The Endurance Rally Association is a non-profit-making national motor-club affiliated to the Royal Automobile Club’s Motor Sports Association – the governing body of all sporting car events in the UK – and the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs. The core organising team of E.R.A. events have been involved in the organising of major events for historic cars since the first international rally for classic cars, the Pirelli Classic Marathon in 1988.
The E.R.A. has extensive experience of organising events in Africa – the first rally for classic cars in Africa ever organised was a Classic Marathon to Morocco in 1993, one of the entrants was Sir David Steel, (now Lord Steel), who is now President of the Endurance Rally Association. The Endurance Rally Association specialise in long-distance marathon events for vintage and classic cars, having staged the Peking to Paris, and the Around the World in 80 Days, and founder Philip Young was responsible for the opening up of the border between Tibet and Nepal at Friendship Bridge, in 1997, which remains open to this day for the benefit of international travellers and local communities.
Considerable sums for charities have been raised by these events. Over £100,000 was raised for the benefit of orphans living in the underground sewer pipes of Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia; over £500,000 was raised from the first Peking to Paris retrospective rally in 1997 for the benefit of children in Nepal, rebuilding a village school and providing a village with sanitation, and closer to home, several hundred thousand pounds have been raised for McMillan Cancer Relief, and the largest single sum, over a million pounds, was raised for the benefit of the Helen House hospice specialising in the care of terminally ill children in Oxfordshire.
The London to Cape Town World Cup Rally hopes to benefit three major causes to help improve the lives of locals living along the route. Our two official charities are Water Aid, who are involved in several African countries providing clean water and sanitation in remote villages and as a Non-Government Organisation currently working in drought-relief in East Africa, and African Revival, a UK educational charity providing equipment and teachers for village schools in several countries along the route of the London to Cape Town World Cup Rally.
The London to Cape Town World Cup Rally is not just trying to raise money for good causes – in addition it hopes to provide some practical help. Each competing car will be carrying a supply of children’s reading books to equip a village primary school near Victoria Falls in Livingstone, Zambia – the school recently benefited from the building of a new school library, but has no reading books to help children learn to read. Over 200 books will be delivered by the rally when it stops in Livingstone.