India’s renowned rally champion, CS Santosh will join the 33 Catcher Car drivers and be driving in the Indian edition of the Wings For Life World Run that will be held in Ahmedabad. The off-road racing champion with over 20 accolades and who has broken numerous records will cruise at speeds of 15kmph as the driver of the India’s Catcher. Along with CS Santosh Formula One’s David Coulthard, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz, motorcycle legend Ricky Johnson, Stock Car Brasil icon Caca Bueno, and 28 other renowned sportspersons will join the event as Catcher Car drivers.
What is Wings for Life?
Founded in 2004, Wings for Life is a nonprofit spinal cord research foundation driven by a mission to find the cure for spinal cord injury. The organisation has been conducting the Wings for Life World Run from the year 2014 to raise funds in order to accomplish its mission. This year’s charity event run will take place on 8 May 2016 across 34 locations worldwide at the exact same time.
The event has a Catcher Car format, in which the finish line is a celebrity-driven vehicle that gives the runners a head start and chases the field. Only at the point of being overtaken is a runner’s race over, and the individual man and woman last to be caught are declared Global Champions. Drivers of the Catcher Cars will start driving at 11.30am UTC after runners, with no idea of how long or how far they will drive.
This is how the Catcher Cars concept works-
The Catcher Cars are fitted with tracking technology developed specifically for the Wings for Life World Run. A participant’s local and global ranking will be determined by the distance covered before being passed by a Catcher Car, not by the time spent running. The Catcher Cars are governed by the Wings for Life World Run rulebook, ensuring fair and simultaneous progress on the 34 tracks around the world. All runners’ progress and final results across all tracks will be recorded by a timing tag hidden in each runner’s race number. The tag is activated as a runner crosses the start line and is deactivated and the final distance recorded when he or she is passed by a Catcher Car.
Some of this year’s Catcher Car Drivers are –
Australia – Tim Crosbie (Runner)
Austria – Reini Sampl and Denmark’s Jason Watt (both Race Car Drivers)
Belgian Dutch – Max Verstappen (Racing driver)
Belgium – Thierry Neuville (Rally Driver)
Brazil – Caca Bueno (Professional Racer)
California – Ricky Johnson (Former Professional Racer)
Chile – Ramón Navarro (Surfer)
Georgia – Data Kajaia (Professional Racer)
Great Britain – David Coulthard (Former Formula One racing driver)
India – CS Santosh (Off-road Racer)
Italy – Antonio Rossi (Sprint Canoer)
Mexican – Guillermo “Memo” Rojas (Enduro Racer)
Norwegian – Henrik Kristoffersen (Ski Racer)
Poland – Adam Małysz (former Ski Jumper and current Rally Driver)
Slovakia – Ivan Jakes (Professional Racer)
Slovenia – Aleks Humar (Professional Racer)
Switzerland – Elias Ambuehl (Freestyle Skier)
Taiwan – Chou Chun-hsun (Go-Player)
Turkey – Yagiz Avci (Professional Racer)
On 8 May 2016, at 11.30am UTC, half an hour after the Wings for Life World Runners have started, the Catcher Cars start driving at precisely 15kmph. All the drivers will speed up at the same time, worldwide, and maintain the same speed. Since the Wings for Life World Run starts at 11am UTC in all 34 locations, a Global Race Control and the help of technology ensure that all drivers speed up at precisely the same moment.
11.00 UTC – RACE START
11.30 UTC – CATCHER CAR START – PACE of 15km/hr (approx. 9.3 mph)
12.30 UTC – PACE INCREASE: 16 kph (9.94 mph)
13.30 UTC – PACE INCREASE: 17 kph (10.56 mph)
14.30 UTC – PACE INCREASE: 20 kph (12.43 mph)
16.30 UTC – PACE INCREASE to 35 kph (approx. 21.75 mph)