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Fix Auto Lichfield owner Andy Johnson is poised to embark on a mammoth 3,000km charity drive across the Moroccan desert – and all in aid of a children’s charity close to his heart.

The Staffordshire-based repairer is teaming up with professional racing driver friend Sam Randon and will take part in the annual Panda Raid – a driving challenge described as “like no other” which attracts up to 300 classic Fiat Panda 4x4 cars from the mid 1980’s.

The pair are hoping to raise as much money as possible for Carter The Brave, a fundraising group set up by close friends to raise money for the Oncology Ward, Clinic and Research department at Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital.

The whacky event gets underway from Almería starting with a ferry crossing to Nador, Morocco. From there the route which is yet to be released will take teams through various African regions that include some of the most unhospitable driving conditions on the planet. The race culminates in the north of Casablanca. Andy has been told to expect to cover up to 3,000 km.

“A friend who has taken part in the Panda Raid a couple of times persuaded me to give it a go, apparently the experience is like no other,” said Andy, “so I signed up not really knowing what I was letting myself in for! As I needed a co-driver and navigator there was only one person for the job and that’s Sam and fortunately he agreed to join me on what will be an unforgettable experience.”

“I’ve bought a Panda that has competed in it twice before but, as you can imagine, we’ve had to do a lot of work to ensure it really was up to the job. We’ve replaced suspension, running gear and even had to buy sand skis.”

He added: “What started out as a bit of an adventure has snowballed into a fundraising drive to help raise as much as possible for the Carter The Brave fundraising group, set up in the name of a friend’s son who has battled an acute form of Leukaemia to raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital. We haven’t set a target as such, but it really would be incredible to raise as much as we can for such an awesome cause.”

For anyone wishing to support Andy and Sam, please visit the Carter The Brave Just Giving Page; https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/carterthebrave

Caption: Whacky Races… Andy Johnson (right), owner of Fix Auto Lichfield, and his co-driver Sam Randon with the 1987 Fiat Panda they’re aiming to ‘race’ for up to 3,000km as part of the 2024 Panda Raid annual event which gets underway on March 1.

Notes to Editors:
· Fix Auto UK is part of a global franchised network of more than 925 bodyshops.
· Fix Auto UK carries out more than 150,000 body repairs per year for leading motor insurance companies, fleets, and retail customers.
· Fix Auto UK, Lyndale House, Harcourt Way, Meridian Business Park, Leicester, LE19 1WL. Tel: 0116 3265401.
· Fix Auto UK’s Portfolio of wholly owned repair centres comprises Fix Auto Daventry, Fix Auto Colwyn Bay, Fix Auto Barnsley, Fix Auto Crawley, Fix Auto Paignton, Fix Auto Liverpool South, Fix Auto Castleford, Fix Auto Newport and Fix Auto Henley-on-Thames. The Network also holds a majority shares in Fix Auto Goole and Fix Auto Cheltenham.
· Fix Auto Lichfield, Unit 1, Crossfield Industrial Estate, Crossfield Road, Lichfield, WS136RJ. Tel: 01543 263377.
Please Note: For further information please contact Mark Richards on 07774 861596. Email: mrichards@fixauto.co.uk