Epic banger rally adventure

PUBLISHED: 18:21 19 August 2009 | UPDATED: 17:04 25 August 2010

EUROPE OR BUST: Chris Kehl and Jon Griffin.

EUROPE OR BUST: Chris Kehl and Jon Griffin.

TWO friends are bidding to become champions in an epic banger rally across Europe. Chris Kehl, of Brixham Road, Welling and Jon Griffin

TWO friends are bidding to become champions in an epic banger rally across Europe.

Chris Kehl, of Brixham Road, Welling and Jon Griffin, of Kingswood Close, Dartford, are aiming to complete 1,400 miles in an old BMW from Calais to Naples in four days.

A banger equivalent of the Gumball rally dubbed Staples 2 Naples (S2N) - from when the event used to start at Staples corner, Danson Park - over 100 teams will be given daily challenges to win points and face no fewer than seven mountain passes in one day alone.

The duo, pictured, competing under team name Welling Massive aim to travel in a BMW 530 that cost £150 off eBay in a push to raise money for Cancer Research, and the Greenwich and Bexley Cottage Hospice.

Mr Kehl, a heating engineer for British Gas and Mr Griffin, a breakdown mechanic for BMW, have spent the last six months getting their banger ready, complete with a siren that makes animal noises.

As if 1,400 miles was not enough, the pair plan to take a short detour to traverse Stelvio Pass, near Bormio, Italy - described by Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson as the best driving road in the world, with its 48 hairpin bends at over 2,700m.

Mr Kehl, 27, said: "Jon saw the stand for S2N at a car show and thought it would be a great idea to do something a bit different.

"It's not a race and we get set challenges each morning to get points, it might be a picture of a specific landmark, we won't know until the day.

"Jon's a mechanic so if we breakdown I'll just put my feet up and watch him slave over the engine.

"Some of the places we will be camping at overnight are pretty remote and Swiss border police are pretty strict."

Day one is Calais to Sarnen in Switzerland. Day two from Sarnen to Aprica sees competitors go from the Swiss Alps to the Italian Alps.

The third stage takes the banger cortege from Aprica to the historic town of Viterbo.

After the last stage, Viterbo to Naples, teams will head to Rome for a celebration.

It is not the end for Welling Massive, who will turn around and head back to England if there banger is still in one piece.


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