The UK Garage and Bodyshop Event (UKGBE) has announced its team for this year’s Bangers4Ben rally, as the event heads over to Ireland for 2023.
Between the 7th and 10th of October, teams will be tackling 1,500 miles of Irish roads in their ‘bangers’, cars that have cost them less than £750. The event is in aid of industry charity Ben, raising funds to allow it to continue supporting automotive workers and their families who find themselves in challenging circumstances.
UKGBE, presented by Automechanika Birmingham and returning to the NEC Birmingham next year, has partnered with LKQ Euro Car Parts for this year’s Bangers4Ben, together with established aftermarket business owners Louise Baker and Rachel Murray, as they gear up for this year’s challenge, starting from Holyhead to cross the Irish Sea to Dublin, hitting the winding roads of Ireland, before completing the tour back in Dublin to board the ferry home.
This year, the team will take on Bangers4Ben in a Citroen, which has been decorated in a very ‘on-trend’ Barbie theme, likely to stand out on the tour of the country.
In 2019, Automechanika Birmingham put together a team of Louise and Rachel for Bangers4Ben, with support from Messe Frankfurt, organisers of both Automechanika Birmingham and UKGBE, on logistics and costs. The duo return for 2023 in their ‘new’ banger and will be joined by Alex Jones, marketing director at Messe Frankfurt UK, organisers of Automechanika Birmingham and UKGBE, plus Karena Shahid, regional account manager at LKQ Euro Car Parts.
Last year saw Louise and Rachel join Automechanika’s team, as they hit the roads of Europe in their ‘banger’, driving from Birmingham to Monaco and back, raising £3,000 for Ben.
Fun and fundraising on Bangers4Ben
Bangers4Ben was created to raise essential funds for the charity; all entrants are required to pay a £1,050 entry fee and buy a car for less than £750. Teams are encouraged to participate in fancy dress and decorate their vehicles whichever way they like, making it a fun event to take part in.
All cars will then be auctioned off after the drive is complete to raise even more funds for the charity.
Louise owns independent garage, Womanic, which she opened in 2016, and has over 20 years of experience as a technician. Rachel is a 25-year-old, freelance refinisher specialising in the automotive industry, as well as having experience in marine, commercial and domestic spraying.
Both Louise and Rachel, as well as Alex and Karena, are passionate about the sector and promoting the automotive industry to the next generation, as well as breaking down the stigma against mental health in the industry.
All are also strong advocates for diversity, particularly women in the industry and are excited to don their fancy dress and go on the journey off a lifetime in their very own ‘Barbie mobile’.
“I am thrilled to be part of the Dublin Driving Dolls team for Bangers4Ben 2023,” commented Shahid. “Joining a fun bunch of ladies to raise money for charity and having a good laugh along the way, what is not to love?”
Jones added: “Joining Bangers4Ben provides us a great opportunity to support the mental health charity community and also celebrate a more diverse workforce. Us Driving Dolls are on a mission to promote diversity in the industry.”
This year the rally will again be run by Automation Events in support of Ben. You can donate to support Automechanika Birmingham’s Dublin Driving Dolls team by clicking this link.