In first gear

In first gear

In first gear photoThe 11th running of the annual MacMillan 4×4 challenge will get underway on March 11, 2012 with team 27, consisting of Simon Vogel and Mike Walker, completing in their ninth consecutive year and hoping to add to their six first place finishes they have accomplished in the last eight races.

As a part of the ever growing society that has been affected first-hand by the devastation of cancer having had family members who had died as a result of the illness, Simon Vogel felt it was only right to give something back to MacMillan Cancer Support, especially after the help he and his family received in helping deal with this terrible disease by the charity. He said: “Having heard about the MacMillan 4×4 challenge back in 2003 during a telling of anecdotes over a camp fire I decided to investigate further and it immediately struck a chord having had several family members who had suffered at the hands of cancer. As such I started to put into action a plan to participate in this annual event.”

Having decided to take part in the challenge the next step for Simon was to find a co-driver and his good friend Mike Walker was the obvious choice. Simon states: “Having been best of friends for around 30 years Mike was my first port of call. He had also had family members who had suffered at the hands of cancer so he was only too happy to help raise money for this worthwhile cause.”

Having won the event on six occasions, a record that is envied by all their competitors, Simon and Mike hope to raise around £2500 for the charity and this year they have been fortunate to receive some donated photographs by the RAF which are signed by Richard Hammond after being taken when Top Gear featured the Bugatti Veyron versus the Eurofighter feature. As there are only four photos they are a real exclusive collector’s item.

This event itself, which was devised by Selwyn Kendrick, the British off-road championship organiser, is for all 4×4 enthusiasts and tests their navigation, orienteering and organisational skills not to mention their teamwork and endurance at driving both at day and at night. The event itself lasts for the whole weekend, covering over 1000 miles with a variety of stages throughout the route. Should you wish to sponsor Simon and Mike then please go to their just giving site –

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