This would be the 2nd Banger Rally Challenge that Leo has entered with Betty the Saab. Last year, along with co-pilot dentist Dominic Kiernander, they travelled 4000 miles in a round trip to Pula in Croatia raising money and awareness for the Alpha-1 UK Support Group. "It was a really enjoyable experience", said Leo. "Some days we were on the road for 10 hours, but Betty performed flawlessly".
This year Leo and Betty were joined by his brother Jan and a new charity became their focus, Children With Cancer Fund (polegate). CWCF work with Children and their families who have, or have had, cancer, and after close friends of Jan and Leo's had direct involvement with the charity both felt moved to help raise funds.
The two brothers set off on October 1st from The Cornwall Hotel and travelled to Le Mans then on to Paris, Belgium and Luxembourg before heading into the Black Forest and Germany. Then it was up into the Swiss Alps before finally dropping down to the Italian lakes.
There was a visit to the Le Mans 24 Hour museum, a climb up the Eiffel Tower, a quick look around Luxembourg City and the Notre-Dame Cathedral, an open-top cable car ride to the summit of Stanserhorn, a drive up and over the Gotthard Pass (with its car-sized gaps between the bollards) and a visit to the Monza F1 track for a quick lap in the Lead Car.
Most importantly, with the money raised by pupils at Devoran School and donations to JustGiving, the brothers raised over £1000 for Children With Cancer Fund. "We are so pleased with the help, support and donations we've had. If this helps towards a child's wish or a family we'll be over the moon", said Leo.
Special thanks to RK Engineering, Buzz Interactive, Design79, Premier Signs, Finisterre, Cornish Natural Spring Water, Curver, HeadCamz and Approaching Lines.
For those that like to know these things, Betty is a three-door Saab 9-3, manufactured in 2000. She was purchased for £300 in August 2014 and came with 12 months MOT, cruise control, electric windows, 6CDC, air conditioning and rear parking sensors – plus a few scratches and a ding or two. Having passed another MOT without issue, new front discs, pads and brake oil formed part of the preparation for this year's challenge. Most other things are still working.