Cooper Tires is proud to support the Race2Recovery team.

Made up of injured servicemen and able-bodied civilians – Race2Recovery overcame the physical and mental demands of the 15-day challenge to become the first disability team to complete the Dakar Rally. Major Matt O’Hare and Corporal Philip ‘Barney’ Gillespie used their Bowler Wildcat on Cooper Discoverer STT tyres to cross the finish line in Santiago and seal their place in the history books, embodying the team’s motto ‘beyond injury, achieving the extraordinary.’ Captain Tony Harris, a below-the-knee amputee who was integral in getting the Race2Recovery team to Dakar but retired early in the rally, paid special thanks to Cooper for its continued support of the team’s mission, saying, “The support we received from Cooper was invaluable; the Discoverer STT tyres were phenomenal and Matt and Barney didn’t get a puncture during the whole Dakar race.” Speaking after the rally, Gillespie hoped that the team’s achievements would inspire others, saying, “I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. We’ve just taken it stage by stage and now we’re here at the finish. There were times when we were tackling huge sand dunes in the middle of the night, that we thought we couldn’t possibly continue but somehow we kept each other going. Like so many of the team, I’ve experienced some dark times over the past few years and I hope that by completing the Dakar I’ll inspire others to take on extraordinary challenges.”

Sarah McRoberts, European Marketing Manager for Cooper Tire Europe, praised Race2Recovery for their ‘extraordinary’ achievements, saying, “The Dakar Rally is regarded as the world’s toughest rally with good reason; the terrains and altitude that the crews and tyres are forced to deal with, combined with the navigational demands of the course make the rally tough for even the most experienced competitors. It’s hard to put into words quite how special this achievement is. The crews, mechanics and supporters have been on a real rollercoaster of a journey and their first week was beset with problems, so I’m absolutely delighted that they’ve achieved their goal and made history against the odds.”

The Dakar 2013 Race2Recovery Team