DD2017 was another success, says WGMW chairman Robin Roberts.

Around 70 public relations executives representing nearly all manufacturers and importers brought 50 new models along and the group encouraged a handful of classics as well for the annual event at Castle Combe Circuit.

In a new move this year, PRs were asked to bring along the latest vans in their range and an award was added to recognise this category.

Honda, Volvo, Vauxhall, Mitsubishi, Newspress, Renault and Suzuki were signature sponsors this year and their representatives were rewarded with priority drives in the trio of super-cars, an Aston Martin Rapide S, Audi R8 V10 Spider and McLaren. 

WGMW has enjoyed a three-year relationship with ID PR to provide the data tracking of registered drivers as well as participating vehicles and this year Simon Perry and his team took on responsibility for the on-line registration and introduced on-day live-stream displays of vehicles.

Once again, Tavern Catering’s Dave and Amanda Salt kept everyone refreshed and contributed to the day’s raffle prizes. Group members donated foodstuffs and other products from the region to the raffle pot swelling the assorted items gratefully received from our industry guests’ raids on their “goodies cupboards”.

There was also administration support from the circuit and its team of instructors who coaxed the more cautious PRs onto the track for the handful of cars which were allowed to run around it.

During the day, Women On The Move Against Cancer received a £500 cheque from the group as part of the fund-raising from last year’s driving day and it was presented by our chairman to WOMAC chair Georgia Fox supported by charity vice-chair Janet Wilkinson MBE and Huguette Boyagis, charity co-ordinator.

This year, group members Maxine Ashford and Kim Henson raised £526 from raffle ticket sales and quiz entrants as well as sales of his book on the A30 and A35 and the specially made DD2017 chocolate bars. 

A Lego model Beetle kit donated by Volkswagen raised another £50 when it was sold in the auction to Denis Chick after he beat Craig Cheetham of Newspress in the bidding. 

Denis won Kim’s Classic Quiz and the award for the best presented car of the day went to privateer Jim Poole for his immaculate Jaguar XK sportster in the classics’ corner, which was assembled by joint group vice-chairman Kieron Fennelly.

The most driven classic car of the day was a Mitsubishi Starion, the most popular pick-up was a VW Amarok and the new Van of the Day came in the shape of the MB Vito, whose PRs attended the event for the first time as well.

PR of the Day award went to Gary Cuthbert of Ford, and after a close run calculation the Car of the Day Bristol Blue glass tumbler was sent on its way to Fiat for their always in demand Abarth (see top image). 

Group chairman Robin Roberts thanked everyone who had helped make the day another success and reinforce it as “the” motoring PR event of the year and which once again underlined its unique deserved place in the global calendar.

“It’s always a bit nerve wracking when you start planning each driving day almost immediately after the preceding one,” he said, “But the support of the industry, the group’s organising committee backed up by our members and Castle Combe, and this year’s extended involvement by ID PR, made it one of the best I can remember in 33 years. I hope we can count on even more support for DD2018, penciled into our calendar for 6 June 2018.”

© Images by James Mann and Matt Kimberley

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