A new two-part documentary following a group of injured soldiers in their pursuit of being the first amputee team to take on the world’s toughest rally will be broadcast on ITV4 this week.
Dakar Rally: Frontline to Finish Line follows Race2Recovery, a team of seriously injured servicemen from Britain and the US, as they took on the world’s toughest and challenging rallys earlier this year.
The first one-hour episode will be shown on ITV4 and ITV4 HD at 9pm on Wednesday, April 24, followed by the second instalment on Friday, April 26, also at 9pm.
Race2Recovery’s incredible Dakar adventure has been captured in two special programmes made by Gaucho Productions, who produced the recent ITV4 series TT Legends, and directed by award winning director Tim Pritchar.
Their film crews have had exclusive access to the team for 8 months which culminates in this unique documentary following the highs and lows of the most remarkable team to have entered this year’s event.
The team is manned by volunteers and is drawn predominantly from wounded service personnel, veterans and expert civilians to create a team capable of competing in international Rally Raid events and completing the gruelling Dakar Rally.
For three weeks and 5,000 miles, cameras followed their progress across Peru, Argentina and Chile, capturing the tears, traumas and triumphs of this extraordinary sporting story.
The team of four Land Rover Wildcats set off from Lima in Peru facing a 5,000-mile journey lasting 15 days over some of the toughest terrain imaginable, from rom giant sand dunes to the Atacama Desert and the top of the Andes.
The Dakar is the ultimate test of man and machine versus the elements, but for the Race2Recovery team, there was an added challenge.
The team’s target was to get four Wildcat vehicles across the finish line, but things did not go according to plan.
Over the two one-hour programmes, viewers will see how the Race2Recovery team fared in their quest to be the first disability team to finish the Dakar Rally in South America.
Formerly known as ‘Paris-Dakar’, the Dakar Rally is the world’s most prestigious annual off-road desert race and is widely considered the ultimate driving, mechanical and navigational test.
Stretching over 5,000 miles of extreme mountain and desert terrain, only around half of all competitors usually complete the course.
Since 2009, the race has been staged in South America. The 2013 Dakar began in Lima, Peru, finishing two weeks later, via Argentina, in Santiago, Chile.
Race2Recovery’s inspirational challenge received Royal backing when it became the first ever recipient of a grant from the Endeavour Fund, set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
High profile support was also received from a number of celebrities including Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond, Lawrence Dallaglio, Dame Kelly Holmes and Paralympians David Weir, Hannah Cockroft and Jody Cundy.
“This has been an amazing story to tell,” says Gaucho Productions executive producer Alistair Weaver.
“Everyone involved in the project has been enthralled by the bravery and commitment of the Race2Recovery team.
“From a bar room chat to the finish line of the Dakar, they have had an extraordinary adventure and we’re thrilled to have brought it to life.”
ITV4’s commissioning editor John Claridge said: “We know that Race2Recovery’s endeavors in the desert were closely watched around the world and we are delighted that we can now show the adventure and details of what actually happened in South America.”
Both editions of ‘Dakar Rally: Frontline to Finish Line’ will be available to watch in high-definition on ITV4 HD for Sky and Virgin subscribers, and will also be available to view online via ITV’s catch-up service ITV Player.
CLICK HERE for more information on the Race2Recovery team
Wednesday 24th April
Dakar Rally: Frontline to Finish Line – Episode 1
9.00pm-10.00pm – ITV4 / ITV4 HD
Friday 26th April
Dakar Rally: Frontline to Finish Line – Episode 2
9.00pm-10.00pm – ITV4 / ITV4 HD