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#B4B16: Day three – Maranello to Strasbourg

Time 5 years ago

AFTER a late night for many of the teams, breakfast was an unsurprisingly quiet affair.

By 9am, all of the cars had left the hotel, and after a slight detour through the not-so-scenic suburbs of Maranello, we hit the open road.

However, it wasn’t long before day 3 suffered its first casualty. Within minutes we came across the Batmobile, stopped by the roadside with a suspected flat tyre.

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After taking a few photos and laughing at their expense we continued on our journey, trying to catch up with the convoy of bangers ahead of us.

While we raced along the Italian Autostrada, Becca and Alexis continued to wait for the AA support to arrive. When they turned up half an hour later, they replaced the wheel and trailed the pair to a nearby garage, where an enthusiastic mechanic got to work.

As it turned out, the issue wasn’t that the tyre had burst, but rather that the wheel had buckled and the tyre needed resetting. Luckily, the Italian AutoTrader driver and €20 solved the problem, and it took the mechanic less than 20 minutes to reshape the rim, using a large mallet.

The superheroes eventually rejoined the route, an hour and a half behind the rest of us. Unfortunately, this would mean they wouldn’t have time to make the mountain detour that Car Dealer Andy had planned the previous evening.


Meanwhile, we caught up with a gaggle of bangers and hot-footed it into the mountains. Bringing up the rear, we were surprised (and impressed) that not one of the dozen cars struggled on the steep alpine roads.

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However, GardX’s BMW’s 3 Series Touring was continuing to experience problems with the oil. A picturesque breakdown saw them stop next to the cliff edge, but the AA immediately got to work fixing the fuel pump, and almost two hours later the group found itself back on the road.

In the meantime, our group had reached the top of the Furka Pass, and after admiring the spectacular views was tentatively making its way down.

One by one, the bangers drove down the series of tight turns. It didn’t help that by this far into the rally many had developed gearbox issues and had questionable brakes at the best of times.

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When we finally reached the bottom of the pass, we regrouped for lunch. While the resounding opinion was one of excitement at having driven it, a number of brown-pants moments were mentioned.

After a traditionally Swiss lunch – attempting to decipher the menu – we set off again. As the majority of the group opted to take the low road, we went up and over the pass again in the support car, as we still had to collect the Kat from the previous night’s hotel in Colmar.

Surprisingly, after picking up the Kat, and limping to Strasbourg, we weren’t the last to arrive, and a delayed dinner saw all the teams meet for 9pm.

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The traditional after-dinner ceremony marked the end of day three, as BEN’s Kelly Neal and Car Dealer Andy handed out the awards.


Will Blackshaw took the top tweet award for parking his dog-mobile between two Ferraris and announcing the arrival of the marque’s latest model – the Fur-rarri.


The prize for the best car was once again a tough decision, but the loudest cheer by far went to Geoff Cox’s Zombie response vehicle. Finally, best outfit was awarded to GardX’s Gemma, for her creative Scooby Doo villain get-ups.

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Retiring to the bar, the teams reminisced on another brilliant Bangers4BEN. With almost 400 miles to cover the following day and the bangers looking slightly the worse for wear, we crossed our fingers and hoped to make it to the boat.

MORE: #B4B16 Day 2 – Colmar to Maranello

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