The Mongol Rally (theAdventurists) is into its 15th day – and is about as extreme as a motor Rally can be. The starting point was fairly random: either London, Barcelona or Milan. The challenge is to get to the capital of Mongolia, Ulaan Baatar, as quickly as possible by whichever route you think the most direct…
Various routes have been tried in the past (route). It’s your choice entirely which way you go.
The drive is completely unsupported, and teams may take any route from the three cities – to Mongolia, that they choose. Typically, these routes either involve a drive via a northern route through Moscow, or a southern route through Turkmenistan. The length of the drive is approximately 10,000 miles, and takes approximately 25 days.
It’s the border posts that are proving challenging this time round. The Gentlemen of Fortune team had this to say on 28th July, Day 11: ““Met an English team at the border who were waiting for 6 hours, strip search, fingerprinting, the lot. We passed through in less than 2 without all that. Oh boy i love being Scottish! Pol x”
So what exactly is this Rally all about then?
This race is all about adventure, and, here’s how The Adventurists (the organisers behind the event) describe it: “A third of the way around the earth, from Europe to Mongolia via a plethora of countries most people haven’t heard of in a car that has an engine with no bigger than 1 litre. Starting from England, Spain and Italy, the rally finishes in the Mongolian capital Ulaan Baatar around four weeks and a whole heap of adventure later. It’s between about 8 and 10,000 miles depending on the route you choose to throw your trusty steed at. We don’t believe in telling you what to do or where to go as this is supposed to be an adventure not a cosy guided driving tour, so the world is pretty much your oyster.”
Any car with more than 1000cc of umph is strictly forbidden as over-powered.
This race is not only about adventure seeking. In 2007 the race raised £200,000 for charity and they are hoping to smash that this year. Each team raises a minimum of £1,000 and then there is the option to sell your car for charity when you reach the end. There’s a slight new rule to the race this year – the Mongolian government have requested that no cars put up for charity are older than 10 years – and in the interests of maintaining the excellent relations between the government and the race organisers, and in the interests of the environment – newer cars are better for the environment after all – competitors have been requested to comply with this request.
It seems that the teams that have taken the lower route – through Turkey, Iran and Uzbekistan, are slightly in the lead at the moment.
If this mad harum-scarum adventure is for you, you can sign up for the 2010 Mongol Rally now… the link is: http://mongolia.charityrallies.org
The above video is from charityrallies with thanks.