Duo's driving rally challenge

PUBLISHED: 09:00 14 July 2012

Neil Bishop and John Bushell

Neil Bishop and John Bushell

Neil Bishop

A DRIVING duo from Worle will take on the world's most inhospitable desert as part of a once-in-a-lifetime rally challenge.

Neil Bayliss, of Vine Gardens, and John Bushell, of Abbots Close, will drive through the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara desert in Africa later this year after being ranked as one of the top teams in a prestigious driving challenge.

And by taking on the challenge they hope to raise more funds for a charity which helped Mr Bayliss’s seven-year-old neighbour Harry Davies, who died of leukaemia last year.

In recognition of the care the Children’s Hospice South West gave to Harry, the duo are hoping to raise even more money for it in their final challenge.

The duo – both driving instructors – came fifth from almost 2,000 teams in the first stage of the Conti 4x4 challenge, which saw them take part in an online virtual rally which tested observational and knowledge skills.

After that success they moved onto the second stage, which saw them compete against 28 teams at Land Rover’s base in Gaydon, Warwickshire.

There, they overcame challenges including driving in desert and flood conditions, water-crossing and their all-round driving know-how.

Again they were successful, winning them a place in the top 14 teams in the country and a place on the final stage of the five-day challenge in September.

Mr Bayliss, aged 56, said: “To say we are excited about going is probably an understatement - having already had one experience of a lifetime at Gaydon looking forward to this one is unbelievable.

“We are hoping as many shops, cafes, pubs and the like will allow them to put collecting tins on their counters with an accompanying poster inviting people to make donations either through the collecting tin or make an online donation.”

To make a donation to the duo’s campaign, visit www.chsw.org.uk/NeilBayliss or to pick up a donation tin, call Mr Bayliss on 01934 518230.

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