Dawson Drive: Dawsongroup’s Wacky Racers Directors Raise Money for Ben
Bright and early on the morning of Wednesday 27th July, Dawsongroup Head Office was bustling with activity. Our esteemed Wacky Racers Directors were chomping at the bit to get going on their epic adventure across the UK. With 10 ‘expert’ drivers, 10 ‘classic’ cars and 12 ‘exotic’ locations, Dawson Drive was a charity event like no other.
Ben was our chosen charity, as it supports an area very close to our hearts. They provide support for life to anyone who works or has worked in the automotive industry. Ben works with individuals and companies to improve people’s mental and physical health and wellbeing by helping them make positive, lasting changes to their lives. They also provide support through any crisis people may face, and they operate flexible, continuing care and support for those in later life.
A Grand Adventure
The three-day competition wasn’t just about driving skill, although that was a key factor. At each location there was an activity to complete, ranging from doughnuts and go-kart racing to driving diggers and dressing up as dinosaurs! The competitors were awarded points for completing the activities and arriving successfully at each depot – and were deducted points for infringements of the rules. Everything from picking up passengers to running out of fuel, and, of course, getting caught cheating (not the cheating itself), incurred a penalty. This constant addition and subtraction of points kept all the drivers on their toes and everyone watching in suspense as to who the winner might end up being.
Despite the scheming and cheating, all the participants enjoyed their adventure.
“The seated hoverboard was a brilliant event,” said Kevin Wills, Managing Director of Dawsongroup finance, “and folding the tent.”
“I thought the best event was the JCB,” said Adrian O’Reilly, Group Accounting Director. “We had to use the JCB to pick up balls in the bucket and put them in a green bin.”
“Until someone destroyed the bucket!” said Rod Benham, Managing Director of Dawsongroup TCS.
One disgruntled driver, who shall remain nameless, had his own take on the event…
Drat and Double Drat
From the start of the first day, it was clear this was going to be an event full of sleight and trickery.
Only two of the drivers had declared their real identities at the beginning:
The Red Max in the Crimson Haybaler (no real choice with that hair colour)
Dick Dastardly in the Mean Machine (again no choice with that dress sense)
Richard Dastardly was miffed from the very start having been told he couldn’t bring along his not-so-faithful Muttley when Sergeant Blast (masquerading as John Fletcher) was permitted to bring along Private Meekly (Nick Reynolds) in the Army Surplus Special. Not to mention Rufus Ruffcut (Glen Carruthers) had Sawtooth (Paul Brewer) alongside him in the Buzz Wagon. Penelope Pitstop was, as always, in the Compact Pussycat (compact Jag) trying to disguise her identity as Adrian O’Reilly, the Group Accounting Director. The other despicable characters were Lazy Luke impersonating Rod Benham, Big and Little Gruesome in the creepy coupe disguised as Paul Sainthouse and Fraser Innes, and, of course, Rock Slag impersonating Tim Abraham and Peter Perfect as Kevin Wills. The most devilish, however, was Clyde, the leader of the Ant Hill Mob, who had previously tried to disguise himself as a member of a pop group called Wham then adjusted his name slightly to Simon Ridley and masqueraded as the Managing Director of Dawsongroup vans.
However, despite best efforts to cheat at every opportunity, good prevailed and Penelope won the day with her charm whilst Dastardly failed at every attempt. The Red Max gallantly yielded a single point to finish as runner-up whilst retaining honour and allowing Penelope to shine.
N.B. Sergeant Blast shamelessly retired on the second day leaving his Private to finish all on his own.
Written by a Disgruntled Driver
To add to the build-up, Ben the Bear was bearnapped just before the big race! We received a ransom demand and photos showing a masked intruder had taken him, unharmed, from Head Office, with a link to donate towards the cost of his release. Luckily, the bearnappers were so impressed with the amount of money raised that they released Ben the Bear a few days after the race finished.
When the final scores came in, some of the competitors were very close, with a single point between first and second place. Adrian O’Reilly pipped Steve Miller at the post to take the grand prize – a bottle of fizz and a lifetime of prestige.
Although Adrian won the event, ultimately, the overall winner was the charity, Ben. With the amount the cars were sold for at auction added to the money raised through our JustGiving page, Dawson Drive raised a grand total of just over £25,000!
In order of finishing position, the competitors were:
Adrian O’Reilly, Group Accounting Director
Steve Miller, Dawsongroup CEO
Kevin Wills, Managing Director Dawsongroup finance
John Fletcher, Managing Director Dawsongroup truck and trailer (and co-driver Nick Reynolds, Commercial Director)
Steve Callahan, Group Sales and Marketing Director
Glen Carruthers, Managing Director Dawsongroup emc (and co-driver Paul Brewer, Operations Director)
Rod Benham, Managing Director Dawsongroup tcs
Tim Abraham, Managing Director Dawsongroup material handling
Paul Sainthouse, Managing Director Dawsongroup bus and coach (and co-driver Fraser Innes, Sales Director)
Simon Ridley, Managing Director Dawsongroup vans (and co-driver James Fitzpatrick, Head of Operations)
Find out more about Dawsongroup’s Corporate Social Responsibility program, Open Hands.
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