Loddon team conquer Europe in charity banger rally
PUBLISHED: 09:57 17 September 2019 | UPDATED: 09:57 17 September 2019
Driving through 10 countries in five days in a car worth less than £500 is not a challenge for the faint-hearted.
But one Loddon-based team conquered Europe when they took on the Undie 500 banger race, raising more than £7,000 in memory of a friend who lost his battle with prostate cancer earlier this year.
The team from Panel Graphic, made up of team principle Steve Earl, technical chief Ryan Earl, head of race strategy Duncan Townend, and hospitality manger Sean Sterry, completed the epic journey in honour of Kenny Long to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK.
After setting off from the Norfolk town, the team joined more than 100 others at the start in Belgium, before setting off on a 1,550 mile trek to Germany.
Business owner Steve Earl said: "It was really good, but very tiring. It took at least a week to recover, but we all really enjoyed it and it was really good fun.
"We had a few problems with the car. It overheated a few times and we all had to get out and push it up a big hill in Austria while the smallest person steered, but we got it to the top eventually and managed to find some more engine parts to carry on.
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"Believe it or not but that was probably the best bit of the trip because it is what we all remember.
"Everyone just got along. There were about 140 cars taking part, each with several people inside, so there were hundreds of people at the campsites each night. We all supported each other and definitely want to do it again next year."
The group now hope to carry on fundraising for the charity, and are also helping other businesses who supported them on the challenge.
Steve said: "Because the car looked after us so well, we are offering it to our sponsors for nothing, so each of our main sponsors have got a chance to use the car for their own fundraising if they need.
"We met the representative from Prostate Cancer UK and handed over a big cheque. We all want to raise awareness and they're going to come back and give talks and workshops because it is important to check and make sure everyone's health is okay.
"They are going to become a long-term charity partner for the company and we will put more money their way."
In memory of Mr Long, the car was led by a small toy llama named Kenny attached to the bonnet.
Steve said: "The reason it was a llama was because of the car's registration, but because we were doing it for Kenny we wanted to keep him with us on the trip.