It’s been just over a week since our intrepid duo returned from the Bangers for BEN rally visiting classic F1 circuits across Europe, but they’re still reminiscing about the trip. Between them, GForces’ James Drewett and Harwoods’ Brett Ward covered over 1,500 miles in the Jag which proved reliable and relatively efficient throughout the trip.
Prior to the start of the journey, our pair drove to Silverstone to stay nearby overnight. Pre-drive planning took place that evening at The Green Man Inn, where Car Dealer’s Operations Director, Andy Entwhistle – who kindly bought our team dinner. Thanks Andy, we owe you one! Come the morning of the 10th all teams had gathered (some more on time than others) at the GP circuit ready for a flying lap behind a pace car and the grand depart towards Dover.
The drive was fairly uneventful, and after the crossing, it was on towards Namur, covering 166 miles on the continent and arriving in the dark. The meal at the hotel was more noteworthy; France’s love of garlic is well documented, but the ‘scalloped potatoes’ took this too a whole new levels, with some wondering whether there was actually any potato with the garlic. Still, it kept the vampires away.
Day two started early, and for CitNOW, not so well as their car was fully wrapped in black plastic sheeting and police tape. Of course, neither Brett nor James had anything to do with it whatsoever.
Sunday was a long stretch, heading the 422 miles from Namur to Munich. Getting into Germany was a relief as the team could really pick up the pace on the de-restricted autobahns. The Jag managed to climb its way to a respectable 130mph, but it was nothing on the chain gang consisting of an Audi RS5 and M3 which came screaming past at what must have been well over 160mph. With speeds like this so common in Germany, it’s no wonder so many UK-based petrolheads consider the country as a default place to visit.
The arrival at the BMW Museum was later than desired, but a quick tour was all that was needed to realise that it’s a truly impressive place to visit – and one worth returning to with a little more time to spare.
Being October in Munich, there was plenty of German beer about, and along with a few other teams, GForces and Harwoods relaxed into an evening’s beer supping. The upshot of this was that come the next day, the Jag stayed in its car parking space until gone lunch time, meaning the 390 miles to Spa in Belgium would need to be completed at speed. While some teams stopped for a lap of the Nurburgring, out guys pressed on for Spa, thankfully arriving at a relatively decent hour. While here, we played ‘how many people can you get in Car Dealer’s Fiat Cinquecento’ – the answer being a pretty spectacular 14.
The final day between Spa and Dover began with a real treat, with a private tour and pace car lap of Spa Francorchamps. Even in a sub £750 Jaguar X-Type Eau Rouge is a stunning corner, and unbelievably steep up the hill onto the back straight.
After the excitement of Spa, it was full steam ahead to Calais, before boarding the 17:55 ferry – the conclusion of the trip. Overall Bangers for BEN was a great laugh from start-to-finish, and an event we may well be back on in 2016, we’re also excited to see just how much the Jag fetches at the charity auction on October 30th.
In the meantime, check out the Just Giving page and drop a few quid towards BEN if you wish.