Brit Armed Forces team to spend six days driving through mountains and Sahara desert in ‘one of world’s toughest rallies’

The military personnel will be thrashing Dacia Duster 4x4s through the Atlas Mountains in the gruelling Carta Rallye.


This means driving more than 2,000 miles from the UK to Morocco, where they will then spend six days negotiating giant sand dunes in an orienteering-type event before driving home.

The team of 14 – some of whom are veterans with life-changing injuries – will look after four cars for the GPS challenge, where they have to reach 30 set checkpoints per day.

'GIVEN ME SOMETHING TO FOCUS ON'

One of the drivers will be George Frost, 37, a dad-of-two from Dorset who suffers from complex PTSD.

He said: “If I didn’t have this I would be at home doing nothing. It is how I was for two years.

“I joined the team as the anxious guy as I didn’t know how to talk to people but Future Terrain has helped me so much.

“Feeling part of something is great and the camaraderie and banter is brilliant. It has helped me with my social skills and given me something to focus on."

Feeling part of something is great and the camaraderie and banter is brilliant

The team have been customising the Dacia Dusters and learning how to drive the robust off-roaders through the trickiest of terrain.

The Dacias are currently being stripped so they can be fitted with roll-cages ahead of the rally. They will also run on different wheels and tyres and have a slightly modified suspension to deal with the mountain-sized sand dunes.

Under the bonnet of the no-nonsense SUV will be the standard four-wheel drive system, 1.5-litre diesel engine and manual gearbox.

GRUELLING CHALLENGE

Each day, the cars will be being driven for around ten-hours across massive sand dunes and rocky tracks on their way to various GPS points; this is perfect confirmation of the teams vocational training over the last year.

At the end of the six-day challenge, the team will then pack up their kit and drive straight back to the UK.

It will be a mentally and physically draining event, with the team using it as preparation for the next challenge – racing the Dacia Dusters in the British Cross-Country Championship rally series.

Future Terrain uses motorsport and driving-related engineering to help veterans gain qualifications, aiding their transition to life after the armed forces.

The charity allows them to redefine themselves. Some are no longer amputees, instead they’re expedition coordinators and the responsibilities they’re given transform their mental wellbeing while boosting key skills.

The charity was set up in November 2016 by Grant White, 53, who was a Royal Marine for 23 years.

Grant lost a leg in a motorcycling accident and wanted to use his experience of retraining and rehabilitation to the benefit of others.

He said: “We are all really looking forward to the Carta Rallye and then the rally season afterwards. The cars have been outstanding. They’re really capable off road.

“They’re light and nimble which makes them perfect for a desert environment."



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