Honda UK unveiled its one-off CR-V race car, built and designed by Mission Motorsport, the Forces’ Motorsport Charity. Competing at the Race of Remembrance at Anglesey circuit in Wales, the CR-V was developed in partnership with the Forces charity and associates from Synchro race team at the Swindon factory.
The CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC AWD EX, was chosen as the foundation for the build, as the most powerful across the range. The amputees in the team are able to drive the 9-speed automatic transmission. The team racing the car this weekend includes: Private Lionel O’Connor who lost his left leg when serving with the Royal Anglian Regiment in Iraq in 2006, Jon-Allan Butterworth MBE, 2016 Gold medal Paralympian who lost his left arm when serving with the RAF in Iraq in 2007, along with able-bodied driver, motoring journalist Alex Goy and Mission Motorsport’s CEO and chief instructor, Major (Retd) James Cameron completing the team and guiding the three novice racers.
Mission Motorsport were required to do heavy modifications in order for the car to go racing. The large panoramic glass roof has been replaced with a lighter, clear Perspex panel for safety reasons. The whole interior was removed except for the dashboard, a bespoke roll cage and racing seats and harnesses were then installed. Dynamically, the centre of gravity was lowered by special suspension; plus custom radial brackets, which had to be made to allow the large Brembo brakes from a Civic Type R to be fitted. To clear the new brakes, wider wheels from a Civic Sport had been used. Adjustable camber control arms accommodated the significantly lowered ride height, at the front of the car, regulation-towing hooks were fitted. A portion of The Race of Remembrance runs for 6 hours overnight and so an additional LED light bar had been added into the grille.
The Race of Remembrance took place in Anglesey, Wales on the 11th and 12th November. Now in its fourth year it commemorates the sacrifices made by service personnel and their families. 45 teams started the race at 3pm on Saturday and raced through into the darkness until 9pm, resuming on Sunday at 9am, pausing for the truly special Remembrance Service which took place in the pit lane and involved drivers, pit crew, marshals, race officials and spectators.
“Last year, a Civic Type R from the Synchro Motorsport team won the Invitational class at the race” said James Cameron, CEO at Mission Motorsport. “We were very keen to work with Honda again and have a Honda on the grid. However, we couldn’t let them have it too easy and the idea of the race CR-V was born.”
“I’m nervous, but excited at the same time” said Lionel O’Connor ”I only passed my ARDS test two weeks ago, and while I’ve done a lot of car control driving with the charity this is another step altogether. The CR-V looks incredible and I’m very fortunate to get to race it.”