Northampton friends on the road again in budget bangers challenge for cancer

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 pals are racing across Europe for the second time in cars costing no more than £500 all in aid of cancer research.

The trip is the brainchild of Luke Emery, who last year took on the mammoth route across France, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Switzerland with his pals Tom Clarke, Russell Dack and Martin Pepin.

This year they are being joined by seven more pals who will set off in their five cars from Northampton on June 27, taking on 3,200 miles through France, Belgium, Brussels, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania before heading home.

On the first day of the tour the 11 men will take on a 14-hour drive, travelling 810 miles, and expect to be in Romania for day two.

The remit for the five-day challenge includes having five cars that cost no more than £500 each to purchase, which is funded from their own pocket.

An extra £500 can be spent to get the car roadworthy and the vehicles must look like 1990s British Touring cars - inspired by Luke's favourite era of the motorsport.

Luke was inspired to raise money for charity after his sister died aged four following a fight with leukaemia.

His first budget banger challenge last year helped to raise a whopping £20,000 for Cancer Research UK but this year he is hoping to slightly exceed those funds.

He said: "It's quite nerve-wracking, the cars are really old and they have done a hell of a lot of miles. It's quite daunting we don't know if we are going to get back if they fail.

"On the first day - it's one of them - we don't know if we are going to be physically strong enough to do it. It will be 14 hours driving. I'm excited but always quite aware of the facts that it's very difficult to do.

"We are £700 short of £20,000 already so that's great. Some of the guys wanted to get to £40,000. I think it might be quite a stretch but it would be wonderful if we could."

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