Banger Run 2011

You, your mates, an old banger, 7 F1 circuits, 4 days, 1 great charity.

 The 2011 banger run challenged teams to visit Formula 1 circuits in 7 European countries.

More than 65 service and civillian people made up the 23 teams, who raised over £25000.  The teams left Silverstone on 3rd September and arrived at Catalunya, Barcelona on 6th September after completing the 1800 mile route.  The teams bought their bangers for £250 or less, repaired them and decorated them ready for the challenge.

Click here to see all the teams that took part: 1-6,  7-9, 10-17, 18-23.

Day 1

3rd September 2011

Premier Inn meet and greet – Silverstone (UK) – Spa (Belgium).

All the teams met at the Silverstone Premier Inn at 0800hrs.  Teams were given pack ups which included some H4H merchandise and detailed routes for the whole event.

 The teams were then judged on ‘Best decorated Car’ and ‘Best Overall Team’.  Prizes were also given for the top 2 teams who raised the most money.

L-R.  41(R) Banger Project – Best Dressed Car.  The Saaboteurs – Best Overall Team.  Cobra Spanners & Tigers – Most Money Raised.  Les Boulangeries – Most Money Raised (runner up).

 From here all the teams drove to the Silverstone circuit and then on to Dover.  We were given our own lane on the ferry as DFDS had sponsored the event by offering half price sailings to all the teams.

The ferry trip was soon over and passengers were called back to their bangers.  Nerves kicked in for some as this was their first experience of continental driving.

Teams broke off into small groups and headed towards the Belgian border.  We soon found ourselves at the entrance to the Spa Francorchamps circuit where a mandatory photo was taken.

 Another 10 minutes drive and we were all at the campsite.  Two teams arrived a little worse for wear;  one lost a brake calliper bolt and the other almost burnt the clutch out pushing another team up the hill to the campsite.  Morale was high as everybody enjoyed a drink and congratulated themselves on completing day 1.

Day 2

 4th September 2011

Spa (Belgium) – Nurburgring (Germany) – Switzerland.

After packing the cars (again), we made our way to the Nurburgring.  Our bangers blended in nicely next to the Ferraris and Aston Martins while we went for a coffee and a team talk in preparation for our lap.  Unfortunately, only one of the teams managed to get a lap in before someone decided it would be a good idea to go ‘off roading’ .  The circuit had closed and with time ticking we left and drove towards the mountains of Switzerland, but not before a grilling by the police!

 Had the weather been sunny, it would of been a pleasant drive up and into the Swiss Alps but no, the heavens had opened.

Around 15 teams made it to the campsite while others decided to find alternative (dryer) accommodation.  The rest of us pitched our tents as best we could and gathered under a shelter with a few crates.  A few even decided that a swim was in order as the campsite sat on the edge of a lake. 

 Day 2 complete and all teams are still in.  Excitement is brewing as teams look forward to Monza and a lap around Monte Carlo.

Day 3

5th September 2011

Switzerland - Monza (Italy) – Monte Carlo (Monaco) – France.

Luckily, the weather had eased off as we packed our tents away and set off for day 3.  Ironically, on the way out of the campsite we passed a sign for ‘Rain’.  The drive out of Switzerland was fantastic as we decended the slopes of the Alpes and into Italy.  After negotiating the Milan ringroad and the roadworks in Monza, we found the circuit. 

One of the teams managed to get in to the circuit and found themselves in Vettel’s garage and the pit lane!

From Monza, we negotiated the Milan ringroad (again) and headed south towards the coast.  We dropped down from the motorway and into Monaco for a quick spin around the circuit before leaving for France. 

Once we arrived at the campsite, we decided a game of boules was on order.  It seems the more you drink, the better you get!

Teams were arriving throughout the evening as they had stopped off for a break in Monaco.  One team thought a trip to the Casino was in order and so they each chipped in to put a lump sum down on the roulette wheel.  €450 went down on black……………..and it came in, doubling their money.  As a celebration, they decided to have lunch in the town.  They got in the lift to leave, which then stopped.  They were stuck in the lift for 3 hours with only space for 2 people to sit down at a time.  Eventually, the Monaco fire brigade winched each of them out of the 100′ lift shaft to the surface.  As if the banger run wasn’t enough of an adventure!

One day left!

Day 4

6th September 2011

Paul Ricard (France) – Catalunya (Barcelona)

 The last day is here!  We left the campsite and drove the twisting roads up to the Paul Ricard circuit.  No longer a Formula 1 circuit but a High Tech Test Track.    After a visit into the shop and a quick photo we were soon on our way.  The weather was getting hotter and morale was climbing as we headed south towards the last circuit.  We entered Spain and followed the directions to Catalunya.

 All the teams arrived at the final campsite, opened a beer and donned their fancy dress.  The theme being from the year their banger was first registered.

Everybody made their way to the restaurant where a fantastic meal was provided by the campsite.

 Several drinks later, we found ourselves on the beach which was a stone’s throw away from the campsite.

A few more beers and a swim in the Med was the perfect finish to a great challenge.

The event on a whole was a great success, raising a massive amount for a charity that is held close to our hearts.

All the teams made it back home and they should all be very pleased with their achievement.

A massive thank you to each and every one of you for your support and I hope to see you all next year.