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September 5 2011.

Pictured: L-R - Paramedic Adam Heywood, Richard Grant, Claire Hill, Ingrid Grant, Ambulance Technician Laura Knights and Chief Pilot, Captain Steve Wood.

Two friends have completed a second charity drive in aid of Sussex Air Ambulance to help keep the helicopter flying.

Motoring enthusiasts Richard Grant, 33, and James Firth, 31, set off on a 50-mile run through the Sussex countryside last month.

Last year, the pair completed a whistlestop tour of Air Ambulance bases in the UK and raised £1,700 for the life-saving charity which relies almost entirely on public donations.

Richard said: "It was really good fun and everyone enjoyed it even thought it rained hard at the beginning.

"I was starting to think, 'this is not a good idea', but it cleared up and it was brilliant for the rest of the day. We couldn't have asked for better."

A Triumph Roadster similar to the one famously driven by John Nettles in the 1980s TV series Bergerac was among the 60 cars that took part.

There were also Mazda MX5s, numerous Jaguars and Minis, supercars, classic vehicles and members of the Pompey Puddleducks Club in their 2CVs.

The cars set off from Shoreham Airport along a route which took in villages including Steyning, Ashurst, Cowfold, Warninglid, Lindfield and Plumpton.

The drive finished at the Lavender Line railway which kindly agreed to make a donation from every train ride on the day to Sussex Air Ambulance.

The event was organized by Richard, from Haywards Heath, and James, from Crawley, who investigate claims for the car insurance industry.

About 40 per cent of Sussex Air Ambulance's calls are to road traffic collisions and the helicopter has flown more than 450 calls so far this year.

Richard and his mother Ingrid and girlfriend Claire Hill visited the base at Dunsfold on Friday (September 2nd) to present the crew with a cheque for £1,103.

Sussex Air Ambulance provides a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) for everyone living, working and travelling in the county, 365 days a year.

The helicopter carries a specialist doctor and critical care paramedic who can carry out advanced medical procedures at the scene, giving patients the best chance and quality of survival.

If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833. Alternatively cheques can be made payable to Sussex Air Ambulance and posted to Wheelbarrow Park Estate, Pattenden Lane, Marden, Kent, TN12 9QJ