44 Paul Vice
Invictus Games Racing
BRITISH GT CAREER
2019 British GT4, Invictus Games Racing Jaguar F-TYPE SVR GT4 with Matthew George & Steve McCulley
2018 British GT4, Invictus Games Racing Jaguar F-TYPE SVR GT4 with Matthew George
In 2000, aged just 16, Paul Vice MC joined the Royal Marines. By 2011 he was on his fourth tour of Afghanistan, his sixth posting overall and the one that would leave the most painful legacy.
On foot patrol in Helmand Province, Paul stepped on a command wire Improvised Explosive Device (IED) which detonated underneath his Section. He suffered a traumatic brain injury resulting in paralysis of his right arm, and more than 400 pieces of shrapnel were removed from his body by surgeons. He was, as a subsequent documentary called him, ‘The Commando Who Refused To Die’.
He was one of six casualties from the explosion which, as he describes, “took from me the one thing I felt I was born to do – be a soldier”. Two years of painful rehabilitation followed. Racked with guilt that he somehow should have done more to protect his fellow soldiers, Paul struggled to come to terms with the loss of his career.
Realising he needed a catalyst for change, he rediscovered sport and his ingrained need for competition. In 2014, he competed in the first Invictus Games, pushing his body to its limits, winning a gold medal in cycling along the way. After the Games, ongoing complications stemming from the 2011 explosion, saw his left leg amputated below the knee. He was medically discharged in August 2015.
Incredibly, his seven-medal haul at the 2016 Invictus Games meant he returned home as the competition’s most successful male athlete. His two golds (50m Backstroke and 50m Breaststroke), four silvers (sitting volleyball, 50m freestyle and two in cycling,) and one bronze (4x100m relay) hang next to the Military Cross he received for gallantry earlier in the fated Afghanistan tour.
Today, with his family behind him, Paul uses his experiences to inspire others to overcome their own adversities. This approach has seen him fast-tracked through the Mission Motorsport Academy programme, passing an enhanced racing instructor course along the way.
The Race of Remembrance, which commemorates the sacrifices made by service personnel and their families, was the backdrop for his first ever competitive race. As part of the new Invictus Games Racing team, Paul will race in the second half of the new season alongside professional driver Matthew George.