Banger Run 2014

The 2014 Help for Heroes Banger Run saw 25 military and civilian teams travel five of Europe’s top ten roads in £250 British themed cars.

 

Day 1

On Saturday 30th August 2014 at 0700hrs, all 25 cars arrived at Cineworld in Ashford.  After a browse of the bangers on show, everybody made there way into cinema to collect their goody bags which included AA European road atlases, Banger Run T-shirts, event programmes and other items donated from sponsors.  Excalibur 1They were then seated in the deluxe screen where popcorn and drinks were served.  The lights dimmed and the Banger Run opening film was played;  the film gave glimpses of the route to be taken and introduced each team.  A brief outline of the challenge was given followed by the prize giving for the top 2 teams who had raised the most money.  First place went to team ‘Little Britain’s Banger’ who had raised £4404.43 and second place went to the ‘Lead team’ who raised £4073.50.  Both teams received a crate of Spitfire Real Ale, a piston trophy, a cash prize plus a lucky dip.  Team ‘Little Britain’s Banger’ walked away with an indoor skydiving experience and the ‘Lead team’ bagged themselves an exclusive tour of the Lotus factory.  Everybody then donned their Banger Run T-shirts, started their engines and headed for Dover.

 

As always, DFDS Seaways who provided a 50% discount to all teams placed all bangers in a dedicated lane and allowed charity collections on board.  Team members used the time on board to get to know each other and before we knew it, we arrived in Dunkirk.  Returning to the Bangers below deck, it appeared that not everyone had applied their handbrakes.  This resulted in some negotiations with a local to pay for minor damage!  Once off the ferry, teams broke off into smaller groups, slipped on their lead boots and set the GPS for the first campsite in Vilsberg, France.  This was almost on the German border and set us up nicely for the first of the challenge roads on day 2.

 

Day 2

Excalibur 2After a night on a soggy campsite, teams cooked breakfast, packed away their tents and headed for Route 500 through the Black Forest.  Teams tackled the switchback turns as they climbed up through forest.  The road then opened up to long, wide sweeping curves and at times felt like a race track.  With the first challenge road complete, the drive to the next campsite in Switzerland began.  Teams arrived at the second campsite and found it impossible to pitch a tent due to the amount of rain falling.  Most found local hotels, the lead team had broken down in Germany and a few hardcore campers adapted a play park into a makeshift shelter for the night.

 

 

 

Day 3

After a miserable wet night, teams packed up and prepared for the two mountain Excalibur 3passes to come.  The first being the Klausen pass; beginning with an original cobbles section, the road improved with high speed sweeping turns, tight switchbacks and forest sections.  A 5km alpine plateaux with spectacular views took them to the next climb which was literally carved into a rock face.  A quick stop off on the top and the cars were on the decent towards Burglen.  One pass down and onto the next; the famous Furka pass.  After following the sweeping path along the valley, the road began to climb up to Hotel Belvedere.  Some teams stopped off here for a visit into the Rhone Glacier before heading back down the pass and onto the final leg towards the next campsite.  All teams arrived at the site apart from ‘Fatman & Bobin’ who somehow managed to complete the passes in reverse order.  The ‘Lead team’ arrived in a shiny new hire car as their banger had been sent to car heaven back in Germany.

 

Day 4

Thirsty for the last two challenge roads, teams packed up early and hit the road.  Just around the corner from the site was the San Bernardino pass; a smooth pass rising up out from the valley floor.  Nearing the summit, the road tightened and then the ride back down became more twisty but remained smooth.  Sights were then set on the final challenge; the Stelvio pass.  The 3rd highest and most dramatic in the Apls!  The drive to the pass took us through the heart of the StelvioNational Park with many miles of fast sweeping corners. Teams were then faced with 48 tight switchbacks to the summit where crowds of fellow petrol heads gathered to take in the view.  Back in the bangers, the road dropped into the valley floor and the finish line at LakeComo was in sight.  Teams pitched their tents literally within spitting distance from the shore, donned their fancy dress and made their way into the restaurant for some well deserved food and beer.  Prizes were then given to ‘The Heroes Arms’, voted best overall team.  They walked away with an exclusive tour of Pinewood Studios and ‘Team Charlie Wood’, voted best dressed car won an exclusive tour of Morgan Motors.  A quiz and treasure hunt was carried out during the challenge and team ‘Best of British’ won .  They took home various prizes including a unique Banger Run themed Typography of Love framed print.  The evening was wrapped up with thanks from the organiser which was kindly followed by a free bar courtesy of the site owner.

 

The 2014 run has been the best yet.  A great start, very challenging roads, amazing views and great company.  The money has been counted and in true Banger Run fashion we have smashed last years total with a staggering £37000, taking the Banger Run grand total to over £140k!

 

Take the challenge, make a difference!