Mark Webber helps launch charity challenge

Legendary racing driver Mark Webber has helped launch a charity challenge which will see four Cambridge University students travelling 10,000 miles in an old banger to raise funds for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).

“Considering how much risk is involved in our trip, Mark Webber was the perfect person to talk to. His attitude was don't be too cautious or you'll never do anything fun in life - you have to be prepared to take risks. With less than a month to go we feel hugely under prepared, very naive but more excited than ever!"

Matt Walton, Rory Scott, Jamie Robson and Rob Sanders, are all 21 years old and students at Cambridge University. They’re taking part in The Mongol Rally which will see them start on July 19th to travel 10,000 miles in a Daihatsu Terrios across 18 countries encountering three desserts and five mountain ranges.

They’ve called themselves ‘The League of Extraordinary Mongoliers’ and on Monday (23 June) Mark Webber, who until last year was driving for Red Bull in Formula One and now drives in the Porsche sports car programme, launched the team’s website.

Mark was visiting Cambridge as he was invited by Tony Purnell, industrial fellow at Trinity Hall - who worked as team principal for Jaguar Racing, before it was sold to Red Bull. The team will be raising funds for Coolearth, the official charity of The Mongol Rally which works to halt rainforest destruction in the Amazon, and chose local charity EACH too.

Team member Matt said: “Mark Webber was visiting Cambridge for the day and I was lucky enough to spend the day with him to show him around the city. I discussed the project with him and he agreed to launch the site and sign some of our posters. I felt really privileged to meet such an inspirational character. He wanted to support our team and the charities we are raising money for and was keen to take time out of his busy schedule to do so.

“Considering how much risk is involved in our trip, Mark Webber was the perfect person to talk to. His attitude was don't be too cautious or you'll never do anything fun in life - you have to be prepared to take risks. With less than a month to go we feel hugely under prepared, very naive but more excited than ever!"

Lucy Stone, a member of the EACH Cambridgeshire Fundraising team, said: “We’re delighted that The Extraordinary League of Mongoliers have chosen to support EACH with their epic challenge and even more impressed that racing legend Mark Webber has lent his support."

As part of their efforts they’re running a virtual raffle via justgiving: www.justgiving.com/teams/mongoliers and with every donation of £5, donors will be entered into a raffle to win prizes including Mark Webber signed posters. To attract higher donations for charity, the team have pledged to do all sorts of wacky things including spending a day naked in Europe for £2,000.

To find out more about the challenge visit: www.leagueofmongoliers.com

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