Royston mum triumphs in European Pavestone Rally

Sam Hanks and co-driver Trevor Mudd with car Raquel. Picture: Sue McKinney

Sam Hanks and co-driver Trevor Mudd with car Raquel. Picture: Sue McKinney - Credit: Archant

A Royston mum-of-two has triumphed driving a Darth Vader-mobile in a 2,000-mile charity rally across Europe.

Sam Hanks won the European Pavestone Rally behind the wheel of a 1986 Reliant Rialto, with race partner Trevor Mudd of Chandlers Building Supplies.

The rally invites UK builder's merchants to raise money for its three chosen charities - Rainy Day Trust, Teenage Cancer Trust, and Variety - and the goal was to drive a car, worth less than £500, across Europe in four days in full fancy dress.

The pair smashed their £5,000 target, raising more than £7,000 by taking part in their 33-year-old three-wheeler which was bought on Ebay by Chandlers for £200 - and affectionately named Raquel.

Sam, who works for Cembrit, said: "Trevor and I came so close to winning last year so we were hungry to get our hands on the trophy this time round.

"We pulled out all the stops, met every madcap daily challenge head on and raised an incredible amount of money!

"Raquel was definitely the third member of our team this year. There were moments when we weren't sure she'd make it, including on the trip from the UK to the starting line in France. But she pulled through and helped us to win!"

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Sue McKinney, head of marketing at Chandlers Building Supplies, said: "Trevor and Sam can always be relied on to go the extra mile.

"They threw themselves into the daily challenges posed by this year's rally with typical enthusiasm. As well as persuading a crowd of Harley Davidson bikers to dance a conga, they convinced an Austrian policeman to photograph them in the back of his car and they also both got tattoos!"

Sam has taken part in the rally on two previous occasions. As well as coming second last year, she also took part in 2017, driving a Batmobile-style Ford Kuga.

Following on from her triumph at this year's rally, the decision has been taken to retire Raquel.

Any motor museums and Reliant Rialto enthusiasts are invited to get in touch with Sue on 01273 815100 if they can offer the car a home.

You can also add to Sam's total at