Team to travel thousands of miles in 'banger'


Staff reporter (Chester First)

FOUR friends will be driving about 5,000 miles in a car worth less than £400 for charity when they take part in the Dumball Rally to Morocco.

Mark Carrington, of Guilden Sutton, Andrew Mee, originally from Upton and now living in London, Richard Nicolas, of Saughall, and John Rapp, of Warrington, are taking part in the 2014 Dumball Rally.

This sees about 30 competitors drive in cars worth less than £400 from the starting line in Brighton through France, Spain, Morocco and the Sahara Desert and reach the finishing line in Malaga before they drive home.

The group aims to raise £4,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust, which supports teenagers with cancer by funding teenage-only wards and research into the disease. So far they have raised about £2,500 from family, friends and colleagues.

Richard ran in the Chester Half Marathon to boost the fundraising efforts.

As part of the challenge the group, and their car, has to go in fancy dress and they went for a ‘tiki’ theme, complete with Polynesian bar.

Richard, a civil engineer, said: “We bought a Renault Espace from a bloke in Heswell for the trip. The car cost £395 and we have called it the Tiki-Monkey and built a collapsible Polynesian Bar, which we can put into the boot when driving. We all have to wear fancy dress as well so we have made Polynesian style masks but we won’t wear them when we are driving because visibility becomes an issue.”

Apart from the bar, the upholstery has been changed to a “headache-inducing” orange – perfect for the Saharan sun and the transfers on sides of the car.

Mark, a software developer, said: “On the way back from buying the car the clutch completely went. When they were fixing that they found the flywheel was cracked.

The fuse box was completely filled with water so none of the electrics worked and the car wouldn’t lock and the boot wouldn’t stay open. Apart from that it was fine.

“Saughall Service Station was great and managed to sort out the problems for us.”

Three of the four friends Richard, 32, Mark, 33, and Andrew, 31, met when they went to Upton High School and they later met John, 32, in university in Lancaster. They said they wanted to take on the journey as it was an “adventure”.

Richard added: “I’ve actually done the Dumball before two years ago. That time it finished in Odessa in Ukraine. I’m glad we aren’t going there this time.”

To support the group and raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust visit

See full story in the Chester Leader

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