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Armed Forces treated to laps of Brands Hatch

Friday, August 03 2012

A total of 60 serving and former army servicemen were treated to laps of the Brands Hatch Indy circuit yesterday (Thursday), on a special Trackday organised for the armed forces.

A host of supercars gave passenger rides to the troops as well as providing a welcome distraction to the stresses of army life. Benetton Formula One cars from the 1990s also performed a series of demonstration laps during the day, including the 1993 car driven by Michael Schumacher and the car that Nelson Piquet drove to victory at Suzuka and Adelaide in 1990.

The event was organised by Gary Eastwood, a regular GT driver who has also featured in Channel 4's 'The Secret Millionaire' in conjunction with the Not Forgotten Association.

"This is a day for all our injured servicemen and serving servicemen in the current conflict and it's a way to say thank you for what they are doing and the terrible suffering that they have been through around the world," Eastwood commented.

"They absolutely love it. It's a day off for them to forget everything and about putting the smiles back on their faces if we can. The guys have all been to Iraq and Afghanistan and obviously we know what a terrible conflict that is, and some of them come back with horrific injuries and some with bad psychological injuries."

Corporal Matt Webb who served in Afghanistan, Iraq and Northern Ireland and was severely injured while on duty was one of the soldiers present: "It's my first time at a racing circuit and it's been a great opportunity to get out in the cars and see what it's like on the track!" he commented.

"It's the fastest I've ever been in my life! It's a nice circuit and it's been great to see the cars and if I could get an adapted car I'd love to drive it myself!"

Rosie Thompson, Head of Events for the Not Forgotten Association which provides creation rehabilitation and entertainment for injured serving personnel said: "These are guys who have been through a lot. They could have been injured themselves or they've seen someone else who's been badly injured and it's had an effect on them. To them this means a huge amount and also the fact that people care enough about them and what they've been through to give them a day like this, so they are extremely appreciative."

To find out more about the Not Forgotten Association click here, or to find out more about trackdays with Club MSV click here.