What better way to raise funding for vital SMA clinical tests than to have fun in classic and vintage cars on a tour? 38 teams of two, a driver and navigator, have all decided that’s exactly what they want to do by entering the 100 mile Oxfordshire tour to enjoy their motoring in the knowledge that their entry fees are going directly towards funding the clinical tests.
Sophie and Mike Howes, who started the charity ACE (Awareness, Cure and Exercise) after their daughter Anouk was diagnosed with SMA in 2019, are delighted that such a fun packed driving event is ready to start, although there is some trepidation from Sophie; “It will be a whole new experience, although Mike will be driving on the day, I’ll just be trying to make sure we don’t get lost!”
Mike Howes; “It’s going to be great fun although l’m slightly concerned that I will get the classic car bug and I don’t know how I’m going to finance my future classic car habit! What I do know is that Sophie and I are very grateful to HERO-ERA, Tomas de Vargas Machuca and Carly Morrison for conceiving the idea and turning it into reality.”
Tomas de Vargas Machuca the HERO-ERA Chairman responded; “It was a very easy decision to try and bring the classic car world together to do something to help the children with SMA. We have many partners on board, including Bicester Heritage and Williams Heritage, so we will be doing everything we can to help raise funds. However, we are delighted with the entry and support so far, I am sure we are going to enjoy a superb event.”
Following a breakfast and briefings at the HERO-ERA HQ, the summer tour of Oxfordshire will take the ACE charity supporters through the most glorious countryside on their way to a private viewing of the stunning Williams Heritage Collection. This will be on the same day that the Williams F1 team will be giving it their all at Silverstone in qualifying for the British Grand Prix.
The oldest car on the event is a 1904 Peugeot Bebe driven by George Beale with passenger and 2022 Flying Scotsman hero Angus Forsyth onboard. The next in line is the 1914 LaFrance Type 10 which will be driven by Paul Dilley, who along with Josh Thompson totally rebuilt the vehicle at DT Vintage, Paul will be navigated by Stanislava Obermajerova. The car is owned by HERO-ERA Chairman Tomas de Vargas Machuca in which he and Royal Automobile Club Chairman Ben Cussons will attempt to reach Paris from Peking in 2023.
There is an eclectic mix of magnificent motor cars ready to tour and raise funds in the process, including a 1974 Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 and a 2016 Porsche GT3. The smallest vehicle on the event is a Fiat Panda driven by Camelia Chenaf navigated by Alizee Thevenet, whilst the ACE charity founders Sophie and Mike Howes will be driving one of seven HERO-ERA Arrive Drive cars provided for the event, theirs is a Mk 1 Land Rover in Royal Air Force colours.
This will be appropriate as all the crews will be returning to the former WW11 RAF bomber station, which is now Bicester Heritage, for lunch on the HERO-ERA HQ terrace overlooking the airfield as everyone anticipates the next highlight of the day.
From 2.00 pm onwards the teams will be able to exercise their cars on the Bicester Heritage track adjacent to the airfield and have some more fun. For those not driving there will be a spectator area so any little errors can be judged, whilst perfect performances can be applauded! Once the track fun is done, the Wriggly Monkey Brewery onsite will welcome allcomers for refreshments, which includes a food vendor. The team at Wriggly Monkey will be showing the qualifying for the British Grand Prix from Silverstone, so for those who arrive early enough (qualifying live from 3.00 pm on Sky Sports F1) they will be able to return the favour of the special invitation to Williams Heritage by supporting the Williams F1 team of Nicholas Latifi and Alex Albon.
HERO-ERA are a carbon neutral company and proudly operate their carbon offset programme for all manner of motorists from competition drivers to every day drivers. Drivers can easily access the service via the NET-HERO App and become environmentally responsible drivers in three easy steps.
Tomas de Vargas Machuca; “Along with partners such as the Historic & Classic Vehicle Alliance, Museu du Caramulo Portugal and Hangar 136 Ltd amongst others, NET-HERO will also be supporting the ACE-SMA charity focusing on the treatment and awareness of Spinal Muscular Atrophy affecting children, by donating £1.00 per tCO2e of offsets.
Proceeds from the entry fee form part of a donation to the ACE charity for SMA. Funds raised through the ACE in Motion Tour will go directly to the ACE research project in collaboration with MDUK Oxford Neuromuscular Centre, Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford. This project will fund a two-year trial of intensive physiotherapy alongside disease modifying drugs for 20 children currently living with SMA. To make an additional donation or learn more about the charity, please visit www.acesma.co.uk.