VIDEO: Banger Rally team seconds away from 1,000ft cliff drop
TEAM members on a charity car rally have told of their near-death experience after their stretched limousine came within seconds of plummeting down a 1,000ft cliff.
Rome or Bust Banger Rally organiser Gary Warren and his four teammates were travelling along the Stelvio Pass in Italy when the terrifying near-miss happened.
"We had a brake failure just as we were going down the Stelvio Pass," said Gary.
"I thought our driver was joking at first. The next thing I knew we were careering into the rocks.
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"Luckily no one was hurt."
The pass, dubbed by BBC Top Gear as one of the world's best driving roads, comprises a series of hairpin bends as it weaves its way down the mountainside.
The team of five were leading the 83 teams who set off from St Austell last Thursday to take part in the five-day challenge across Europe.
Gary, 42, who has been running the event for the past three years, said if the car had veered off the road just a few metres later, the team would have ended up at the bottom of the cliff.
"It was quite a scary moment, Mr Warren said. "There was a 1,000ft-drop on the other side. We're lucky we didn't end up going down the cliff."
Following the crash the car was pulled from the rocks and another team – consisting of 'Batman and Robin' – helped to get it back on the road.
"It was quite badly damaged," said Gary. "Fortunately we had Batman and Robin to help us fix it."
Video c/o the Cornwall Channel. Please note: Video contains strong language
After making temporary repairs the team drove the car ten miles to the nearest garage but it was too badly damaged to continue and had to be scrapped.
"We hired a car so we could get to the finish line on the last day," said Gary.
Despite the near-death experience he said the rally, which saw the teams drive across nine countries in five days, was a huge success and raised tens of thousands of pounds for charities.
"It was fantastic," he said.
"There were 83 teams and 216 people and all but seven vehicles made it to the finish line."
"We've already raised £84,000. We're hoping to get it up to around £100,000."
And after his close call he said he hasn't been put off from doing it all again next year.
"We will do another one next year," he said. "We're not quite sure where we are going to go but there are quite a few ideas on the table."