The military personnel powering True Heroes Racing, the UK’s first disabled motorcycle race team


Dave Mackay #22 True Heroes Racing during Oulton Park Test of the Bennetts British Superbike (BSB) Championship at Oulton Park, Northamptonshire, England on the 12-13 April 2023. Photo by Ian Hopgood

True Heroes Racing are the UK’s first motorcycle team dedicated to supporting wounded, injured and sick UK service personnel and veterans.

The team, both on and off the track, is made up of current and ex-servicemen and women who work tirelessly to show how a startup team can compete in the British Superbike Championship, through hard work and dedication. 

Here we meet members of the team and find out about their service backgrounds, what skills have been transferable and how they juggle active military jobs with their racing commitments. 

Charlie White

True Heroes

What’s your role within True Heroes Racing?

Rider on the Ducati V2 Panigale in British Supersport for 2023 season.

What’s your military background?

Serving Royal Marine Assault Engineer.

What skills, experience and training have stood you in good stead with your role in True Heroes Racing?

I spent five years racing for the Royal Navy Royal Marines Road Racing Team before joining True Heroes Racing. That racing was in the Inter Services Championship against the Army and RAF teams and prepared me for racing at this prestigious level.

If you are still serving in the military, how do you balance the racing commitment with your service commitment?

As my involvement with True Heroes Racing also provides representation for the Royal Navy, I am given on-duty status and permitted the time to race at BSB.

Chris Duggan

True Heroes

What’s your role within True Heroes Racing?

Inaugural grassroots rider, BSB Mechanic and to help those struggling with physical and mental challenges just like me.

What’s your military background?

Parachute Regiment

What skills, experience and training have stood you in good stead with your role in True Heroes Racing?

  • Always give 100%
  • Help others when you can
  • Be a team player
  • Enjoy what you are doing

If you are still serving in the military, how do you balance the racing commitment with your service commitment?

Medically discharged now.

Chris Jacketts

True Heroes

What’s your role within True Heroes Racing?

Ducati Crew Chief.

What’s your military background?

10 years in the British Army Royal Engineers.

What skills, experience and training have stood you in good stead with your role in True Heroes Racing?

Discipline, ability to adapt, respect for others, confidence to communicate and leadership skills.

If you are still serving in the military, how do you balance the racing commitment with your service commitment?

This can be difficult for me on active regular service, but I often take on other duties and tasks to free up time to go away from the unit. I also plan to finish tasks ahead of deadlines so I free up Thursday to Sunday when it’s a race event.

Dan Cleary

True Heroes

What’s your role within True Heroes Racing?

Technician and data analyst. 

What’s your military background?

British Army, Household Cavalry.

What skills, experience and training have stood you in good stead with your role in True Heroes Racing?

Teamwork and discipline, key elements of army life.

If you are still serving in the military, how do you balance the racing commitment with your service commitment?

I have been medically discharged after sustaining life-changing injuries in October 2017.

Dan Taylor

True Heroes

What’s your role within True Heroes Racing?

Mechanic, generally brake technician.

What’s your military background?

Seven years in the Life Guards Division of the Household Cavalry.

What skills, experience and training have stood you in good stead with your role in True Heroes Racing?

Determination, methodical approach, attention to detail.

If you are still serving in the military, how do you balance the racing commitment with your service commitment?

Retired from the British Army in 2002. Unable to work due to disability.

Dave Mackay

True Heroes

What’s your role within True Heroes Racing?

Ex-British Superbike Championship team rider (2014-2023 in Ducati TriOptions Cup, National Superstock 1000 and British Supersport), but now retired from competition at that level and taking on the role as grassroots programme co-ordinator and chief club racer.

What’s your military background?

Joined Royal Signals in 1992, served 22 years, a standard military length of service. Left in 2014 as a senior non-commissioned officer. 

What skills, experience and training have stood you in good stead with your role in True Heroes Racing?

Organisational skills and the ability to stay calm under pressure and in tricky situations. Problem solving and all that standard military-based stuff. Oh and I got to ride dirt bikes quite a lot when I was in the military, so that helped on the riding side. Of note was getting to ride a lot of the Baja 500/1000 route in Mexico back in 2009. Perhaps one day I will go back there.

If you are still serving in the military, how do you balance the racing commitment with your service commitment?

Retired after 22 years service in 2014.

Leon Wilton

True Heroes

What’s your role within True Heroes Racing?

Rider on Ducati V2 Panigale.

What’s your military background?

British Army metalsmith.

What skills, experience and training have stood you in good stead with your role in True Heroes Racing?

People skills and my experience racing for the British Army Motorcycle Road Race Team.

If you are still serving in the military, how do you balance the racing commitment with your service commitment?

By convincing my boss (who likes bikes which helps) to allow me the time out of work to race. The ethos of what True Heroes Racing stands for really helps as it’s supporting injured soldiers and veterans.

Nathan Jones

True Heroes

What’s your role within True Heroes Racing?

Mechanic.

What’s your Military background?

British Army.

What skills, experience and training have stood you in good stead with your role in True Heroes Racing?

For me it’s the reverse. I joined the team lacking confidence and with little or no mechanical skills. 

The experience and mentoring they have given me has enabled me to build up my skills to the point where I was able to get a job as a professional motorcycle mechanic working for BMW.

If you are still serving in the military, how do you balance the racing commitment with your service commitment?

Medically discharged in 2007.

Phil Spencer

True Heroes
True Heroes Racing during the Round 10 of the 2023 Bennetts British Superbike (BSB) Championship at Donington Park, Castle Donington, England on the 29 September – 1 October 2023. Photo by Ian Hopgood

What’s your role within True Heroes Racing?

Founder and team principal.

What’s your Military background?

Still serving full-time in the Royal Navy. Joined in May 1993 as an air engineering technician.

What skills, experience and training have stood you in good stead with your role in True Heroes Racing?

Deep down I’m an aircraft engineer with over 30 years’ experience which helps. In recent years, as I’ve been promoted, I’ve become more a workforce and people manager which definitely helps when running a race team.

If you are still serving in the military, how do you balance the racing commitment with your service commitment?

A long line of understanding bosses! As a warrant officer it’s as much about managing my diary and workload myself. 

The reason behind why I started True Heroes Racing back in 2012, and all the things it and its beneficiaries have achieved over the years, helps to.

Scott McFarlane

True Heroes

What’s your role within True Heroes Racing?

Rider, although I have raced for a few years, I’m in my first season with the team.

What’s your military background?

I spent 11 years in the 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery.

What skills, experience and training have stood you in good stead with your role in True Heroes Racing?

Keep fighting and don’t give up.

If you are still serving in the military, how do you balance the racing commitment with your service commitment?

Medically discharged in 2008.

Fancy the thrill of the track?

Now you’ve met the wonderful riders of True Heroes, perhaps this has whet your appetite on spending a day at a track yourself.  

If so, you’ll need to have the right cover. As well as brilliant bespoke motorcycle insurance deals, Bikesure can organise special cover for trackdays and other bike events. 

And if you’re a member of Motorsport UK, it’ll be even cheaper with our exclusive discount scheme.

Give us a call on 0800 369 8580 to get a free no-obligation qupte or book a callback at a time that suits you.





Source link

Got an opinion on this? Share it!