This weekend at Anglesey Circuit, Mission Motorsport, a Help for Heroes Partner Charity, will be holding their second Race of Remembrance.
The Race of Remembrance commemorates the sacrifices made by Service personnel and their families, and the 101st anniversary of the First World War. 45 teams will embark on a 1000km endurance race at Anglesey Circuit. Over 120 drivers compete in the relay-style race or by racing a single endurance car in the 'Heroes Trophy'.
Josh Green joined the Army at 18 and joined the ranks of the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment, the infamous “Poachers”. During a tour of Iraq in 2006 Josh found himself providing top cover from the rear roof hatches of a Snatch Land Rover on patrol, when the driver lost control. The Snatch rolled several times causing extensive injuries. Josh returned from Iraq badly injured down his right hand side. Several hip and shoulder reconstructive surgeries followed however this was not enough to repair Josh to a “fighting fit” state. During this period of physical recovery Josh was diagnosed with PTSD, and almost 6 years after his injury he was medically discharged from the Army.
Josh first got involved with Mission Motorsport when he was a resident at the Help for Heroes Recovery Centre in Colchester, Chavasse House. His interest was initially on the sporting side, but he discovered that he had an artistic streak. Josh was intrigued by vinyl livery, and Mission Motorsport arranged for training and funding to be found to allow him to gain work experience. Some 18 months on and he now has an amazing portfolio of work for others including Le Mans race teams, Formula E cars, and with Mission Motorsport an expanding variety of work at home and abroad.
The opportunity to create an 'Art Car' for the Race of Remembrance has been a fantastic opportunity for Josh to showcase his skills.
“This has been an incredible opportunity” said Josh “and has allowed me to really be creative and make something really amazing. I love the way that it has turned out, the design has worked really well”
James Webley has led the team that has turned the new Mazda Mk4 MX-5 into a race car for RoR. James was a member of the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers, serving 12 years as both a light and heavy vehicle mechanic. He was medically discharged in December last year with early onset arthritis, exacerbated by his military service and is awaiting a double hip replacement.
Along the way eight wounded servicemen have been involved in the build, also used as evidence for vocational assessment as they undergo training in the Royal Foundation sponsored Mission Motorsport Training Wing.
One of the racers at the weekend is Sam Parker who joined the army in 2005 and was posted to 1 Rifles and later to 4 Rifles as an infantry soldier. He deployed to Iraq in 2006 and again in 2007, then to Afghanistan in 2009. He suffered injuries in the field, including a collapsed lung, but following the final tour Sam’s mental health slowly deteriorated and he was discharged in 2013, suffering from PTSD.
He made contact with Mission Motorsport shortly after he received an MM email looking for a labourer to help renovate the Hotel de France, an iconic location in motor racing and Le Mans history. Sam is now a full time member of the Mission Motorsport family spending time at the workshop and in the Training Wing on his City & Guilds NVQ Level 3 Diploma.
“I am so excited about the opportunity to race” he enthused “you don't realise, until you experience it again, how much you miss the adrenalin,” he explained.
The weekend is about more than just the racing. A supercar event, rock concert and a Formula One demo, fireworks and racing into the dark; but most importantly there is a unique interruption to an endurance motorsport event. At 10:45am on Sunday, the track will fall silent as the race pauses to hold a service of remembrance. More detail www.raceofremembrance.com.
Help for Heroes sponsor not just the sporting program that first helps many of the Mission Motorsport beneficiaries, but also have, through The Poppy Factory, assisted in the sponsorship of a full time position for a wounded veteran within the MM livery capability.