Four men complete Monte Carlo Rally for charity

PUBLISHED: 19:00 01 March 2018

Left to right: Bob Coombes, Chris Bailey, Chris Mockeridge and John Varney.

Left to right: Bob Coombes, Chris Bailey, Chris Mockeridge and John Varney.


Driving from Glasgow to Monte Carlo does not sound like the most appealing of journeys.

The rally car used by Operation UAD. The rally car used by Operation UAD.

But four men achieved the feat in a 40-year-old Mini and raised valuable funds for The Alzheimer’s Society.

The Operation UAD (United Against Dementia) team consisted of Burnham-on-Sea-based service crew Chris Bailey and Bob Coombes, driver John Varney, from Bridgwater and navigator Chris Mockridge, from Burtle.

They began the 2018 Monte Carlo Rally in Glasgow, Scotland, where they were joined by 24 other cars for a near-1,300 mile journey.

The team had two objectives before their departure – to not finish the race last out of 293 competitors who began from various places around Europe and to raise as much money as possible for charity.

Not only did they finish the rally, they won the Saltire Cup for being the highest-placed smallest-engine Glasgow starter.

From left: Chris Bailey, Chris Mockeridge, Bob Coombes and John Varney, From left: Chris Bailey, Chris Mockeridge, Bob Coombes and John Varney,

A JustGiving page was set up on their arrival back in Burnham, which has so far raised £765.

Costs, including ferry crossings, fuel, hotels and food were covered by the team.

Mr Bailey said: “We had a lot of fun, we cursed at times while we laughed at others.

“Many people came and wished us well, but most importantly we raised money for such a worthwhile cause.

“This debilitating disease affects many individuals and families, I lost my father to it in 1988, while a relation of John’s is suffering from it too.”

Refueling the mini in Monte Carlo. Refueling the mini in Monte Carlo.

All four team members have a history in rally car racing and came out of retirement to compete.

Bob said: “Not a lot was known about the Mini, apart from the fact it had spent the majority of its life in Malta.

“The rebuilding phase took a very long time, we fitted a 1275cc engine and made various alterations to both the interior and exterior.

“We are just happy she made it back to Glasgow with only a few minor hiccups along the way.”

To donate to Operation UAD, visit

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