A rally good idea to Amsterdam

WHACKY racers have completed an 800-mile international rally for charity. Nine teams took part in the Dam-in-da-kar round trip rally from Dunstable to Amsterdam to raise more than £6,000 for charities Sue Ryder Care, Stagenhoe; The National Autistic Soc

WHACKY racers have completed an 800-mile international rally for charity.

Nine teams took part in the Dam-in-da-kar round trip rally from Dunstable to Amsterdam to raise more than £6,000 for charities Sue Ryder Care, Stagenhoe; The National Autistic Society; Mount Vernon Cancer Network and St John's School, Bedford.

Driving in fancy dress, in cars bought on eBay for no more than £100 and with an engine no bigger than 1200cc, the clapped-out (but road legal) teams made it to Holland and back in three days with only a puncture and a dodgy exhaust.

A competitive edge was added as points were awarded for best turned out vehicle and team, miles completed, checkpoints passed and even for picking up hitchhikers.

Full Metal Jacket team driver Robert Dumpleton, 27, a customer services operative for sponsors Betfair.com in Stevenage, said: "We were given stages to reach, but without maps or GPS. We had a lot of fun and truckers bibbed us and cars drove alongside to take photos.

"The Smurfs didn't have a lot of luck, they had their exhaust fall off and had a blow out and were fined by the police in France for not being able to immediately produce their insurance details, while they were dressed in blue and white with blue faces."

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Robert's mum and rally organiser Sally Wallace, who was dressed as a vampire with fellow organiser, husband Angus, said: "I would like to dedicate the race to my cousins Michael and Richard Bell who both had Huntington's disease and were cared for by the wonderful team at Sue Ryder Care, Stagenhoe. I would also like to thank everyone who has pledged support and enabled us to generate over £2,000 for Sue Ryder Care. In particular, a special thank you must go to Betfair.com and Kia Motors in Stevenage."

TWO men are planning to drive up to 10,000 miles, from England to Mongolia, in a clapped-out car, to raise money for charity.

Jonathan Wilson, of Kristiansand Way in Letchworth GC, and his best friend, Mark Whitaker, of Lawrence Avenue in Letchworth GC, are taking on the extreme challenge of the Mongol Rally.

The pair, both 21, will set off from London's Hyde Park on July 19 and hope to arrive in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia's capital, four to five weeks later.

Jonathan said: "To make it more interesting, the organisers have added a stipulation - that the car taking you all that way must have an engine no bigger than a 1.0 litre."

Jonathan and Mark, calling themselves the Motley Crew, will be making the trip in a 21-year-old Volkswagen Polo.

If something goes wrong out on the road, they will receive no support or back-up from the event organisers.

Jonathan said: "What we are doing is pretty dangerous."

Countries they plan to travel through include France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Jonathan said: "We thought it would be a good experience and we could raise money for charity at the same time."

They must raise at least £1,000 for the official rally charities, which include Mercy Corps Mongolia, Christina Noble Children's Foundation and Hope and Homes for Children.

Mark's brother, 19-year-old Ben, may also be joining them on the trip, but this has not yet been confirmed.

To sponsor the team, visit http://www.willwemakeit.com/ and search for 'Motley Crew'.

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