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Finish line in sight for Penzance mechanic on world's toughest race

By WMNlynbarton  |  Posted: January 18, 2014

  • The Race2Recovery support team in action

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A team of severely injured servicemen is poised to cross the finish line of the world’s toughest race.

The Race2Recovery team, which includes Penzance mechanic Alec Savery on the support crew, has made it past stage 10 of the Dakar Rally, which traverses some of the most hostile territory in South America.

Their truck, which was initially the support unit for a three vehicle convoy but then promoted when two race cars were forced to pull out, has got just three stages to go.

Speaking from the team’s bivouac in Antofagasta, northern Chile, race truck co-driver Chris Ratter said: “It’s been extremely challenging to keep our race truck in the Dakar but the team is doing exceptionally well.

“Some of the terrain we’re racing over is very unforgiving, through deserts, mountain ranges and over some of the biggest sand dunes you can image.

“The key to our continued success in the race is all down to the forward planning done by the team.”

The truck’s crew has been racing day and night through Argentina, and now northern Chile and has travelled across 8,000km in ten days of racing.

Their continued presence in the race is impressive given the high attrition rate which has seen 46% of the entrants withdraw so far.

Mr Savery, a 38-year-old former Royal Marine who owns of Rospeath 4x4 Garage and Rooftents Ltd, is part of the support crew which each day travels in convoy along road routes in a fleet of Land Rover Freelander and Discovery vehicles plus a support truck.

The support team drives for an average of five to six hours per day and has travelled over 5,000km to date, including a 706km journey over the Andes where they climbed around 4000m.

Each support vehicle carries three members of the crew, with drivers rotating while the team mechanics, who often work through the night, catch up on a few hours of sleep.

The rally started off as a gruelling post to post from Paris to Dakar in North Africa.

However, due to security concerns, it is now run across some of South America’s most unforgiving terrain in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile.

The 2014 Dakar began a fortnight ago and is due to conclude this weekend.

Race2Recovery has raised over £250,000 for military charities including Tedworth House and Help for Heroes.

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