Land Rover today announced its sponsorship of the Forces' motorsport charity Mission Motorsport in its 2016 Defender Challenge campaign.
The 2016 Defender Challenge starts this weekend at the Mid Wales Stages Rally and comprises seven rounds of hill and stage rallies. This year, up to 14 teams driving modified Land Rover Defender 90s will go head to-head, including the new entry from Mission Motorsport who will use the Defender Challenge as a fundamental part of its ‘Race Retrain Recover’ programme.
The partnership between Land Rover and Mission Motorsport, an Endeavour Fund supported initiative, realises the mutual commitment to help Wounded Injured and Sick veterans leaving the military find employment in the automotive industry. Mission Motorsport will enter a new team at each round of the Defender Challenge. Working together as a team of four comprising two Technicians, a Driver and a Navigator, each Mission Motorsport team will need to draw upon determination and teamwork.
In preparation for each round, the teams will undertake various training and practice sessions which can form part of a formal qualification. As an accredited City and Guilds training provider, Mission Motorsport's Training Wing delivers Level 3 Diploma courses and full apprenticeships which allow service leavers to bridge the gap between military service and second careers as civilians, beyond injury.
Jaguar Land Rover is committed to working alongside Mission Motorsport and the Career Transition Partnership, the Ministry of Defence's (MoD's) official provider of Armed Forces resettlement. Since 2013 Jaguar Land Rover has hired over 200 former servicemen and servicewomen and has a growing number of initiatives, including a work placement scheme which was launched in October 2014 in conjunction with the Career Transition Partnership and Mission Motorsport which helps wounded, injured and sick veterans find a fulfilling and long-term second career.
Ed Tilston, Global Sponsorship Manager for Jaguar Land Rover said, “Land Rover are proud to have enabled Mission Motorsport's entry into the 2016 Defender Challenge, and we look forward to the team exemplifying Land Rover's Above and Beyond spirit as its beneficiaries Race, Retrain and Recover through this exciting vehicle based adventure.”
James Cameron, CEO of Mission Motorsport said, "All at Mission Motorsport are hugely excited to be entering the Defender Challenge in 2016. The Forces’ Motorsport Charity, our motto is ‘Race, Retrain, Recover’ and this is a fantastic opportunity to bring together some inspirational sport with a training and vocational program of which we are very proud. We work closely with Jaguar Land Rover to provide training and jobs for those servicemen and women leaving the Forces wounded, injured or sick, and are delighted to fly the flag for these efforts with an exciting rally program manned by servicemen and veterans."
The Defender Challenge starts its 2016 programme this weekend at the Mid Wales Stages Rally which is the first round of the 2016 MSA British Rally Championship. The event is set in the challenging Mid Wales forests Hafren, Myherin and Tarenig and the Sweet Lamb Rally Complex, which have played host to many famous rallies over the last 60 years such as the Lombard RAC and now Wales Rally GB. Spectators are welcome and details are available form www.midwalesstages.co.uk
March 5th / 6th Mid Wales Stages
April 2nd Rally North Wales
May 21st / 22nd Baja, Pant Mawr
July 16th / 17th Walters Hill Rally, Glyneath
September 3rd Woodpecker Rally, Ludlow
Sept 30th / Oct 1st Track Rod, Pickering
Nov 19th / 20th Borders, Dalry
Entrants to the Defender Challenge will be driving modified Land Rover Defender 90 Hard Top vehicles with the standard 2.2 Litre Diesel engine and 6-speed manual gearbox. Bowler Motorsport enhance performance to deliver 170 bhp and 450Nm of torque and install race specification extras such as a full MSA-approved roll cage, enhanced suspension system including new dampers, springs roll bars and bushes, racing seats and six-point harness, lightweight 16″ wheels with control Cooper tyres, lightweight front bumper and sill protectors, Peltor intercom system and an MSA-compliant fire extinguisher system.
Vehicles can also be specified with upgraded mud flaps and mounting system and revised door casings. Optional brake and service packages are also available.
About Jaguar Land Rover's support of military veterans
- An Armed Forces Covenant is a written and publicised voluntary pledge from businesses and charitable organisations who wish to demonstrate their concrete support for the Armed Forces community. Jaguar Land Rover signed its Covenant in July 2014.
- Since 2013 Jaguar Land Rover has hired over 200 former servicemen and servicewomen, working closely with the Career Transition Partnership, the Ministry of Defence's (MoD's) official provider of Armed Forces resettlement. 100 of the veterans have been employed over the past year.
- The company has a growing number of initiatives, including a work placement scheme, launched in October 2014 in conjunction with the Ministry of Defence's Career Transition Partnership (Assist) and Mission Motorsport- The Armed Forces' Motorsport Charity. The scheme helps wounded, injured and sick veterans find a fulfilling and long-term second career. To date, 17 placements have been run, leading to 13 full-time jobs at Jaguar Land Rover and its suppliers.
About Mission Motorsport
- The Forces' Motorsport Charity, whose motto is "Race Retrain Recover" is MoD's competent authority for motor sport as a recovery activity, and is a Royal Foundation (the charitable trust of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry) initiative, supported by Help For Heroes and Walking with the Wounded charities.
- As part of the MoD's Career Transition Partnership, the charity helps those leaving the military to find employment in the automotive industry. A City and Guilds training provider, Mission Motorsport's Training Wing delivers Level 3 Diploma courses and full apprenticeships which allow service leavers to bridge the gap between military service and second careers as civilians, beyond injury.
- The charity's dedicated career managers have placed over 48 Wounded, Injured and Sick into employment since the Invictus Games in September 2014. Further detail can be found at missionmotorsport.org
About The Endeavour Fund:
The Royal Foundation created the Endeavour Fund in 2012, in response to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry’s passion for supporting the recovery of wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women.
The Endeavour Fund offers seed funding for sporting and adventure challenges and helps emerging initiatives with advice, hands-on support and mentoring. The fund plays an important role in ensuring that more Servicemen and women have the opportunity to rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through physical challenges.