A man from Northwood and his group of friends are taking part in the Fireball Rally James Bond Swiss Run in support of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Ken Balneaves and his friends Pete Collins, Rob Hayward, both from Hockley and Martin Duffell, from Ruislip, will be driving 1,800 miles across Europe covering eight countries in four days, on roads which featured in some of the James Bond films including Goldfinger, Goldeneye and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service; roads which will include the Furka, Grimsel and Stelvio passes.
The team picked the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) charity for Rob’s wife Teresa who has had Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis for around 25 years. Her condition has deteriorated over time and she is now completely confined to a wheelchair and needs full-time care.
The trip is being self-funded, and all the money raised, including gift aid, will be given to the MS Society for continued research into treatments.
Ken Balneaves said: “I’ve been thinking of something to help out the charity for a while. With Rob’s wife there’s very little ability and communication. We said, we’ll help the charity and one day there will be a cure to this disease. Every little helps.”
The two cars chosen for the trip are a Ford Mustang GT 5.0 litre convertible and a Bentley Continental GTC 6.0 litre convertible. The Mustang will be driven by Rob and Pete and the Bentley will be driven by Ken and Martin.
On choosing the cars, Ken said: “Rob recently brought the Mustang and he doesn’t get out in it much because of his wife. He said to me do you fancy doing this rally, and I of course, said yes.
“With all this Brexit stuff going on we might need an international license to drive the course. Lichtenstein has different laws so we might actually need two licences.”
The race will begin in France heading down through Switzerland, Lichtenstein and Italy before heading up through Austria, Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium, covering famous James Bond filming locations. Ken has set up a blog to follow all the action at haywards.online
Ken and the team have surpassed their £5,000 target and continue to fundraise for donations at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fireball007
More information on the rally can be found at fireballrally.co.uk/james-bond-challenge-2019