Mechanical failure ends Corporal's Dakar challenge

Friday 11 January 2013 Updated: 11/01 17:16

Latest News

Buy photos » Race2Recovery team-mates Justin Birchall and Corp Tom Neathway were forced to bow out of the Dakar Rally. Picture by DPPI Media.

AN INJURED Worcester soldier's brave attempt to complete the gruelling Dakar Rally ended in disappointment as a mechanical failure forced his withdrawal from the race.

Corporal Tom Neathway, who was a co-driver in one of the Race2Recovery team's four Wildcat vehicles, bowed out of the 9,000km rally in South America along with driver Justin Birchall after their vehicle was badly damaged during the punishing fourth stage.

Their Wildcat was donated to the team - which is made up of predominantly injured soldiers - by the family of Gordon Chapman, who passed away before he had chance to use the vehicle to race in the Dakar.

Corporal Neathway, who lost both his legs and left arm in an explosion while on a tour of duty in Afghanistan, said they were distraught at not being able to continue.

"We felt very passionate about the fact that we wanted to get to the finish in Gordon’s memory, given the donation of the car from his family after he passed away," he said.

"However, I hope that we have made the family proud by what we have achieved to date and the fact that the Race2Recovery team is still pushing forward.

"On a personal note, I’m gutted that after all our training and hard work we have had to retire, but I hope our efforts in the build-up, and in our four days of racing, have helped inspire other people to challenge themselves, no matter what their disability, illness or adverse circumstances. We will now throw ourselves into supporting the remaining Race2Recovery team members that are still competing.”

The day after Corporal Neathway's withdrawal three members of the Race2Recovery support team - John Winskill, Justin Birchall and Lee Townsend - were injured in a serious road collision.

The Land Rover Defender they were travelling in was involved in a crash in which two Peruvian civilians died and left several others injured.

The three team members were transferred to a local hospital close to the scene in Tacna, Peru, before being flown to a hospital in Lima, Peru for further tests and treatment.

They are stable and recovering well.

A third Race2Recovery Wildcat was forced to retire after an accident but the team's remaining race car progressed to Stage 7.

Popular »

1 College opens new student bureau

2 Jobs boost for famous sauce factory

3 Giles one step closer to X Factor dream

4 Young musician to light up coffee concert

5 Bishop says a prayer for shoppers

More news »

Jobs go as Jessops store closes

WORCESTER staff are among more than 1,300 workers

Dozens of cannabis plants seized in police raid

DOZENS of cannabis plants have been seized by

Pensioner thwarts bogus callers

POLICE have praised a pensioner in Fernhill Heath

Bridget draws on artistic talent for fund-raising calendar

A FREELANCE artist and illustrator from Worcester who

Regional news »


Stratford Observer
Dad of fallen paratrooper goes to Afghanistan in memory

THE FATHER of fallen paratrooper Conrad Lewis has made an ...

Bromsgrove Standard
Alton Towers Halloween spectacular

VISITING your favourite theme park always guarantees a day packed ...

Redditch Standard
Spooktacular twist for thrill-seekers

VISITING your favourite theme park always guarantees a day packed ...

Evesham Observer
Knives in car lead to unpaid work

A FATHER-of-two who hid a kitchen knife under his car ...