Middleton race team takes helicopter to Monte Carlo banger rally

Four Middleton friends are taking part in Monte Carlo in their own makeshift Air Ambulance.
Four Middleton friends are taking part in Monte Carlo in their own makeshift Air Ambulance.

Four Middleton friends have crafted their own mascot motor to take part in the Monte Carlo Or Bust Banger Rally.

Martin Houghton, 24, has joined forces with friends to race the Belgium to Monaco cross-continental circuit and raise money for the Air Ambulance Service.

And they will be completing the 1,200km challenge in their very own air ambulance - a 2000 Toyota Avensis dressed as a helicopter, painted fluorescent yellow and complete with a detachable rotor blade.

Martin, of Main Street Middleton, said: “It’s the first time we’ve done anything like this, it just came about because we know someone who did it before.

“We wanted to raise money for a good cause and the Air Ambulance was the first thing that sprung to mind.”

And to aid the race team, Martin’s boss Adrian Lowe, managing director of Lowe’s Marble and Granite has donated the car that will get them across the finish line.

He said: “Martin is helping a good cause so we’ve put our hands in our pockets to help him get to Monte Carlo.

I’m sure they’ll have a great time and I hope the car’s reliable.

“I love what they’ve done with the car - the rotar goes roudn and everytihng, just in case they want to fly over the alps.

The team would also like to thank Middlepeak Motoquip in Wirksworth for providing parts and Avante Motor Body Shop in Bonsall for their yellow paintwork.

Colette Richardson, Air Ambulance fundraising co-ordinator for Derbyshire said: “We’d like to say thank yuou to Martin and his friends for supporting the charity. It’s a fantastic way to fundraise, it’s good to see something different and interesting.

“We couldn’t do what we do without them.”

The Air Ambulance is fully funded by donations, and needs to raise enough money to perform an average of three missions per day, costing around £1,700 per mission.

Martin will set off from Namur in belgium for the banger rally on June 4, taking on Operation Black Forest Gateau with his brother Joe Houghton and friends Andrew Wain and Connor McDowell, completing the route across Luxembourg, Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy and to the finish line in Monte Carlo over the three days.