Drivers in pole position for twin town fundraising trek

First published in

A FOUR-DAY cross-country rally through France raised more than £80,000 for an Oxfordshire charity thanks to the efforts of keen petrolheads.

The Twin Town Challenge attracted 50 teams for the 1,000-mile jaunt from Witney to its twin town of Le Touquet, near Calais.

They took in race tracks Brands Hatch, Kent and Le Mans and Criox-en-Ternois in France during the Friday to Monday challenge.

Vehicles had to cost less than £500 and the event is expected to have raised at least £80,000 for Charlbury disability charity SpecialEffect through corporate sponsorship and entry fees.

They also faced 12 challenges like car manoeuvre courses, Aunt Sally tournaments, scavenger hunts and laps around race circuits.

John Haw, from Ramsbury, Wiltshire, spent the weekend dressed as Nintendo video game icon Super Mario with ex-Oxford United player Matthew Bound, now of Swansea, as sidekick Luigi in a red BMW.

Mr Haw said: “It has been a brilliant and completely bonkers rally, people have been stopping us to ask for our photograph. At the racetrack we ragged our car pretty hard but it was amazing, I’ve decided to keep it because I love it so much.”

Deputy mayor of Le Touquet Bernard Baudoux welcomed the drivers at a civic ceremony on Friday.

And the weekend closed on Sunday night with a performance from visiting Stonesfield band The Village Idiots and a fundraising auction.

Lots included a day out behind the scenes at a Formula 1 race and a meal cooked by celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson.

It will be further boosted when teams auction their cars at West Oxfordshire Motor Auctions, Bromag Industrial Estate, Witney, on Thursday evening.

Chief organiser Brendan Cross said: “It has been fantastic on so many fronts.

“We have had a great time at the race tracks and relationships have been formed, but most importantly the generosity of everybody who took part has really shown.

“I am being asked to do it again next year already, and there is talk of taking 100 Minis down to Le Touquet, but I think I need a rest first.”

SpecialEffect founder and chief executive Dr Mick Donegan said cash generated would give the charity an opportunity to meet a rising demand for the services it provides. He said: “We will use the money to buy more equipment and employ more staff.

“Demand for what we do is going up all the time and we have been stretched recently.

“But this will allow us to keep creating those magic moments for people every day.”

  • Our top stories:

Didcot murders: College gives help after triple murder suspect’s body found

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Wednesday 27th May 2015

A SERIOUS case review may be held over the murder of little Derin Jordon as authorities began to look into whether any warnings were missed about her half-brother Jed Allen, pictured.

Val Smith funeral: Do not mourn for too long - she's want you making a difference and helping people

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Wednesday 27th May 2015

TEARS flowed at the funeral of much-loved councillor Val Smith yesterday as her husband said she would want more people to do good in the world.

UPDATE: Routes around Oxford snarling up in evening rush hour

Oxford Mail: Traffic Alert general

9:17am Wednesday 27th May 2015

DRIVERS and bus services are tonight delayed around the city as traffic builds up.

Didcot murders: Families pay tribute to 'best daddy there ever was' and 'beloved' sister

Oxford Mail:

12:12pm Wednesday 27th May 2015

THE FAMILIES of the three people murdered in Didcot have spoken of their grief about the tragedy.

Didcot murders: Community reeling over tragic events

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Wednesday 27th May 2015

RIBBONS and flowers decorated the entrance to Vicarage Road in Didcot, where residents continued to pay tribute to a family that were murdered in their home.

Didcot murders: Tattoo artist thought Allen was a ‘normal’ lad

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Wednesday 27th May 2015

THE TATTOO artist of murder suspect Jed Allen spoke of how he came across as a “happy and joyful” person.

Signalling problems at London Marylebone affecting Banbury services

Oxford Mail: A Chiltern Railways Clubman train

8:15am Wednesday 27th May 2015

Chiltern Railways trains from Banbury have been disrupted following signalling problems.

Two people hospitalised following crash on A44

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Wednesday 27th May 2015

TWO people were taken to hospital after a car flipped onto its roof near Oxford Airport.

Making history by helping at museum is natural thing to do

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Wednesday 27th May 2015

HANGING out with dinosaurs, tending butterfly specimens, polishing gems and feeding cockroaches doesn’t feature on most job descriptions.

Drivers warned as herd of cows loose on Marston Ferry Road

Oxford Mail: The lone brown cow at Step Farm in Faringdon

7:49am Wednesday 27th May 2015

A HERD of ten cows is loose on the Marston Ferry Road.

Best man tells court of his terror in house fire

Oxford Mail: Oxford Crown Court

7:00am Wednesday 27th May 2015

A MAN accused of having an affair with his friend’s wife said he was “terrified” after waking to a house fire, a jury heard.

It’s mayhem! Lengthy delays as traffic grinds to a standstill

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Wednesday 27th May 2015

MOTORISTS were greeted by huge tailbacks on the Botley Road after returning to work following the bank holiday.

‘We’ve got to make changes or our services will wither and die’

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Wednesday 27th May 2015

MAJOR changes must be made to the way Oxfordshire County Council delivers services or they will “wither and die”, a senior councillor warned last night.

Charity vows to keep protecting homeless people

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Wednesday 27th May 2015

CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to make sure children and homeless people in Oxfordshire are still provided for despite county council warnings over further cuts.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree