Pals in driving seat for banger success
By Nicky Carter - Reporter
FRIENDS with a passion for motoring signed up to an unusual challenge – competing in a banger rally – to raise funds for the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Ukraine humanitarian appeal.
Gordon Thomson and Peter McTague, from Cotherstone, set off on Monday aiming to drive 1,000 miles in just four days in a 50-year-old Triumph Toledo they bought for less than £3,000.
The childhood friends have set up a GoFundMe page and are asking for donations to help save lives and rebuild shattered communities affected by the war in Ukraine.
Mr Thompson, who lives on Moor Lane, is no stranger to motoring, having raced modified saloons in his youth.
The banger rally challenge stipulates entrants must purchase a pre-1980 vehicle for less than £3,000, drive it 1,000 miles in four consecutive days and sell it before May 31.
There are four teams taking part in the challenge though not to a set route.
Mr Thomson and Mr McTague set off from Cotherstone on Monday last week and devised a journey which saw them driving on quieter back roads, wending their way to Inverness. He said: “One of the rules is that we’re not allowed to use motorways so it’s back roads and A-roads all the way, 250 miles a day, which will be a challenge.
“We’ve put a fresh set of tyres on the car and we’ll have plenty of water bottles and jerry cans in case we need them.
“We have had some great support so far including from Lightning Signs at Mickleton who have created stickers for the car.”
As a side challenge all four teams will be vying to win £400 for their respective charity, aiming to spend the least amount during the rally.
Mr Thomson said: “We each put £100 in a pot and whoever uses the least gets to donate it to their chosen charity at the end.”
The pair returned to Teesdale safely last Thursday with only one incident to report along the way.
Mr Thomson said: “It went reasonably well, except we had a fanbelt go on us on Tuesday night on the way back to the hotel. We had to abandon the car. Pete rang one of his sons and he got one of the last fan belts in Inverness.”
So far, the banger rally has raised about £6,500. Anyone who wishes to donate towards the challenge should visit go fundme.com and search for Banger Challenge.
Collection tins have also been placed in the Teesdale Mercury shop, Market Place, Barnard Castle, Hair Sudio, Galgate, Barnard Castle, and the Fox and Hounds, Cotherstone.