A team of British combat-injured veterans broke the Guinness Book of World records for the greatest distance driven by a team in 24 hours in a kart with hand controls. The four racers achieved a total distance of 1,888.6 km on July 11-12, 2012. The team is supported by Kartforce, a UK organization that provides karting and kart racing opportunities for British veterans wounded in Iraq and Arghanistan. The four record holders are Corporal Ricky Furgusson MC, Private Mark Allen, Lance Corporal Martyn Compton and Trooper Steve Shine.
We had the great pleasure this week of a long email conversation with Dave Player, founder of Kartforce and proud torch-bearer of this team of great British “lads”. Dave’s first words to us were “I heard about you guys from Twitter – good to see someone’s doing the same as us in America.” We certainly hope so!
After speaking with Dave, we came away with an immense level of respect for the British Bulldog Kartforce drivers and the whole team’s commitment. They are truly dedicated to getting combat-injured vets directly involved in amateur racing, put their butts on the line to show it can be done, and absolutely don’t hold back. They pit themselves against the best and most experienced kart racers in the UK, where kart racing is considered an on-ramp to a potential Formula 1 career. In fact, their world record was only only 168.1 km (8.2%) short of the record set by a team of very experienced kart racers without combat injuries, using a faster and more powerful shifter kart, in dry conditions (it rained during their run, begging the question of whether they might have beaten the best in the world outright in similar track conditions).
Many thanks to Team Kartforce for leading the way and showing what balls and the competitive spirit can do! Here at Racing4Vets, we’re focusing initially on getting our BMW SpecE30 racing team of combat-injured vets together and licensed to race in 2012. We are also planning a karting program where wounded warriors can come out, have a fun time playing and competing, and pursue kart racing. The Kartforce team has invited us to the UK to participate in a friendly international kart racing championship in Summer 2013 and we’re keen to pit our U.S. vets against the best the Brits can offer.
If you’re a combat-injured vet interested in finding out about Racing4Vets and our racing programs, or you’d like to sponsor us or contribute your time or expertise, please visit our Get Involved page.
Great job to the lads of Kartforce for their World Record! Keep racing hard!