TWO Knutsford motoring enthusiasts are taking part in one of the world’s greatest endurance rally races.

Chris Ratter and Rick Nixon, members of Knutsford and District Motor Club, are in South America taking part in the Dakar Rally as part of the Race2Recovery team.

Most events since the race’s inception in 1978 have taken place from Paris, France, to Dakar, Senegal, but due to security threats in Mauritania, which led to the cancellation of the 2008 rally, the 2009 Dakar Rally and others since have been held in South America.

Chris has been involved in motorsport for 24 years, regularly winning in his class, and brings considerable knowledge and experience to the team.

Rick is another of the civilian members of the team, and has been involved in motorsport for more than three decades.

He has built seven cars for the Dakar Rally, and was chief mechanic on five cars in the 2006 event.

The Race2Recovery team’s four Wildcat race vehicles headed to the start line in Lima, Peru on January 5.

It signalled the start of 15 days of racing 9,000 kilometres over extreme mountain and desert terrain that will take them through southern Peru, across the border into Argentina, and finally into Chile, where they hope to cross the finish line in Santiago on Sunday, January 20.

Chris, speaking from Lima before the race started, said: “The team has worked so hard to get here and so, whilst this is our reward for our efforts, we still have to do ourselves justice in such a tough competition.

“The camaraderie within the team is fantastic, and the support we’re received has been second-to-none.

“I know my friends and family back in Cheshire will be following our progress and supporting us all the way.

“We also hope that the competition really helps shine a spotlight on our fundraising for Tedworth House Personnel Recovery Centre.”

Rick said: “When I see us all lining up against the professional and more experienced teams, it makes me realise how sensational it is that we’ve created a team from scratch in only 18 months, and now it’ll be racing in the world’s toughest rally.

“As a mechanic on the team, myself and the others have been ensuring that these race and support vehicles are in the best possible shape they can be for this race.”

Through its racing activity, Race2Recovery has been raising money for Tedworth House Personnel Recovery Centre, one of six Personnel Recovery Centres that have been established as part of the Defence Recovery Capability.

To follow the Race2Recovery team’s progress on the Dakar Rally or to make a donation to the fundraising effort visit or to donate £5 via your mobile text RACE20 £5 to 70070.