Driving galore at Western Group’s DD24

June 11, 2024

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This year’s Western Group of Motoring Writers Driving Day was the third and most successful at the event’s new venue – the impressive Haynes Motor Museum in Somerset.

Western Group of Motoring Writers DD24

In all, 38 cars from 25 brands were available to drive at the event – a unique date in the automotive calendar.

Not only does it give PR and product specialists a rare opportunity to drive each other’s cars, it’s also a chance for Western Group members to get behind the wheel of some of the latest models they may not have driven yet.

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The Western Group welcomed more than 30 guests and the vehicles available included models from Driving Day newcomers Omoda, BYD and INEOS.

Most brands were able to spare personnel to attend, but where that wasn’t possible, cars were sent ahead on transporters. Stellantis (a Jeep, DS, Vauxhall, Citroën, Peugeot and Fiat) and BYD (Dolphin, Seal and Atto 3) were examples.

Representatives from Ford, Genesis, Honda, Kia, Mazda, MINI, Volvo, Subaru, Isuzu, Maserati, Range Rover, KGM, Toyota, Lexus, Porsche, and event sponsors Suzuki, drove down on the day. In all, guests and Western Group members racked up a total of 215 drives by the end of the event.

Guests took advantage of an excellent selection of roads and were able to enjoy free access to the Haynes Motor Museum’s remarkable collection of around 400 cars and motorcycles.

As usual, handmade Bristol Glass trophies were awarded for the most driven car of the day and the participant who drove the most cars on the day. The ‘Car of the Day’ was the potent Porsche 911 Carrera T, while the ‘Driver of the Day’ trophy went jointly to Ford’s Andy Benson and Len Keen.

A charity raffle was held, along with an auction for a limited-edition bottle of Scottish whisky, donated by Genesis, and a signed England rugby ball, courtesy of Honda.

“We’re delighted with the response from manufacturers for this year’s event,” said Western Group Chairman Gareth Herincx.

“It’s our third year at the Haynes Motor Museum and we couldn’t be happier with the venue.

“The feedback we’ve had from guests has been really positive and we’re already looking ahead to making our event bigger and better for 2025.

“The location just off the A303, local accommodation options, good driving roads, the museum’s facilities and a delicious lunch all helped to make the day a success.

“As ever, I would like to thank Simon Perry of IDPR for managing the day for us with his usual professionalism. We would also like to thank Alun Parry and Jess Grimditch of Suzuki for their sponsorship this year.

“Ultimately, we couldn’t stage our annual Driving Day without the support of manufacturers. Obviously not everyone can make it, because there will always be factors such as event clashes, but we hope even more will be able to make it in 2025, because we plan to keep staging this event for many years to come.”

Following the success of this year’s event, the Western Group is already planning next year’s event and is looking at a provisional date of Thursday, June 5 at the Haynes Motor Museum.

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