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Ten years of True Heroes Racing: Interview with Phil Spencer

POSTED: 28/08/2022

Ten years of fantastic work

The season is in full swing and for the True Heroes Racing team, it's a big one. The team have provided opportunities for military veterans to get involved in racing for over a decade now - and they continue to grow every year! We caught up with Phil Spencer, Founder and Team Principal of the True Heroes Racing team and asked him a few questions about how and why he established the team all that time ago and what his plans are for the next decade to follow.

Scroll down for the interview with Phil Spencer...

Would you rather read the interview? No problem!

True Heroes Racing on the track with Chris Gangley

What inspired you to start the True Heroes Racing team ten years ago?

"I came back from Afghanistan and wanted to do something for those less fortunate than me, so I started raising money for military charities, started getting involved in BSB doing hospitality days for injured servicemen, etc. Then one day I just thought, "why are we stood on the sidelines? Let's get involved directly in the sport!" and that's how True Heroes Racing came to fruition in 2012."

What has been your best or most memorable moment with the True Heroes Racing team over the last 10 years?

"Where to start?! We've achieved so many amazing things over the ten years. Bringing the first disabled rider into British Superbikes in 2013 with Murray Hambro - and last weekend Chris Ganley became the first ever single arm amputee to race at this level. The help and benefits we've provided for people involved with us over the years - those are the achievements of this organisation and you can't really pull one single one out."

True Heroes Racing team in the pits
True Heroes Racing Dave Stellars ready to go

What is your proudest moment over the last ten years?

"Proudest moment... again the same sort of stuff I suppose. Bringing disabled competitors into the sport. By just bringing disability competitors and disability involvement in motorcycle racing to the forefront, we've sort of... not championed it directly, but it's been fallout from what we are and what we do. We're looked at by the organisers as the subject matter experts when it comes to disability involvement in motorcycle racing."

What has been your toughest challenge to date in these last 10 years?

"Toughest challenge for us was probably 2017 when Mark was killed at Thruxton. Coming back from that was difficult for me as the person who put him on the track in the first place. But we know being here still is what Mark would have wanted us to do. Helping more people would have been what Mark wanted us to do and therefore that's what we're doing."

Dave Scrawn Mackay on the track lifting the front wheel
Leon having fun with True Heroes Racing fans

What have you learned in these last ten years of True Heroes Racing?

"What have I learned over the last ten years? Jesus, what haven't I learnt?! I wasn't a motorcyclist on the road, I haven't done a track day in my life let alone go racing or run a race team, so I've learned so much about the sport, about bikes, about the commercial side of things, sponsorships, social media, everything! I didn't know any of it, I was a military person who had served for 19 years when I started this organisation and I didn't have a clue about the real world. Now ten years down the line I'm in a different mindset, a different place and I've learned so much - even now still learning... What's VAT?! I've just had to learn about that in the last couple of years! So you never stop learning in this sport."

What are your aspirations for True Heroes Racing over the next ten years?

"The next ten years, we just want to continue to expand and continue to offer more opportunities. I've got loads of big aspirations... we'd love to have a facility we can run 24/7 to offer more opportunities for guys and girls both between racing and out of racing. Aspirations to continue to the top level in the sport and just keep fielding more bikes. You may know that we are the biggest single team in the paddock as it is, but that's not enough for me - I want to do more. I want to offer more opportunities for more guys and girls to get involved and benefit from being involved in True Heroes Racing."

True Heroes Racing team on the track with the Panigale

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