A TEAM of best mates have smashed their fundraising target after completing an epic rally race in an old ‘banger’.

Olly Clapp, Joe Dixey and Andy Hunt, took part in the Two Ball Rally which was held across four days back in August.

The competition sees entrants drive a car costing no more than £600 across nine different European countries.

The team, who are from Halstead and called The Three Rocketeers, had set themselves a challenge of raising £1500 for the League of Friends of Halstead Hospital.

But having completed the 1,500 mile journey they have smashed their initial target and ended up raising £3,100.

Olly, who is a graphic designer, said: “The car coped better than we thought it would.

“It was easier going up through the gears than down.

“We were going through hair pins in Italy and could smell the oil from the car, there were times when it was labouring so much.

“But we got to see some incredible landscapes and driving a banger through Monaco where there were Maseratis and supercars everywhere was an experience I will never forget.”

Having completed the gruelling challenge, the three friends chose to drive their 2002 Honda Accord all the way back to Halstead from Nice.

Despite their love for the ‘banger’, the team made the difficult decision to part ways with it two weeks ago and Olly admits it was hard to say goodbye.

He added: “The car was an absolute state when we got it.

“But we threw everything we could at it and it passed with flying colours.

“We brought it back but had to get rid of it because we didn’t have room to accommodate it.

“Seeing your car on the back of a lorry is gut wrenching.

“I’m still in that grieving phase but raising so much money is the perfect send off for it.

“I would just like to say a massive thank you to the charity, all the 130 people who donated and everyone who followed our progress on Facebook.”