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Support Our Paras Racing recruits first injured Paras

Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing have recruited their first two injured Paratroopers, complementing the official launch of the car’s livery at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham.

The team, which will field two works-backed Infiniti Q50 cars in this year’s British Touring Car Championship, will be run with the support of injured former Paratroopers.

Ex-Colour Sergeant Darren Fuller and ex-Corporal John Price will join the team to prepare and work on the two cars, which will be driven by Derek Palmer Jnr and Richard Hawken.

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Team Principal Derek Palmer Snr is pleased to be able to welcome the first injured Paras to the team, which will eventually employ six former Paratroopers for the coming season.

“We’ve said all along that one of our primary priorities is to employ injured ex-Paras in our team to prepare and run the two race cars,” explained Palmer Snr. “We’ve now embarked on the first phase of achieving that.

“All the ex-Paras who will eventually be employed by the team have been undergoing intensive training by myself and crew chief Les White.

“As you’d expect, all the guys are quick learners and have impressed right through the training period. Now Darren and John are employed full-time on the team, and they’ll be followed in the next few weeks by the rest of the injured ex-Paras.”

The not-for-profit team will help raise funds and awareness for the newly-formed charity Support Our Paras which is the official charity of The Parachute Regiment.

Both of the announced former Paratroopers say the opportunity to work with the racing team “is like a dream come true”.

“After being medically discharged from the Army due to injuries, I was uncertain of what the future held for me,” explained Price. “When the opportunity arose to work full-time for Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing came up it was like a dream come true. It’s made the future for me and my family secure doing a job I love.

“I was a trained mechanic before I joined the Army and although race cars are a different set-up to your average normal family car, in principal it’s still a car.

“Being part of the BTCC team is like being part of a massive family again. As Paratroopers, that’s the way we have always felt and that camaraderie brings people together and helps when you feel it’s all going wrong.

“It gives you the drive to pick yourself back up and crack on and get the job done. I’m looking forward to 2015 and all the challenges the racing will bring us.”

Fuller also praised the team’s role in giving injured ex-Paratroopers something to succeed in and a place to raise awareness of support for those affected by their injuries.

“I hope what we are doing will send a great message to all the injured ex-Parachute Regiment soldiers,” he said. “Not only can you still achieve great things despite your injuries, but we as a team will be out there week-to-week raising awareness and funds for the Support Our Paras charity, which is there to help and support our wounded, financially and otherwise for years to come.

“There may come a day when we all need a bit of help and support, and the Support Our Paras charity aims to provide this.

“I’m hoping we will raise the profile of this charity to a level where there’s not one person from the Parachute Regiment who doesn’t know where to turn if they need any support, no matter how big or small their issue is.”

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