The team at GEMCO are pleased to announce that the Unipart Autoparts TTC British Touring Car Clone successfully completed it’s run to Maranello and back, carrying the GEMCO brand for BEN Automotive Industry Charity.
Unipart Autoparts TTC had campaigned their British Touring Car Clone around the UK for the two months leading up to the main event on October 8th to 11th. It soon became time to put their £400 Toyota Avensis to the test, Cowley to Maranello and back, 1994 Miles and six countries, four days in a 17 year old car.
The Unipart Autoparts TTC 1999 Toyota Avensis ‘British Touring Car Clone’ has become an Automotive Industry Icon and generated huge brand publicity for Unipart Autoparts TTC and GEMCO through the event.
Come Sun, Torrential Rain, Snow, French Autoroute or Swiss Alpine Mountain pass, the Unipart Autoparts TTC British Touring Car Clone didn’t miss a beat and just ate the miles. Cruising the Autoroutes at a constant legal 80mph or 1st gear hairpins up a mountain pass, the Toyota Avensis just glided along.
Importantly, the team here at GEMCO helped Unipart Autoparts raise £25,570 for BEN Automotive Industry Charity, an event record.
The team at Unipart Autoparts TTC have summarised their epic journey below :
Thursday 6th October
Unipart Autoparts TTC started at their Canley offices before moving over to Baginton and onto Cowley to capture some images of our British Touring Car Clone departing on its epic journey.
Friday 7th October
Unipart Autoparts TTC first stop was at their graphics producers in Crayford just by the Dartford crossing. Here they picked up and applied the final graphic to replace a temporary application.
As Unipart Autoparts TTC were setting of, we pulled up at the traffic lights next to A Triumph Dolomite Sprint and a Triumph 2500PI who were both starting their club ‘Round Britain Reliability Run’ . The teams exchanged waves and by the time Unipart Autoparts TTC had returned, the driver of the Triumph Dolomite Sprint had visited the Unipart Autoparts TTC Just Giving website and made a donation further demonstrating how the car ‘connects with enthusiasts’.
Unipart Autoparts TTC then stopped of at Motorline Toyota Dealerships in Ashford and Canterbury where they took some PR shots for use on Social Media. The Bristol branch of Motorline Toyota had originally supplied the Unipart Autoparts TTC Toyota Avensis back in 1999 and the team at Motorline had supported by making up a new set of number plates for the car.
Unipart Autoparts TTC arrived at Dover late evening and watched some of the other competitors arrive, many unveiling their cars for the first time.
Saturday 8th October
It was a prompt start for Unipart Autoparts TTC to be in the boarding queue all checked in and ready to board the Dover to Calais Ferry at 08:30. Some more themes became exposed as each car arrived.
There was a huge amount of interest and conversation with fellow travellers. There were cars covered in Astro Turf and Fur and the themes ranged from the Unipart Autoparts TTC British Touring Car Clone to a Jurasic Park Mini, A Scooby Doo themed BMW, A Pokemon catcher and even a Batmobile.
The Unipart Autoparts TTC team were soon off the ferry and settling into the French Autoroute for the journey down to Colmar. What became apparent to the Unipart Autoparts TTC team was that fellow teams ‘didn’t hang around’ and pressed on to the legal maximum to cover the 380 miles, time is tight.
Sunday 9th October
Another 08:30 depart from Colmar took in the Swiss Border, the 10mile long Gotthard tunnel where the temperature inside was up at around 34 degrees centigrade. Unipart Autoparts TTC dropped down into Italy and as they passed Milan, the sun started to come through and the team hoped we had put all of the rain behind them. Alas, as Unipart Autoparts TTC approached Maranello this proved not to be the case, it was raining hard. Several teams had taken open top cars and traveled the whole route ‘roof down’ come rain or shine – you only get wet when you stop.
Unipart Autoparts TTC had a good look around the Museo Ferrari and took some photo’s of their car carrying our GEMCO brand. Then it was off to the Hotel to check in, followed by a 20 minute walk to the Restaurant Cavallino. Just as Unipart Autoparts TTC were about to walk, some follow entrants who had booked a Taxi shouted ‘there was room’ and the Unipart Autoparts TTC team were in.
Unipart Autoparts TTC weren’t so lucky on the way back, as they started to walk, the rain got harder. Malc and Phil from Unipart Autoparts TTC dived into a Cafe and did our best to order a Taxi. There was much discussion amongst the locals and all of a sudden a local lad held up his car keys and gestured for Malc and Phil from Unipart Autoparts TTC us to follow him. The lad dropped Unipart Autoparts TTC back at the Hotel and took quite some time looking at all of the cars. Back at the hotel, there had been much discussion on route and the general consensus was that all would head back into Switzerland via the Furka Pass, the scene of the James Bond Goldfinger.
Monday 10th October
Unipart Autoparts TTC didn’t get the text containing the Satvav location, but not a problem, they had the location of Hospental as a way point from their cursory glance of the map on Google, and they had a good Satnav but no maps. As Unipart Autoparts TTC got underway, they couldn’t get the Satnav to take the destination. Unipart Autoparts TTC couldn’t Google anything as they had reached our European data cap. Unipart Autoparts TTC were blind, follow the other cars and don’t loose them at the toll booths. As they continued the journey, gradually the B4B16 cars started to thin out and as they did, the novelty of not knowing where we were going started to wear a bit thin. Unipart Autoparts TTC IT team managed to get their data cap lifted and the Unipart Autoparts TTC team were able to Google Hospental to find it was actually in Switzerland, not Italy. A quick change of the SatNav country and they were OK, no need to stop and buy a map. As Unipart Autoparts TTC approached the Alps the enormity could be seen. It was a slow drive up through windy mountain roads, keep focussed on the road and don’t look down. The Unipart Autoparts TTC team reported the views as being nothing short of spectacular.
Tuesday 11th October
It was another early start for Unipart Autoparts TTC to get back to Calais for the early evening Ferry. Unipart Autoparts TTC had elected to travel up through Luxembourg through Flanders Belgium, a route recommended by a fellow entrant. This meant that the team could avoid having to use the French Autoroute that had been used on Monday. Unipart Autoparts TTC finally arrived back in the UK at approx 18:30. Just the onward travel to complete back to Cowley.
So that was 1994 Miles added to the 3000 that Unipart Autoparts TTC had already covered in their UK campaign. Their car performed faultlessly be it on French Autoroute or Swiss Alpine Pass.
Most importantly, with the help of GEMCO, Unipart Autoparts TTC raised over £25570 for BEN the Automotive Industry Charity which is an event record for Bangers 4 BEN.
The Unipart Autoparts car is quite familiar having been around for a few weeks at Unipart locations and BTCC rounds at Snetterton, Rockingham, Silverstone and Brands Hatch. Our fellow competitors cars less so. Photographs of the event can be found here http://cardealermagazine.co.uk/publish/pictures-bangers4ben-now-available/123360?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
If anyone would like like to add some further support, the Unipart Autoparts TTC just giving page is still open https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Unipart-Bangers