A select group of wounded, injured and sick (WIS) veterans of the British Armed Forces will compete in the 2018-19 British GT Championships as part of a new motor racing team in specially-designed Jaguar sports cars.
Invictus Games Racing is a collaboration between James Holder, Co-Founder of the successful clothing brand Superdry, and the Invictus Games Foundation. Holder commissioned Jaguar’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division to develop and build two bespoke F-TYPE SVR racing cars to GT4 specification for the Invictus Games Racing drivers to compete in. These vehicles have been in top secret development for over a year.
The Invictus Games Racing project is the vision of Superdry’s Holder, a motor racing fanatic who competed in the 2016 British GT Championship. During his debut season racing, he was inspired by watching the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando and had the idea to create Invictus Games Racing.
The team’s mission is to give WIS servicemen or women the opportunity to experience the adrenaline of competitive racing and inspire others to embrace the ethos of the Invictus Games of triumph over adversity. Thanks to these bespoke cars, the wounded drivers will compete equally with their able-bodied counterparts. Holder said:
“Invictus Games Racing will enable ex-servicemen and women who have experienced physical or psychological trauma during service to compete against each other and the rest of the top-level racing field, in cars that are tailor-made for them. We wanted to give these men and women the chance to compete in a professional racing competition with the established teams.
Motor racing is often seen as elitist and our vision is to open the sport up to all wounded, injured and sick service personnel supported by the Invictus Games Foundation - including their families - through the race team itself and with exclusive Invictus Games Racing ‘experience events’. These track days will be held at some of Britain’s most iconic racing circuits with the first event being held at Silverstone on 7 June 2018. As well as representing their incredible profession, the drivers will be an inspiration and a sign of empowerment to those who have been wounded, injured or become sick during or as a direct result of their service.
Over the last six months leading experts Mission Motorsport have held trials to identify and train four drivers from the Armed Forces best suited and most likely to gain personally from this experience. We have worked closely with Jaguar to construct GT4-specification supercars that accommodate each individual driver’s needs and style."
John Edwards, Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations, said:
“The F-TYPE SVR was the first series production Jaguar developed by SVO, exemplifying our precision engineering, performance and design capabilities. It’s appropriate that this specially-commissioned F-TYPE SVR will be the first SVO-designed race car to hit the track. While the F-TYPE SVR is all about duality – the 200mph all-weather supercar that you can drive every day – this bespoke commission is 100% competition focused. SVO’s world-class attention to detail in high-performance design and engineering are inherent in both.”
Following Invictus Games in London in 2014, Orlando in 2016 and Toronto in 2017, the fourth Invictus Games will take place in Sydney between 20-27 October 2018. The motor racing arm of the movement aims to raise further awareness of the Invictus Games Foundation and marks a three-year commitment to this unique racing project.