Scumball rally a real wacky race

IT MAY lack the glamour of the Monaco Grand Prix or the danger of the Isle of Man TT but driving across Europe in an old banger can be a real wacky race according to one Suffolk petrolhead.

IT MAY lack the glamour of the Monaco Grand Prix or the danger of the Isle of Man TT but driving across Europe in an old banger can be a real wacky race according to one Suffolk petrolhead.

Mike Taylor, from Post Mill Close, Grundisburgh, has entered the 2008 Scumball Rally which sees competitors set off from England in the vain hope of reaching Germany in cars worth no more than £500.

On top of all that, they've got just five days to do it in.

All the participants have got a good reason for taking on the challenge as the purpose of the rally is to raise funds for various charities but Mr Taylor's choice is especially meaningful.

He said: “I have chosen The Perthes Association as my grandson Max was a Perthes sufferer when he was six and spent over a year in a wheelchair.”

Perthes disease is a condition where the top of the thigh bone softens and breaks down. It occurs in some children and causes a limp and other symptoms but the bone gradually reforms as the child grows older.

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The aim of treatment is to ensure that the femoral head remains well seated in the hip socket as it heals and reforms.

Mr Taylor, 60, is hoping to raise over £2,000 for the charity along with his son Karl who is Max's father.

The car, which was purchased specifically for the event, is a 1984 Pontiac Trans AM.

People may recognise it as the same car as David Hasselhoff's motor in 80s TV series Knight Rider.

Mr Taylor said: “The car is very unusual and should get noticed on the event so any sponsors should get very good exposure. Between now and the event we'll be taking the car around Suffolk and contacting local firms in order to gain sponsorship.”

Mr Taylor has set up an internet blog for anyone who wants to track the progress of team Pontikak.

The site, pontikak.blogspot.com will be regularly updated in order to keep everyone up to date.

To sponsor Mike either visit the Team Pontikak blog, call him on 01473 738066 or email jennymiketaylor@btinternet.com.

The Scumball Rally takes place between the 10th and 15th July and is loosely based on the Gumball3000 rally. Instead of roaring across exotic countries in super cars Scumballers drive from Donnington race circuit to Nurburgring race circuit (Germany) in cars worth less then £1000, a aid of charity.

The entry fee for the Gumball3000 is £60,000. Scumball entrants pay £210 and must raise a further £500 for a nominated charity.

Gumball3000 competitors have included rockstar Billy Idol, ex-boxer Chris Eubank and supermodel Jodie Kidd. All racers stay in the most exclusive hotels in the world.

Regular Scumballers include surveyors, architects and IT consultants, staying in a camp site for three of the five driving days.

Previous Gumball3000 winners include a Ferrari F50, a Rolls Royce Phantom and a Mercedes Benz Brabus SV12 Megacar.

Scumball champs include a GMC van, a Mitsubishi Shogun and a Ford Sierra Estate>