Drivers in pole position for twin town fundraising trek

Drivers in pole position for twin town fundraising trek

The teams on the grid at Le Mans

John Haw and former United player Matthew Bound as the Super Mario Brothers

Mick Morris, front left, with Tim Hocknell, Adrian Appleby and Lewis Herbert – all dressed as Robert De Niro’s character Travis Bickle from the film Taxi Driver

First published in News

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:

Video: Watch the blaze that destroyed a lorry trailer carrying egg boxes on the A40

Oxford Mail:

11:10am Monday 22nd December 2014

A LORRY containing egg boxes has caught fire on the A40 near Witney.   

Special report: The city where it can be 19 times your salary for a home

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

THERE is no longer anywhere cheap to live in Oxford, leaving average earners priced out of the market house prices up to 19 times the media salary, new figures show.

UPDATE: Queues along Abingdon Road as Westgate shopping centre car park fills up with Christmas shoppers

Oxford Mail: Westgate Centre oxford

4:35pm Monday 22nd December 2014

A RUSH of shoppers to the Westgate Shopping Centre has caused traffic to queue down Abingdon Road in Oxford.

A4130 blocked after car goes into ditch

Oxford Mail: a4130 alert

1:19pm Monday 22nd December 2014

THE A4130 is partially blocked in both directions by a car crash between Didcot and Brightwell-cum-Sotwell.

Oxford chosen to host new NHS genetics research centre to improve care

Oxford Mail:

12:10pm Monday 22nd December 2014

PEOPLE in Oxfordshire with cancer and rare diseases could get advanced diagnosis and treatment under a new genetics project.

What brilliant picture is in our Oxford Mail Advent Calendar today?

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Tuesday 9th December 2014

December is Advent Calendar time and we have a special new interactive graphic for you each and every day until Christmas Eve. I've chosen the best 24 pictures of 2014 and I'll be unveiling one a day - so what is behind's today's door?

Guess which of the great and good sent these Christmas cards

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

YOU know you’re starting to go places when you get Christmas cards from Oxfordshire's great and the good. Here's David Cameron's offering but can you guess who is responsible for the other five hidden in our interactive graphic and then read why they chose them

Much-loved narrowboat taken out of commission

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

A NARROWBOAT that has delighted elderly and disabled people with canal trips for more than two decades has sailed her last.

Campaigner welcomes move to approve new kidney cancer drug

Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author

7:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

CANCER campaigner Clive Stone has praised health bosses he once fought against for passing a kidney cancer drug, but pledged to fight for other sufferers.

Boris gets a reminder to return book to Oxford college's library

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Monday 22nd December 2014

MAYOR of London Boris Johnson had a confession to make when he visited Oxford to sign copies of his latest book.

Upgrade locks, say police, after spate of burglaries

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

6:30am Monday 22nd December 2014

BURGLARIES that have all used the same technique to break door locks have prompted a warning by police for residents to improve their home security.

Firefighters battle loft blaze in Witney

Oxford Mail: Fire engine Oxfordshire

10:01am Sunday 21st December 2014

FIREFIGHTERS were able to stop a roof fire spreading and destroying the rest of the house last night.

Skye Hall's family: Our first Christmas without our brave son

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 20th December 2014

LOOM bands are taking over the house of Skye Hall’s family as they prepare to spend their first Christmas without the brave youngster who died in August.

Hudspeth backs councillors in demand to be told man's pay in allowances row

Oxford Mail: Ian Hudspeth

8:30am Saturday 20th December 2014

OXFORDSHIRE County Council leader Ian Hudspeth has backed councillors Rodney Rose and Kevin Bulmer who asked a voter to reveal his wages when he challenged them over a 19 per cent hike in their allowance.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

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