Tank provides welcome support for Mazda Britcar race entry

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Serving soldiers will be among the drivers of a Mazda MX-5 competing in this weekend's Britcar 24hr race at Silverstone.

They'll be joined at the wheel of the MX-5 Forces Car by motorsport TV presenter Tony Jardine with the aim of raising funds for five Armed Forces charities - Help For Heroes, The Not Forgotten Association, Scotty's Little Soldiers, The Forces Children's Trust and ABF.

The team will also get a little moral support from The 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, including its 65-tonne Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank, which will be stationed at Silverstone throughout the race. In fact, it will be at Stowe overlooking the first corner and presenting an unusual distraction for the other teams.

Other military support will come from two helicopters, an Apache and a Lynx, the Red Devils Parachute Display Team, an inflatable assault course for children and an army recovery vehicle, so plenty to look at when there's a lull over the 24 hours.

Major James Cameron, the MX-5 Forces Car team leader, who has just been recognised on the Operational Awards list with an award for gallantry, commented: "Having brought my Squadron back from Afghanistan in May, I was hugely thankful that we suffered no fatalities.

"There were, however, casualties and some seriously injured soldiers and on our return I have been determined to help those who help our fallen, our wounded, and their families."

There is a full support race schedule before the main event begins at 16:30 today.