A SOLDIER is gearing up for a gruelling European road trip to help troops injured on the front line.
Corporal Mick Clark, who serves with the 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, is just days away from the start of the epic Rally for Heroes.
On Saturday, he will line up alongside fellow drivers for the seven-day race to raise funds for the Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes.
It is hoped the feat, which includes routes through England, France, Germany, Austria, Italy and Monaco, will raise £100,000 for the charities.
“The event itself is starting from the Dunsfold Aerodrome, in Surrey, better known as the BBC’s Top Gear track,” said Cpl Clark, from Sunderland city centre.
“It will be kicked off by motorsport commentator Murray Walker, who will also announce how much we have raised so far.”
The 35-year-old, who is from Sunderland but based in Germany, will be accompanied by co-driver Paul Brown, a Nissan worker, from Ryhope, on the 50-car trip.
In 2010, the pair, who will take to the road in a Ford Focus, completed a similar fund-raiser, the Help for Heroes Road Trip, which topped £32,000.
“We are travelling a minimum of five miles for each service person that has given the ultimate sacrifice while on tour in Afghanistan since 2001,” said Cpl Clark.
“This figure now stands at 424, but we have planned a route to take in almost 2,500.”
The fund-raisers will also complete the Le Mans raceway circuit and travel through Nice.
The pair, who are still appealing for sponsorship, have dedicated months to planning the trip.
“We have several large sponsors, including National Express, B&Q, M&S, Hewlett Packard, Greggs, Eurolines, Majenta and Aerotech,” said Cpl Clark, a dad-of-one.
“Also, more importantly for us, Amania Logistics is supporting us.
“It is an Afghanistan-owned company which wants to give something back to those that have been injured trying to improve their country.
“We also have over 50 smaller companies, which have given sponsorship to some degree.”
To sponsor Cpl Clark, email email@example.com.
For more information about the fund-raiser, visit www.rallyforheroes.com.