OUR madcap Bangers4Ben rally has rolled round again and the wonderful fundraisers are gathering in Dover today for an early start tomorrow.
We’ve got dozens of cars taking part in our cheese-and-wine-themed trip to France and back, and excitement has been mounting as the teams, who are coming from far and wide, prepared their vehicles, with fantastic posts on Twitter – hashtag #B4B19 – and Instagram detailing the build-up.
One thing’s for sure – Bangers4Ben isn’t a race but there’s still a certain air of competitiveness…
Organised by Car Dealer Magazine in partnership with motor industry charity Ben, the rally is now in its 11th year. Entrants buy a banger for less than £750, ‘decorate’ it (while remaining road-legal of course), sort out some fancy dress, take it on our four-day excursion and – once the cars have hopefully returned home – sell it at auction. (There’s back-up for any bangers that break down en route!) Our teams are also encouraged to do their own charity fundraising to help us beat our record result of £56,000.
Here’s this year’s itinerary…
Day 1: Saturday, October 5 – Dover to Le Mans
All aboard the 8.25am ferry from Dover to Calais, from where the teams will make their way through stunning countryside and winding roads to the motorsport city of Le Mans, made famous by the iconic 24-hour race. While there, they can drive on public stretches of the endurance race circuit, including the famous Mulsanne Straight, and visit the circuit’s fantastic museum of racing cars and memorabilia.
Day 2: Sunday, October 6 – Le Mans to Bordeaux
A relatively short – for Bangers – jaunt down to Bordeaux for some wine tasting and nibbles in the city centre between Parliament Square and Saint Pierre Square.
Day 3: Monday, October 7 – Bordeaux to Nantes
From Bordeaux the journey north begins, taking in some of the beautiful French coastal roads and countryside. The route heads to the tiny island of Ile d’Oléron in the Atlantic, accessed only by a nearly-3km road bridge, before stopping for the night in Nantes.
Day 4: Tuesday, October 8 – Home time!
The final stint from Nantes, returning to Calais for a short crossing home, which will see the teams back in Dover at 5.55pm local time.
To add to the fun, there are prizes for the best fancy dress, best themed car and best tweet. There’s also a trophy for whoever makes the most profit at auction with their car.
Here’s some of our favourite tweets and Instagram posts so far:
The funds raised will help Ben in its work to provide support and care services for people within the automotive industry and for their families.
Good luck to everyone, have fun – and here’s hoping you raise big bucks!