Hampshire car enthusiast to take on toughest classic car tour in Europe in memory of late wife

A classic car enthusiast from New Cheriton is taking part in one of the toughest car tours of its kind in Europe to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.

John Hankin is planning to race his 1951 Jaguar xK120 in the Cape to Cape Grand Classic Car Rally in April.

Alongside entrants from as far afield as Germany, Canada and America, the petrolhead hopes to help founder, Dennis Greenslade, reach his target of £1m raised for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Sharing his reasons for taking part in the event, John said: “I have been a car enthusiast since a young age and previously ran a garage in Alresford. Dennis is an old friend and I have been involved in Cape to Cape for the past 12 years. It is a brilliant event that raises a lot of money for Macmillan each year. I lost my wife to cancer and diagnosis wasn’t easy as the GP initially dismissed her concerns as a virus. I know first-hand how invaluable the support of a charity like Macmillan can be.”

The rally, which combines the driving of older cars, with the raising of funds for Macmillan Cancer Support, is not a race to the finish line but a celebration of classic cars and the bringing together of like-minded enthusiasts, John explained.

He said: “The winner of the Cape to Cape is not the team who finishes first, but the crew that raises the most money for Macmillan Cancer Support and we are a competitive lot! I have been in the top five percent of fundraisers for Macmillan in previous years. This year I have local businesses raising funds for me too including Heidi’s shoe shop in Alresford where my wife used to work.

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“Over the years, Cape to Cape has become more than a rally for those who take part. It has become an opportunity to reunite with friends and share our love of all things motor racing. With nearly forty classic cars arriving at a town at one time – we can create quite a spectacle. It is wonderful, because locals enjoy coming out to speak to us and get involved. We will always make time for photos and a chat.”

The group will set off on their two-week 2,700-mile escapade from Newquay on Saturday, April 23, returning via Cape Cornwall on the afternoon of the May 7 for a gala dinner and awards ceremony at the Bedruthan Hotel and Spa.

Emma Wright, senior fundraising manager, shared her thanks to the participants for their support. She said: “The first event, Cape Cornwall to Cape Wrath, raised an amazing £32,000 and to date over £900,000 has been achieved. The support from the entrants, their friends, families, and generous supporters with arranging fundraising events, coffee mornings, auctions, street collections, and donations has been nothing short of brilliant.

“Sadly, the number of people being diagnosed with cancer is increasing every year and that means Macmillan’s support for people living with cancer is in more demand than ever. At Macmillan, we know how cancer can affect everything. We’re here to help everyone with cancer live life as fully as they can, but we can’t do it without the amazing people who fundraise for us. We cannot thank the entrants and Cape to Cape supporters enough.”

The route will take in various points throughout England, Scotland, Wales, and a circular tour of the whole of Ireland providing plenty of opportunities for the public to meet the team and help them reach their target.

If you would like to find out more about the Cape to Cape Classic Car rally and show your support, you can do so here: macmillan-org.enthuse.com/pf/emma-wright-7c729

For comprehensive cancer information and support, visit: macmillan.org.uk.

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