Banger racers

A WYTON parish councillor has begun the longest road trip of his life, setting off to the Gambia for the Plymouth-Banjul Challenge. Councillor Gordon Pryor and local farmer Trevor Smith crossed the English Channel on Boxing Day in the 4500 mile challenge

A WYTON parish councillor has begun the longest road trip of his life, setting off to the Gambia for the Plymouth-Banjul Challenge.

Councillor Gordon Pryor and local farmer Trevor Smith crossed the English Channel on Boxing Day in the 4500 mile challenge which sees competitors drive from the south coast of England to the west coast of Africa.

The rules for the challenge are very strict: all competing cars must cost less than £100, with an extra £15 budget for preparing their vehicles for the Gambia jaunt which has been dubbed The Ultimate Banger Challenge.

Gordon and Trevor have chosen to travel in a 1990 Dodge Caravan, allowing space in the back for old football shirts, football boots and old mobile phones with chargers - as these are all in great demand in the poor west African nation and will be sold for charity.

In addition to this when the competitors finally arrive in the Gambia capital Banjul, all vehicles will be auctioned and the money raised will be donated to Gambian charities.

The journey will take the pair, driving under the banner of the Fen Tigers, through France, Spain, Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal before reaching their destination roughly three weeks after leaving Plymouth.

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The Gambia has a land area the size of Scotland, but a population roughly the same of Birmingham, resulting in a poor country where 75% of the population are subsistence farmers.

The Fen Tigers' car was sponsored by Total Computing, who are appealing for any items which could be sold in The Gambia, such as old football shirts and mobile phones. They ask that any donated items be brought to Total Computing Systems Ltd, Unit 21, Burrel Road, St Ives.

Total Computing managing director Jon Hunt said: "We are delighted to support this worthy cause, as there is so much technology available here in the UK, it is all too easy for us to forget the poverty of the Third World. Let's show Africa that the Huntingdon-St Ives area of the UK care and it's not just Bob Geldof and Live8!