A MOTORSPORTS enthusiast from Knutsford has joined a group of severely injured soldiers in tackling the toughest race in the world.

Last year, Race2Recovery made history as the first disabled rally team to enter and complete the Dakar rally.

Chris Ratter, from Knutsford, is one of the men who triumphantly crossed the finish line in 2013 – and now he has rejoined the Race2Recovery team to repeat the victory.

Chris, one of the civilian members of the team, is currently traversing South America for the Dakar Rally 2014.

The 52-year-old has been involved in the project from the beginning and brings with him 24 years experience in motorsports.

Speaking ahead of the race start, Chris said: “I always had the ambition to be part of a Dakar Rally team and being part of Race2Recovery’s 2013 Dakar challenge was a dream come true.

“I’m delighted to be going out with the lads to take on the challenge for a second year running. The Dakar is the ultimate test of driving, strategy, technical and mechanical skill and we can take many learnings with us from last year.”

Race2Recovery operates to the motto ‘beyond injury, achieving the extraordinary’. So far, the team has raised over £250,000 for Tedworth House Personnel Centre and Help for Heroes and, this year, is also raising awareness of military charity Blesma.

The 2014 Dakar will see the team of soldiers and civilian volunteers race across some of the world’s most unforgiving terrain. This year’s competition will traverse three countries; Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. They will travel over 9,000km, including crossing the Atacama Desert and the Andes mountain range in temperatures that could reach 40 to 50 degrees.

The team set off in their Land Rover Defender-based Wildcat rally-raid vehicles on January 5 and are due to complete the challenge on January 18.

Unfortunately, two of the team's three vehicles were forced to withdraw from the race on Tuesday.  The remaining T4 truck will be continuing to the finish line.  

To find out more about Race2Recovery visit race2recovery.com.