A WEARSIDE soldier is to attempt 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, will take on the seven-day Rally for Heroes 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.
“We will drive a minimum of five miles for each serviceman who has lost their lives in Afghanistan since the beginning of the conflict in 2001,” said Cpl Clark, from Sunderland.
The 35-year-old, who is based in Germany, will be accompanied by co-driver Paul Brown, a Nissan worker, from Ryhope, on the 50-car trip in August.
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.
“The event itself will set off from Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey, better known as the BBC’s Top Gear Test Track,” said Cpl Clark.
“We will depart with all 50 participating vehicles and five admin vehicles in convoy to Dover Port, where we will catch the ferry to Calais.
“From Calais we will head to Amiens, in France, where we will stay overnight before beginning the rally phase.”
The fund-raisers will leave from the Thiepval War Memorial, the largest war memorial to British troops in the world, and complete the Le Mans raceway circuit, and travel through Nice, Monaco and Italy.
Cpl Clark added: “We will also travel into Austria and complete the Grossglockner Pass. This is only open for six months of the year due to it being the second highest paved road in Europe.
“It is used by most of the motoring companies to altitude test their new cars and engines.
“The final day will see everyone travel into Germany through the Bavarian Alps.
“On the way, we will be calling in at the Hockenheim racing circuit before finishing the event at the world famous Nurburgring Circuit.”
As preparations for the event continue, the pair have launched an appeal for sponsorship.
“We currently have plenty of space on our ‘publicity chain’ for company sponsorship,” added Cpl Clark, a dad-of-one. “This ranges from £50 for a seven-by-seven inch logo to £5,000 for a full car sponsorship that will be taken over a huge part of mainland Europe, as well as several large events in the UK.”
To sponsor Cpl Clark, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the fund-raiser, visit www.rallyforheroes.com.