Invictus Games Racing has New Partner in British GT Championship
U.K.’s Henry Surtees Foundation is supporting team training program that is preparing drivers for launch of next month’s racing season.
Famous in the U.S. as being a favorite sport of HRH Prince Harry, Invictus Games Racing has announced a partnership with the Henry Surtees Foundation in the 2019 British GT Championship. The Henry Surtees Foundation is supporting the Invictus Games Racing team driver training program, which is preparing the athletes for the 2019 racing season that starts next month.
The Henry Surtees Foundation was inspired by motorsport legend John Surtees, following the tragic death of his son Henry (both pictured below), killed aged just 18 years old while competing in Formula 2 race at Brands Hatch in 2009. The Foundation provides support equipment and facilities and promotes safety in driving and motorsports.
Invictus Games Racing is a collaboration between the Invictus Games Foundation (“IGF”) and James Holder, who is a co-founder of the Superdry clothing brand.
Through his own experiences in amateur competition, Holder recognised the uniquely level playing field presented by motorsport to both injured and able-bodied drivers. His desire to open the door of a widely perceived elitist sport to those who would ordinarily be precluded, led him to approach the IGF to set up a team comprising injured service personnel, for entry into the British GT4 race series. An extensive racing driver recruitment and training program then followed, conducted by leading experts Mission Motorsport, the Forces motorsport charity, to find the best suited candidates for the project. Their search focused on identifying those whose own personal recovery would benefit the most from the experience of amateur racing at this prestigious level. This season the ex military race drivers will be Paul Vice and Steve McCully, who will compete in one of the only two existing Jaguar GT4 race cars, the design and development of which was commissioned by James Holder specifically to facilitate the project.
‘This funding is enabling us to prepare the drivers to the best of our ability for the season ahead. …we are delighted that the team has been recognized by the Surtees Foundation as worthy of their kind support.’
The third member of the Invictus Games Racing Team is Matthew George, a professional driver and instructor, himself emerging as a leading talent in his field. George has progressed from karting at European level, to British, European and FFSA GT Championships in an Aston Martin, alongside James Holder himself. Holder and George have also competed in the Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi, winning in 2017. Matt holds numerous accolades for fastest laps and lap records on track and street circuits, and is currently being headhunted by a number of leading manufacturers for their coveted role of professional factory driver. George leads the mentorship and driver training program for the amateur team drivers, comprising extensive instruction both on the track and in a high performance simulator, as well as tactical, physical and mental preparation.
The IGR team has also received valuable instruction from Peter Dumbreck, a professional and high performance automotive development driver with a long and illustrious career in racing. It is also monitored and supported by physical and mental healthcare professionals, working alongside IGF.
The driver training program will formally be referred to as “The Henry Surtees Foundation Driver Training Program with Invictus Games Racing.” Commenting on the program, McCulley said: “We are most grateful for the invaluable support of the Henry Surtees Foundation for which both Paul Vice and myself have already benefited. There are clearly strong synergies with the work that HSF are doing and Invictus Game Racing. We look forward to working together and an exciting season ahead.”
“We are overwhelmed by such a generous donation by The Henry Surtees Foundation,” added Holder. “This funding is enabling us to prepare the drivers to the best of our ability for the season ahead. As a project, to be deemed deserving of such assistance is hugely motivating and we are delighted that the team has been recognized by the Surtees Foundation as worthy of their kind support.”