our beneficiaries. Many of the guys and girls we work with stay with us to help others who have been impacted during service. Lionel O’Connor is a perfect example of this. He came to Mission Motorsport as a beneficiary and it was clear from an early juncture that he was very talented behind the wheel. His real forte, however, is as an exceptional trainer and a coach, teaching skills to over 320 other WIS over the course of the last five years. Lionel and his wife Layla are an incredibly effective team, organising car control training sessions that are open and inclusive, welcoming beneficiaries from all backgrounds and enveloping them in a friendly, family environment.

    “It is thanks to people like Lionel that we have been so successful as a charity and this event provides us with a great opportunity to celebrate their success. In five years of operations, Mission Motorsport has delivered more than 4,000 training days of sport for 1400 beneficiaries, leading to over 230 placements and over 100 jobs. Numbers that we’re rightly proud of and we look forward to achieving even more in years to come.”

    Despite its name, the racing element of Mission Motorsport represents a very small percentage of the charity’s work. Supported by some of the largest automotive manufacturers, military charities and many other key sponsors, the team co-ordinates and provides motorsport as a recovery activity for military personnel. Once engaged the real work begins, the charity is a certified provider of training and helps its beneficiaries gain the qualifications they need to return to work. The team then acts as Relationship Managers to the automotive industry, securing vocational opportunities for the wounded, injured and sick, supporting the charity’s mission to: ‘Race, Retrain, Recover’.

    Find a selection of Mission Motorsport Academy images here

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    Billy Monger joins forces with The Forces’ Motorsport Charity and stuntman Terry Grant http://www.missionmotorsport.org/billy-monger-joins-forces-with-the-forces-motorsport-charity-and-stuntman-terry-grant/ http://www.missionmotorsport.org/billy-monger-joins-forces-with-the-forces-motorsport-charity-and-stuntman-terry-grant/#respond Wed, 10 Jan 2018 07:39:47 +0000 http://www.missionmotorsport.org/?p=1515 View Article]]> Mission Motorsport announce an exciting collaboration with Terry Grant and Billy Monger – returning the young racer to precision car control and camaraderie with the Forces’ Motorsport Charity


    • Wounded, Injured and Sick ex-servicemen join the Live Action Arena stunt display at Autosport in Jaguar F-Types
    • Display marks 5th year of car control activity in association with multiple World Record holding stuntman Terry Grant
    • 18 year old race driver Billy Monger, who tragically lost his legs in an accident in F4 in April 2017, has lent on the expertise of the Forces’ Motorsport Charity to return to driving, using hand controls and his own prosthetics
    • The Mission Motorsport team led by an ex-army amputee, has instructed young racer Billy Monger in high speed precision driving, drifting and car control as part of a stunt display using powerful Jaguar F-Types
    • The display forms part of the Autosport live action arena display – Trade Performance 11th Jan 2018 at 2pm
    • Mission Motorsport is supported by Help for Heroes, and vehicles have been supplied by Jaguar Land Rover

    The Forces’ Motorsport Charity join forces with long term supporter, the stuntman Terry Grant to perform at the Autosport show from 11-14th January 2018 with a surprise addition – the racer Billy Monger.

    “I’ve absolutely loved working with the Mission Motorsport guys, they are experts in this and they’ve made me feel really welcome” enthused Billy “…and I’ve learnt loads.  I started on regular hand controls, moved on to a racing set that allow me to brake and use the throttle at the same time, but I’ve had the opportunity with tuition to try my prosthetics too.  The Jaguars are really cool”

    “Billy has done incredibly well, and learns really fast” said Lionel O’Conner, Mission Motorsport’s lead car control instructor, himself an amputee “the F-Type is a powerful rear wheel drive car, and he’s loved the training over the past months.  Incredibly, his surgical team included specialists who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan so we’ve things in common!  He’s been quick to fit in as a member of the team, it has been great fun working with him, and we are looking forward to including him in the display”

    Mission Motorsport first started doing stunt training with Terry Grant in 2012.  Lionel O’Connor was one of the first students who, despite a high left leg amputation, showed exceptional ability and was mentored by Terry to go on to become MM’s lead car control instructor.  Lionel and his team over the last 5 years have run car control and stunt training experiences for over 320 wounded, injured and sick service personnel, and developed stunt displays for events including Coventry Motofest, Wings and Wheels at Dunsfold and the Festival of Speed at Goodwood.  Over the last 4 months Lionel and his team has been helping Billy Monger to drive again in adapted vehicles, and to gain the confidence to drive with precision to the limits of the vehicle, and beyond.  The display uses 4 Jaguar F-Types, with four Mission Motorsport beneficiaries led by Lionel O’Connor sharing the driving duties in the two ‘Tron’ liveried Mission Motorsport F-Types.

    Graduating from Mission Motorsport’s fleet of Mazda MX-5s into Jaguar F-Types has been a big step.  Lionel explains: “The Jaguars have been fantastic – they are really powerful and rear wheel drive, perfect for drifting – but the tight arena and pillars of Autosport will be a real challenge”

    Mission Motorsport CEO James Cameron said:  “Thanks to the support of Jaguar Land Rover our guys have been able to step up to join Terry Grant in a display that boasts over 2000 Bhp.  The F-Types, liveried by the Mission Motorsport livery team who did the iconic Poppy Car back in November have done an incredible job, and the ‘Tron’ design looks incredible under the lights of the arena.”


