While winning on the race track is the No.1 goal of any race team, Red Bull Racing Australia will be competing for a cause greater than any race victory in 2014, with Wings For Life this week announced as the team’s official charity for the 2014 season.
The Wings for Life foundation raises funds to continue research into curing spinal cord injury and is a cause that hits home close to home for every member of the Red Bull Racing Australia family.
“Over the years in racing too many people have been victims of accidents that have changed their lives forever,” team principal Roland Dane says.
“The fact of the matter is that motorsport is dangerous. Every time a driver gets behind the wheel of a car or a rider gets on a motorbike, he or she is taking a huge risk. While it’s essential that we continue to do all we possibly can to make motorsport safer, eliminating all accidents is unrealistic. That’s why supporting a charity like Wings For Life, whose great work in spinal research gives a fighting chance to those who unfortunately don’t come out of accidents unscathed, is so important to our sport.
“And of course, it extends far beyond motor racing. Spinal injuries are too common in all walks of life and having a daughter heavily involved in equestrian sport reminds me of that fact frequently.”
Red Bull Racing Australia’s first major involvement with the charity will be with its inaugural Wings For Life World Run in May. It’s a world-first global fun run that will see thousands of people in 40 different locations around the planet all running at the same time.
Jamie Whincup will be taking part in the run in Perth, which sees the finish line chasing the participants in the form of a car – luckily, not a V8 Supercar. When the car passes you, it’s time to jump on the courtesy bus and head back to base to celebrate.
“We’re very fortunate to be able to run for those who can’t,” Lowndes says.
“Walking is something we all take for granted. With Wings For Life and other charities like it funding and conducting research, the cure for spinal cord injuries is closer than ever before, and that’s certainly something I’m keen to support.”
“The work that Wings For Life does couldn’t be more important to us and everyone involved in our sport,” Whincup says.
“As drivers, we not only get behind the wheel of a car every other weekend, we’re pushbike riding, running, swimming and keeping active in as many ways as possible. We’re all adrenaline junkies too – we love speed – so we’re constantly putting ourselves at risk.
“We have to remember too, that spinal injuries can be just around the corner doing literally anything. I’m very passionate about road safety and, while prevention is better than treatment, unfortunately accidents do still happen. Being involved with Wings For Life means we can support fantastic research into something that could totally change our lives at any time, whether we’re directly impacted ourselves or it’s a loved one.”
The Australian leg of the Wings For Life World Run will take place in Busselton WA on May 4 2014. For more information on the Wings for Life World Run and to join the boys in the run, head to www.wingsforlifeworldrun.com