The 14 Nissan-powered cars running at Le Mans at the weekend, including nine of the top 10 finishers in the LMP2 class, completed a combined total of 31,732.07 miles in the world famous 24 Hour race. Having pledged to donate £1 per mile completed by each of its cars in the gruelling endurance event, Nissan will now write substantial cheques to three worthy British forces charities – Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) Forces Help, Afghanistan Trust and Mission Motorsport.
The SSAFA Forces Help logo was given a prime location on the Greaves Motorsport Zytek Z11SN, which was driven by Martin Brundle, alongside his son Alex and Nissan PlayStation® GT Academy winner Lucas Ordoñez from Spain. The former F1 driver and Le Mans winner Martin Brundle brought the car home in eighth place in class after it had completed 2,879.34 miles over 340 laps.
The heroic Nissan DeltaWing completed 635.15 miles before contact with the Toyota LMP1 car forced the most pioneering motorsport innovation for a generation to retire after six hours of racing. The car has enjoyed an enthusiastic following of fans, captivated by its striking shape and pioneering mission to complete the race using half the amount of fuel and tyres of any other car on the grid.
“It is a fantastic achievement that nine of the 13 Nissan-powered LMP2 cars completed one of the toughest races in the world,” explained Nissan Motor (GB) Managing Director Jim Wright. “It was a shame that the popular Nissan DeltaWing’s time on track was cut short given that it was running so well, but we are very proud that the speed and reliability of our engines has helped raise a significant donation for three wonderful charities.”
SSAFA Forces Helpprovides financial, practical and emotional assistance to anyone that is currently serving or has ever served in the Army, Navy or RAF, and their families.
The charity has been helping the Armed Forces and their families for over 125 years, and in this time has continuously responded to the needs of service personnel, veterans and their families. Today, volunteers, staff, and supporters help to improve the lives of around 50,000 people each year.
The Afghanistan Trust was formed on 15 March 2007 to help support soldiers and their families who served with The Parachute Regiment in Afghanistan and who have been wounded or killed as a consequence.
Its charitable objectives are:
- The relief in need of soldiers serving in The Parachute Regiment injured in Afghanistan and families of soldiers of The Parachute Regiment killed or injured in Afghanistan by the provision of welfare services, support and financial assistance and such other charitable means as the trustees see fit.
- To promote the military efficiency of The Parachute Regiment by sustaining the memories of the loss of life and sacrifices made by the soldiers of The Parachute Regiment in Afghanistan by such charitable means as the trustees see fit.
As members of The Parachute Regiment deploy on more operational tours in Afghanistan the need for the fund will continue to grow as more soldiers are wounded or killed.
To date the Regiment has suffered some 24 killed but just as significantly are the 150 or so who are sufficiently wounded to have to leave the service – part of the Trust’s role will be to assist in funding their passage into civilian life.
Mission Motorsport aims to aid in the recovery and rehabilitation of those affected by military operations by providing opportunities through Motorsport.
Run by veterans, serving officers and motorsport professionals, Mission Motorsport is appointed as the British Army Motorsport Association’s official providers of adaptive motorsport, seeking wherever possible to merge the activities of the disabled with able bodied servicemen and women.
Linked to Tedworth House, now a Personnel Recovery and Assessment Centre (PRAC) as part of the Defence Recovery capability, Mission Motorsport provides respite, rehabilitation, recreational opportunities and training to all those affected by military operations within the framework of Motorsport.
The primary beneficiaries are the servicemen and women coming through Headley Court and PRACs such as Tedworth House, and those who are brought to Mission Motorsport by Battle Back – a Tri-Service initiative which aims to improve and formalise the use of adventurous training and sport in the aftercare of wounded Service personnel; in order to aid their rehabilitation and return them to an active life.