Northampton friends take on 1,800 mile 'Top Gear-style' trip all in the name of cancer research

L-R: Tom Clarke, Russell Dack, Luke Emery and Martin Pepin.
L-R: Tom Clarke, Russell Dack, Luke Emery and Martin Pepin.

A group of friends from Northampton are gearing up to raise £6,000 for Cancer Research UK by travelling 1,800 miles across Europe in four days - in budget bangers.

Luke Emery, Tom Clarke, Russell Dack and Martin Pepin are taking on the mammoth route across France, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Switzerland next month in six cars costing only £500 each.

The friends, who have known each other for 15 years, are also teaming up with eight other car enthusiasts from Exeter and Folkestone and have scheduled in a lap of the famous Nürburgring circuit while on their travels.

Luke Emery, who is the brainchild behind the trip, was inspired to raise money for charity after his sister died aged four following a fight with leukaemia.

His brother also battled the disease twice while he was at school - and is currently being treated for skin cancer.

He said: All of the cars have done a lot of miles. It's a massive ask mechanically of a car to do it. I really don't know whether we will make it.

"It's lots of hills, lots of downhills, lots of brakes being tested. It's the hardest you can do in a car really."

All six cars, which will be kept a secret until the teams depart from the UK on June 8, will be driven in teams of two.

The 12 drivers have bought the cars with their own funds and are only allowed to spend £500, per car, on modifications, if they are necessary.

After watching the old Top Gear team take on this route many years ago Luke was inspired to follow in their footsteps.

"People have done it before in supercars, and they have done it in four days solid, but four days is such a big ask of a car with such small value," he said.

"If it was easy no one would sponsor us. Hopefully, people realise how hard it's going to be and then they will dig deep.

"It's something I have always wanted to do. I have been lucky enough to have some great friends around me and supporting me wanting to do it."

To donate to the group, click: https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/team/once-in-a-lifetime