Press release -

Thatcham Research’s Road To Rally project celebrates participation in AutoRaise rally and sets sights on Bangers4Ben charity rally

Automotive Risk Intelligence company Thatcham Research is celebrating their participation in the AutoRaise charity rally, completing the two-day event in their restored 2007 Mazda MX5 and raising £2,750.

Media specialists Andy Mackay and Samuel Morris drove the MX5 more than 300 miles, starting at Lotus HQ and making pit stops at Brigg, Cadwell Park circuit and Stourton Park before finally finishing at Doddington Hall, Lincoln.

Morris said: “The AutoRaise Rally was such a fantastic event. Hitting the road with the roof down on the MX5 and exploring the beautiful Lincolnshire countryside was made even better with the great weather we had.”

Mackay (pictured) said: “Taking part in the AutoRaise Rally was a great opportunity to network and showcase the great work both AutoRaise does and the extremely high standard of engineering skill, talent, and attention to detail that our trainers and apprentices have at Thatcham Research. The MX5 with roof down was great fun. The event, the people and the roads were brilliant.”

The Mazda MX5, which was donated by UK automotive remarketing, recycling, and auction company Copart UK, was restored by apprentices at Thatcham Research’s automotive academy.

Scott Loran, academy team leader at Thatcham Research, who has been overseeing the project, said: “We started the Road To Rally project with apprentices from Thatcham Research, Apollo Motor Group and Steer Automotive Group giving the car a full once over.”

The apprentices found that the car had seized brakes, its front bumper missing, and numerous electric components not working among other issues.

Loran continued: “Together, we made a list of required components, sourcing a lot from eBay so we could use second hand parts to keep the build as sustainable as possible.”

As part of the repairs, the apprentices stripped the brakes and fitted new discs and pads. They also successfully replaced a snapped wheel hub bolt with the aid of their tutor and refitted a new securing bolt to specification by following Thatcham Research's methods.

Morris continued: “The MX5 Andy and I drove was restored and repaired to such a high standard in our automotive academy. It really is a statement to the high level of skill, talent, and craftsmanship our trainers have, which is being passed on to the wealth of young talented apprentices that come through our doors.”

Dean Lander, head of repair sector services at Thatcham Research, said: “It has been a pleasure to not only see our apprentices and learners bring the Mazda back to life in our workshop, but also Andy and Sam representing Thatcham Research at the AutoRaise rally.

“The event saw entrants from across the UK automotive and repair industry come together to fundraise for a very important cause which supports so many within our sector.

“I’d like thank headline sponsor AirPro Diagnostics for supporting our entry into the rally and our other sponsors Chubb, AkzoNobel, Steer Automotive Group, Motofix and INDASA Abrasives.

“With the Ben Automotive Charity Bangers4Ben rally on the horizon, we are seeking additional sponsors to help us raise as much money as we can for this worthy cause.”

Donation and sponsorship information can be found on Thatcham Research’s fundraising page: Ben - Motor and Allied Trades Benevolent Fund: Thatcham Research - Bangers4BEN 2023

The four-day Ben Bangers4Ben rally kicks off on Saturday 7 October and will see drivers’ journey across the Irish countryside. Further details about Thatcham Research’s Bangers4Ben driving team will be shared soon.


  • Business enterprise


  • apprentices
  • thatcham people
  • vehicle repair
  • automotive academy
  • thatcham research

About Thatcham Research

Thatcham Research is the automotive risk intelligence company dedicated to understanding the opportunities and risks of new vehicle technology and supporting our partners in identifying the best strategies for its safe, secure, and sustainable adoption.

The independent voice of automotive safety, security, and repair, we work in close partnership with insurers, vehicle manufacturers, technology providers and government, providing rigorous engineering-grade research and data to help minimise uncertainty presented by changes in technology and regulation.

The ability to repair vehicles safely and affordably is critical to sustainability, and Thatcham Research experts working across the business and in our state-of-the-art Repair Technology Centre produce a wide range of vehicle repair data, ranging from light structural research to full body methods. Thatcham Research is also a founder member of the international Research Council for Automobile Repairs (RCAR).

In addition, thousands of repair technicians have been trained in the Thatcham Research Automotive Academy, bringing vital new skills into the industry.

As an influential member of Euro NCAP, we have played a key role in raising safety standards high above regulation. We have contributed to the development of the Euro NCAP 2030 Roadmap; pioneered whiplash testing and prevention; and we lead the way in designing crash avoidance and assisted driving assessments.

Thatcham Research also runs and administers the Association of British Insurer’s (ABI) Group Rating system, providing dynamic risk intelligence that enables automotive insurers to price effectively. It provides an indicative view of the relative risk associated with a vehicle compared to others and is based on various factors, including Thatcham Research’s New Vehicle Security Assessment (NVSA), an internationally renowned benchmark which addresses evolving digital theft trends.

For more information about our work, visit


Tom Flisher

Press contact PR Manager 07876 755 615

Stewart Mitchell

Press contact PR Executive PR and communication

Max Norstrom

Press contact PR Executive