Drag racing visit hopes to raise wounded soldiers' morale

Western Telegraph: Richard Stevens of Neyland is part of team meeting wounded soldiers in Germany Richard Stevens of Neyland is part of team meeting wounded soldiers in Germany

A Neyland man whose company has made it big in the speed-crazy, high-octane world of drag racing will today (Wednesday) pay an emotional visit to servicemen and women wounded in the line of duty.

Richard Stevens, Director of MPM Oil UK – a motor lubricants company - is part of the team meeting injured personnel in Germany and raising morale by showing off the spectacular cars that can reach hundreds of miles per hour.

Richard’s company has been heavily involved in the sport for several years and, while attending a series of shows and events in Germany, decided to visit Ramstein Air Base.

The base has more than 50,000 NATO personnel and is also home to a major rehabilitation centre for servicemen and women injured on active service.

Richard told the Western Telegraph: "The idea came from the team that maybe we could do something for the coalition forces. We got in touch with USO, a non-profit organisation whose main function is to fund raise to assist soldiers following serious injury.

"We will take the display to the on-site hospital and rehabilitation centre and set up the vehicle static display and visit the bedsides of the wounded and spend time with them.

"Basically it’s just to say thank you for their efforts in keeping us safe and protecting the innocent. I think it’s the least we can do."

Richard, aged 42, said he hoped to make the visit an annual event.

The teams are taking two Fuel Funny Cars (a class of car in drag racing) and a junior dragster along for the visit.

On Saturday the team head off to the Nitrolympx event at Hockenheim and have invited 20 ‘walking wounded’ soldiers to join them in the pits.

"We will give them the best day we can," added Richard.

• Richard is currently looking for a local distributor for the MPM brand. For more information contact him via richard@mpmoil.co.uk.

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