British racing drivers, Darren Turner and Peter Dumbreck, will leave behind the familiar surroundings of the Aston Martin Vantage GTE cockpit this August and hit the road on bicycles for a new endurance challenge, all in the name of charity.
The long-time friends will set off from Land’s End on 9 August and ride the full length of England and Scotland before arriving at John O’Groats, just over a week later after cycling 950 miles.
As both Peter and Darren’s children were born at the Horton Maternity Unit in Banbury they decided to use this challenge to raise money for the unit.
Cycling training will be put on hold next week when Darren and Peter compete at the Le Mans 24 Hours where double-winner Darren is going for his hat trick. They will share the No.97 Aston Martin with Darren’s regular team-mate Stefan Mucke and after topping the timesheets at last weekend’s Le Mans Test they will be gunning for glory when the 24-hour race starts on Saturday 22 June at 3pm.
The racers will also be getting more than a little help from their friends as support has been promised from ex-F1 and now sportscar aces Anthony Davidson and Karun Chandhok, and fellow Aston Martin team mate Stuart Hall.
“This was the next thing on my bucket list,” said Darren. “I’ve done the London Marathon so the next challenge had to be a long bike ride. I wasn’t really thinking of anything quite this long but I’ll give it a go. If you’re going to take on a challenge it’s great to be able to raise money for charity at the same time. The Horton Maternity Unit has been good to both Peter and myself and Anthony’s boy was also born there so it was the obvious choice.
“We received some kind support from Shutt Velo Rapide and Wilier so now we have all the gear and definitely no idea,” he admitted. “We’re working hard on getting some decent miles under our belts though before we set off in August.”
While Darren and Peter are world-class racing drivers they are both novice cyclists so, although they are both super fit, this is going to be a tough challenge for them.
“I live for big challenges so when Darren came up with the idea, it became a training focus,” said Peter. “I have switched from middle distance training runs to long bike rides as well as my normal gym work and I am really enjoying it. I have no doubt that it will be very tough going but I can imagine the extreme satisfaction when we reach the tip of Scotland. Not sure how we'll get home yet though!”
They won’t be alone on the ride as Peter’s Father-In-Law Roger will ride with them and Darren’s Dad Chris is in charge of logistics. It’s important to have a couple of sensible adults on a trip like this.