Land mines and dodgy border officials ahead for Bedford trio on driving challenge

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Three Bedford friends, dubbed the ‘Touring Car Three’ are joining The Dumball Rally 2018 to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust.

This year, the rally, which has been running for 10 years, will see 48 teams drive from Margate to Corfu, Greece in ‘bangers’ that cost no more than £500.

Gavin Spendlove, Kieran Mooney and Paul Hutchinson took on the challenge after they were approached by the region’s fundraising manager for Teenage Cancer Trust.

As Gavin explains: “Teenage Cancer Trust is a charity close to my heart and I’ve been helping raise funds for them for a number of years. I’d never taken part in the Dumball Rally though and it’s quite a privilege to be invited.”

The rally itself is a ‘fancy dress festival on wheels’ with drivers and cars being decorated and dressing up for the occasion.

In previous years the rally has driven across South Africa, India and the USA. But this year won’t be a leisurely drive across Europe, says Gavin: “While the first half of the journey is across England, France, Austria and Switzerland, we’ve been warned to stay on main roads in Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“There are still a lot of landmines around and Kosovo still has snipers watching its border. In Albania a lot of local motorist are armed and arguments on the road can get quite heated.”

The route will also see them drive over the Alps via the famous Stelvio Pass in Italy and across Slovenia, Montenegro, Croatia and mainland Greece before taking a ferry to their final destination in Corfu.

The team has raised just over £4000 thanks to support from local businesses and individuals who all freely donated cash or prizes to a charity raffle: “The generosity of Bedfordians has been amazing.”

Adds Gavin: “We’ve had support from our main sponsors, Future Legend Media LtdTeam ALPHA Functional FitnessSDG Electrical & Mechanical Engineering LtdCreative Graphics International and the Bedford Independent.

“But we’ve also had much appreciated support from: Bedford BluesLPH ConcertsThe Castle PH, BedfordAquamart Plumbing & Heating SuppliesBedford EsquiresBeerflyCharles WellsLagunitas Brewing Co, Sequel UK, Rolling Stones Now, The Quarry Theatre at St Luke’sThe Sharnbrook Hotel & VesuviO Restaurant, and The Devonshire Arms.”

The team head off Friday (14 Sept). You can follow their progress at Touring Car Three – Dumball 2018and on www.instagram.com/touringcar3.

You can also make a donation direct to Teenage Cancer Trust at www.justgiving.com/touringcarthree.