Will a Toyota get from the UK to Tokyo for Children in Need?

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The Toyota Yaris. It’s not exactly a car that makes the heart beat faster these days. But two car enthusiasts from the UK will be hoping that one small blue Yaris gets them all the way from the UK to Japan for Children in Need.

A fixture on our screens every November since it launched in 1980, the annual fundraiser is close to raising £1 billion. Dan Handley and Dave Brooks from Chatteris, Cambridgeshire will be hoping to make a significant contribution to the coffers after their epic drive.

Twenty countries

The pair, who set off on Sunday 12 August, are taking their 16 year old Yaris on the drive of a lifetime through 20 countries. As Toyota specialists, they picked the Yaris as a car they knew and would feel comfortable repairing.

Their five door Yaris cost just £1000 and is the 1.5 litre petrol version. Dave and Dan can expect to go from 0-60 in just 11 seconds with fuel consumption around the 50mpg mark with careful handling.

Feel the love

It’s easy to forget that the original Yaris was such a bolt out of the blue. A fun and nippy drive that made makers of superminis like Citroen and Ford take a long, hard look at what they were doing. It’s no longer the market leader but it seems Dan and Dave have never lost their love for this quirky little car.

The lads plan to visit as many motor sport venues along the way as possible. They’re not saying whether they’ll be taking their Yaris for a spin at Magny-Cours or on the Nurburgring.

Rough road

Ahead of them lies a 12,500 mile journey through mountains and deserts, on some of the most challenging terrain in the world. They even intend to take their trusty Yaris up the slopes of the iconic Mount Fuji…

The duo are currently on their way across Europe bound for Turkey, then on through Russia before taking a ferry to Japan from South Korea. They’re hoping to reach their destination by early October and you can track their progress, or make a donation to Children in Need, via their website

It’s not the first time a long distance challenge has raised money for the charity. Back in 2009 teams of celebrities re-enacted the classic Round the World in 80 Days and raised around £1 million for Pudsey Bear.

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