Banger Run 2013

 

Movie Car Challenge

The2013 Help for Heroes Banger Run saw 26 military and civilian teams travel on some of Europe’s most challenging roads in £250 movie themed cars.

 

DAY 1

Day 1 - Cineworld Ashford.On Saturday 7th Sep 2013 at 0700 hrs, all the teams met at Ashford Cineworld cinema.  After a meet and greet, teams were welcomed to the Banger Run by the   organisers and given a brief of what to expect over the next 4 days.  They were then issued with their team pack-ups which included AA European road atlases, Travelspot travel kits, Banger Run programmes, Banger Run T-shirts and other goodies which were all donated from sponsors.  There was then a prize giving for the top 2 teams who had raised the most money; first place went to ‘The Griswalds’ who raised £2830.50 and second place went to ‘Car95’ who raised £2501.78.  Each of the 2 teams received a crate of Spitfire real ale, a piston trophy, cash and a lucky dip for a special prize.  The Griswalds bagged themselves an exclusive tour of Aston Martin and Car95 walked away with an exclusive tour of Lotus.  Teams then went into the cinema where they were given free popcorn and drinks while they watched a short movie about the Banger Run.  Once the film finished, teams donned their Banger Run t-shirts, raced back to their bangers and drove to Dover to board the ferry.

 

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.  Before we knew it, we arrived in Dunkirk where teams broke off into smaller groups, slipped on their lead boots and set the GPS for the Nurburgring campsite in Ahrbruck, Germany.  Arriving at the first campsite, teams set up their tents and discussed the adventures of the day while some teams even managed to find a local wine festival!

 

DAY 2

Day 2 - Nurburgring.After a night of torrential rain, teams woke early (apart from those who didn’t get back from the festival until the early hours) and packed their wet tent away quickly and left for the Nurburgring.  Unfortunately, the ring was closed for a cycling event but teams still stopped to soak up the atmosphere before driving south.  Heading south along the Rhine and passing the F1 Hockenheim circuit, we started to climb through Basel and to the foot of the Swiss Alps.  The route up to the second campsite, with its steep climbs and twisting hairpins, was a taster of the mountain roads expected on day 3.  Arriving at Camping Grimselblick, tents started to pop up and then the heavens opened again!  A few teams found themselves in a local bar where the beer was served by the litre; this eased the thought of sleeping through another wet night.

 

DAY 3

Day 3 - The Furka pass.The night proved too much for some tents as a couple of teams had to sleep in the campsite communal room.  After a quick breakfast and a check over the bangers, the teams were back on the road.  The route out of this campsite took us straight up onto the tops of the Alps, into the clouds and across the famous Furka Pass.  Visibility was poor and the temperature dropped to 0°C but the odd break in the clouds gave us the opportunity for some photos.  The pass proved challenging for all teams and some even had to pull over to let the brakes cool off!  One team started to face problems but luckily was dragged along by other teams who were on stand-by with a tool kit.  Once the passes were completed, we were back on the main route through Switzerland with the Italian boarder in sight.  The mountains dropped away and in true Banger Run fashion the sun began to shine.  With a smile on their faces and the thought of a dry night, the teams pushed the pedal to the metal and dropped down into Monaco for a drive around the circuit before heading back in to France for the next campsite.  Camping la Barque in Frejus looked much like a laundrette that night with all the tents out drying and washing lines up full of wet kit.  Once everyone had arrived, we gathered in the site bar where a fantastic BBQ meal was served and the prize for the best dressed car was given to ‘Banger to the Future’.  They received the usual prizes plus an exclusive tour of Pinewood Studios and lunch in the Pinewood bar.

 

DAY 4

Day 4 - Barcelona.The morning sun woke the teams early and they all hit the road for the final leg of the run.  The sun was shining as they crossed the boarder into Spain and followed the signs for Barcelona.  Most arrived at the last site early and before you could wave a chequered flag, they were on the beach and in the Med!  As the evening arrived, teams changed into their fancy dressed and headed to the site bar where they enjoyed a traditional Spanish 3 course meal.  Prizes were then given to the best overall team who won a tour of Morgan Motors.  Along the route, teams had to answer 10 movie based quiz questions and source 10 treasure hunt items such as an old shoe, a pot plant, an elephant, etc.  There were 6 teams who had everything and a member of ‘The Mystery Machine’ answered a tie break question correctly to win a Jelly Belly machine full of beans and €50.  The evening was wrapped up with a speech from the organisers before retiring to the beach for a midnight dip!

 

The 2013 run was a massive success with a great start, challenging roads, fantastic scenery and great campsites.  The teams were brilliant and completed the run in true Banger Run spirit, despite to poor weather.  The event would not have been possible without team members giving up all their spare time and money and of course the sponsors.  Thank you to everybody who donated to the teams; this year we raised £30,413.82 which takes the Banger Run grand total to over £100k!