A HORSHAM man is hoping that a small car bought online will get him and two friends across a third of the world’s surface, all the way to Mongolia.
Paul Slogrove, 25, of Farthings Hill, along with friends Chris Hale from Worthing and Graham Lynn from Hove, has entered the Mongol Rally.
The 10,000 mile adventure starts at the Goodwood Estate in Chichester in July and ends on the far side of the globe in the ancient Mongol capital of Ulaanbaatar.
The trio will traverse numerous countries, deserts and mountain ranges to reach the final destination - but there is no specific route.
Organisers state: “There’s a place to start and a place to finish, but where you go, and what happens in between is anyone’s guess.
“Some teams plummet south through Iraq, Iran or Afghanistan, others rise up north through the arctic circle, still others surge straight through Central Asia and countries that don’t event legally exist.
“It’s about getting out into the world and discovering it for yourself!”
Ultimately it is all for a good cause too though. Money raised will go to The Lotus Children’s Trust, the event’s charity, as well as The Sussex Air Ambulance, in memory of Paul’s friend Laurent Devroey, who died in a motorcycle accident.
“My previous job was working on a helicopter search and rescue operation in Cornwall,” said Paul, “so I have first hand experience of how the rapid response of these aircraft can make the difference between life and death.
“A well and truly valuable charity which you would rather have and not need, then need and not have.”
To tackle the challenge, Paul and his team have bought a Nissan Micra which complies with the rally’s strict rules - cars must have an engine size of approximately 1 litre and less than 10 years old. Or as the Mongol Rally website says, ‘driving a car your granny would be embarrassed by’.
“I had a long list of cars but wanted something simple and reliable,” said Paul.
“A few cheeky bids on eBay, and we won. I wasn’t expecting to win, and I think we got a real bargain.”
Paul hopes the car copes with the journey and is working on it so he won’t have to do as much en route.
“But that is part of the adventure I guess, going off into the unknown with nothing but gaffer tape and a can of WD-40.”
Now the team - the self proclaimed Bump Start Bandits - are looking for sponsors, which can advertise on their vehicle. So far they have two; Ring Automotive and Shane Jewell of Jewell Master Pavers.
They would also like to attract a camping store willing to donate some equipment. Interested businesses can contact Paul through the website http://mongolrally12.theadventurists.com/the-bump-start-bandits.