August 30 2014 Latest news:

A former serviceman from Fakenham is gearing up for a seven-day car rally around Europe to raise money for Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion.

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Darren Ayling served in the first Gulf War, Northern Ireland and Bosnia, and will be under the orders of starter Murray Walker at the Top Gear Test track at Dunsfold, Surrey, on August 18.

The 41-year-old carpenter and builder will be joined by his son Rivers, 17, and brother-in-law Ian Lloyd as co-drivers of his 10-year-old Jaguar on the route through France, Italy and Austria before finishing at the Nurburgring in Germany.

His will be one of about 50 cars taking part, all at their own expense, and the rally will involve up to 14 hours of driving a day.

Mr Ayling said: “There are a lot of things I’m looking forward to. There’s quite a lot of camaraderie between us already because we are meeting up at various fundraising events around the country.

“I think the best bit is going to be handing the cheque over at the end but hopefully we will have a bit of fun and enjoy ourselves, and hopefully the car makes it. That will be the second best thing.”

He said he has already exceeded his initial £1,000 fundraising target, and is now hoping to reach £1,500. Sponsor him at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/aylinglloyd

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