    Lionel O’Connor – Mission Motorsport Beneficiary and lead car control instructor:

    Originally from South Africa, Lionel came to the UK aged 15 and joined the British Army five years later.  After completing basic training at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick he joined his battalion in February 2006, undertook pre-deployment training and deployed to Iraq on Operation TELIC in April 2006.  The battalion took over its area of operations and began establishing itself through patrolling and liaison with the local community. In May, Lionel was on routine vehicle patrol in the Basra area of Iraq, acting as top cover in a Snatch Armoured Landrover when it was struck by an IED blast which killed two of Lionel’s colleagues, Private Joseva ‘Lewi’ Lewaicei and Private Adam Morris. Lionel, who survived, lost his left leg above the knee.

    Rapidly evacuated to the UK military hospital Lionel then spent four days there, unable to be evacuated to the UK because of continual attacks to the base and to military aircraft endeavouring to fly in and out. Finally, he was casevac’d back to the UK, via Turkey, and arrived at Selly Oak Hospital (now Princess Elizabeth Hospital), where he underwent further surgery to remove shrapnel from his right leg.  Up and about on crutches within six weeks, Lionel was discharged and sent to the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Headley Court, where he spent the better part of six months undergoing intensive rehab.  Lionel returned to his unit which was by now in Germany where he spent two years and stayed with the unit for their two-year deployment to Cyprus.  He was eventually posted sick at home and was medically discharged from the Army in 2013.

    His personal journey has been a difficult one as he has sought to find his place in the world – post injury. He consistently puts others before himself and has found his absolute vocation – in bringing the thrill of the sport that he loves to a wide audience of beneficiaries like him who are struggling.  His work is inspirational.  Lionel was referred to Mission Motorsport by his recovery officer in 2012 and has seized all opportunities made available to him. He has provided pit crew support at races and joined the team on a trip to the USA in October 2013; this was the return trip of the programme which aims to share best practice, recovery sport and vocational opportunities in the automotive industry both in the UK and the USA. Lionel was also a consultant for the inaugural Invictus Games driving challenge in 2014.

    Lionel took a particular interest and showed natural flair for car control, drifting and high-speed demonstrations. After a car control training camp where he was mentored by legendary stunt driver Terry Grant his skill levels developed quickly and he became the lead car control instructor for the stunt team.  Supported by his wife Layla, Lionel has now run Mission Motorsport car control days for the last two years and is not only a talented driver but also routinely complemented on his instructional ability.  Lionel’s patient guidance has enabled teams of wounded, injured and sick servicemen to perform car control displays at high profile events such as Wings and Wheels and Coventry Motofest, but away from that spotlight, his inclusivity and warmth has forged a community of support around some WIS who are less able, but no less inspired.

    Taking a snapshot of 2017, Lionel has instructed on track the recently injured paraplegic jockey Freddy Tylicki, was part of the team that drove out to Finland for Honda’s UK Manufacturing winter development testing and has run consistently high quality car control events. He completed a pioneering ‘Enhanced ARDS’ race licence test and competed in his first race, the Race of Remembrance 2017, at Anglesey Circuit over Remembrance weekend.

    Lionel said: “Mission Motorsport involvement has made a huge difference to my life in general, the camaraderie in the team is something I’ve missed greatly since injury resulted in me leaving my Regiment.  I’ve loved it… and my confidence has grown considerably”

    Mission Motorsport beneficiary Lucie Barker said: “Lionel quite simply made my day at the car control event I attended. I was nervous about attending the event for many reasons, not least because it was the furthest I’d travelled on my own since falling ill. He was welcoming, incredibly patient when I didn’t get it and persevered until I nailed the manoeuvres. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and finished it smiling. Thank you Lionel!”

    Lionel’s wife Layla said: “Lionel has come an incredibly long way since his injury both physically and mentally, the dark days that he would experience regularly have become less and less and he has never let them take over. No matter how much of a bad day he is having physically or mentally he is always ready and wanting to help others. He sees the difference engaging in sport has made to him, and wants others and their families to have that too. He is not just there to teach how to drive but listen to them and always trying to make sure their day is as perfect as it can be. He is always there ready for myself and our 4 children no matter what kind of day he has had. He has such a positive look on life and what happened that day and is humble and thankful. We very lucky to have him and I am so extremely proud of him.”

    James Cameron, CEO at Mission Motorsport, said: Lionel came to Mission Motorsport as a beneficiary, and it was clear from an early juncture that he was very talented behind the wheel. His real forte, however, is as an exceptional trainer and a coach, teaching skills to over 320 other WIS over the course of the last 5 years. Lionel and his wife Layla are an incredibly effective team, organising car control training sessions that are open and inclusive, welcoming beneficiaries from all backgrounds and enveloping them in a friendly, family environment.  Lionel is universally respected. He has devoted months of commitment to the cause, and his unfailing enthusiasm and patient tuition skills have made motor sport accessible and fun to an entire generation of beneficiaries.”

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