Friends' 10,000-mile charity drive to mongolia

TWO housemates will be driving 10,000 miles from England to Mongolia in a clapped-out car to raise money for charity. David Pipe and Craig Bellars, of Blenheim Way in Stevenage, are taking on the extreme challenge of the Mongol Rally. The one rally rule i

TWO housemates will be driving 10,000 miles from England to Mongolia in a clapped-out car to raise money for charity.

David Pipe and Craig Bellars, of Blenheim Way in Stevenage, are taking on the extreme challenge of the Mongol Rally.

The one rally rule is that participants must drive a car with an engine size no bigger than 1.0 litre. David and Craig's vehicle of choice is a nine-year-old Nissan Micra which has 116,000 miles on the clock.

The two friends, both 26, will set off from Goodwood in Chichester on July 18 and hope to arrive in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia's capital, five to six weeks later.

"We are planning to take a longer, more scenic route than is necessary," David explained.

"We are going to drive down to the south-east corner of Europe and into Turkey. Then we are hoping to drive through Iran, but we are watching the news closely to see if that's going to be possible."

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Calling themselves Team Knight Micra because they have supped their car up to look like a version of Knight Rider's Kit, the adventurers will also be travelling through Stevenage's twin town, Shimkent in Kazakhstan, as well as Russia.

David said: "The most difficult part of the journey will be the Pamir Highway, which is the second highest highway in the world. It's over 4,000ft above sea level."

If something goes wrong out on the road, they will receive no support or back-up from the event organisers. "Neither of us has a mechanical background at all," David admitted. "If anything goes wrong we are going to be relying on the kindness of strangers."

They hope to raise �2,000 for Mercy Corps Mongolia, and have so far secured about �1,000.

To sponsor the pair, visit www.justgiving.com/teamknightmicra

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