Land Rover AFRICA Magazine - - FEATURE -

n 14 Jan­uary 2016, Paul Han­son and Ge­orge Cole­man set off from Lon­don in an at­tempt to break the world record for driv­ing from Lon­don to Cape Town. The duo needed to com­plete the ex­pe­di­tion in less than 10 days, three hours and 16 min­utes. They planned on tak­ing a brand-new route through West Africa, as pre­vi­ous record hold­ers all went down the east­ern side. The en­tire trip was set to raise money for two char­i­ties, one be­ing the British Red Cross and the other for the Pro­track Anti-Poach­ing Unit in South Africa. The pub­lic was able to fol­low their progress through Europe and Africa thanks to real-time track­ing. The idea was to raise funds for char­ity, so they needed a crazy ex­pe­di­tion that would get peo­ple to sit up and no­tice, and Paul im­me­di­ately sug­gested driv­ing from Lon­don to Cape Town – an in­cred­i­ble 15 000km – in un­der 10 days. “We had seen pre­vi­ous record holder at­tempts, and we thought we would have a shot at beat­ing that, via the no­to­ri­ous West Africa. In life, you need to take risks and chal­lenge your­self. This was the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to do some­thing com­pletely in­sane or al­most im­pos­si­ble,” says Paul.

The un­do­ing of the Disco With a lim­ited bud­get, Paul and Ge­orge bought a Dis­cov­ery 2 Td5. They found one that was de­cently kit­ted out and at a great price. Once they had the Landy, they went to work to get the car run­ning per­fectly. This in­cluded a full ser­vice, change of oil and new ex­haust. How­ever, this was just the be­gin­ning. A full sin­gle bed with an ex­ten­sion was welded and built into the back, which al­lowed one driver to sleep while the other drives. Other mod­i­fi­ca­tions in­cluded adding a 200-litre fuel tank with an elec­tric pump, a turbo, an over­sized com­pres­sor and up­graded thrust bear­ing kit, full remap, sus­pen­sion lift, com­plete front hubs, fan belts and ten­sion­ers, brakes, bushes, two LED light bars, di­ag­nos­tics and an up­grade of the in­ter­cooler and ra­di­a­tor. “The first car I ever drove was the Land Rover Se­ries III with a R6 en­gine. It has been in our fam­ily for years, and we still use it in the bush. We chose the Dis­cov­ery 2 be­cause its Td5 en­gine was leg­endary. It was also Paul Han­son (right) and Ge­orge Cole­man (left) still look­ing fresh and clean be­fore their jour­ney. about a third of the price of a De­fender. Un­for­tu­nately, this par­tic­u­lar Disco has been op­er­at­ing in the UK since 1999, and the salt roads here ended up de­stroy­ing the un­der­car­riage, and the chas­sis gave way first,” ex­plains Paul. The first break­down the duo ex­pe­ri­enced was just off the ferry into Morocco, when a vis­cus fan put a hole in one of the ra­di­a­tor pipes. A few bush re­pairs (a piece of me­tal pip­ing and two clips) and a few sprays of Mir­a­cle Seal later, they con­tin­ued the jour­ney, leak-free. But then came the death of the chas­sis. “We hit Sene­gal in record time. How­ever, the roads got the bet­ter of us. Huge speed bumps, which sprung up with no warn­ing at all, and nearly 500km of poor dirt roads took its toll on our fully-loaded Landy. The right rear part of the chas­sis broke, and the shock ab­sorber com­pletely tore off the chas­sis, with a part of the chas­sis still at­tached!” Paul and Ge­orge man­aged to limp the Landy to a lo­cal town­ship with a makeshift block of wood wedged be­tween the bro­ken chas­sis and diff. Here they found the first welder. They man­aged to fix it tem­po­rar­ily, and

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Egypt

© PressReader. All rights reserved.