James Webley joined the Army from school and served in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers as a vehicle technician. Throughout his Army career, James served all over the globe and on tough operational tours in Bosnia Kosovo, as well as two tours of Afghanistan. A successful military career was brought to an end when James was medically discharged after constant joint pain saw him seek help for chronic early onset arthritis, exacerbated by his Service.
Aged 26, James was facing returning to civilian life much earlier than he expected, a transition that many ex-service personnel find extremely challenging. James first engaged with Mission Motorsport through sport – drifting, and went on to be employed as the Mission Motorsport Workshop Manager. Throughout his time working as Workshop Manager, he transformed the running of the workshop and was involved in numerous activities with the charity.
James Webley built and ran a Mazda MX5 race car, which was subsequently driven by a double amputee competing in the BRSCC and MAX5 Championship. James’ skills were put to the test when he was tasked with developing, building and running an adapted Porsche Cayman S Race Car that was driven by the first ever paralysed female to hold a UK Race Licence.
Although he was employed as the Mission Motorsport Workshop Manager, James was still a charity beneficiary, and obtained his race licence in order to compete in his own car in the Race of Remembrance Endurance race. Through Mission Motorsport, James also piloted a Land Rover Defender 90 to 5th place in the first round of the 2016 Bowler Motorsport Defender Challenge.
As a Mission Motorsport beneficiary, James went on a Wounded, Injured and Sick Service Personnel placement at Jaguar Land Rover’s Powertrain department in December 2014 – his first glimpse into a civilian work environment. This initial placement was followed by a second placement at JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations at the beginning of 2016 and on the 11th March 2016, James was offered a full-time job as a Producing Supervisor within Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations.
James said: “It’s helped me massively with the transition period. It’s just great being around guys that know your situation, and they get it. You have Mission Motorsport to fall back on. It’s presented wonderful opportunities that I would never have got before.”