MONGOL M RALLY: Ex-cop takes on 1 10,000 mile chal­lenge... in a rub­bish car

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - by Tom Her­bert tom.her­bert@trin­i­tymir­ Twit­ter: @TRHer­bert

A RE­TIRED po­lice­man and his friend are set to drive 10,000 miles through some of the world’s most dan­ger­ous coun­tries in a 24-year-old hatch­back car.

On Sunday July 17 Paul Kerr, 55, will head off from Good­wood in Sus­sex with John Coe in a 1.1 litre Re­nault Five Cam­pus, trav­el­ling through Tur­key, Iran, Kaza­khstan and Mon­go­lia be­fore fin­ish­ing their epic jour­ney in Russia.

Mr Kerr, from Chal­font St Peter, and Mr Coe, from Ash, Hamp­shire, are tak­ing part in the Mongol Rally, a once in a life­time mo­tor­ing trip which bills it­self as ‘the great­est mo­tor­ing ad­ven­ture on the planet’.

The rules of the rally are sim­ple –the worse your car is, the bet­ter. On the rally web­site, http://www. thead­ven­tur­ mongol-rally-the-ve­hi­cles/, it states: “Use a car you swapped for a bag of crisps. Seek out a steed that most peo­ple wouldn’t even use for the weekly shop.”

And along with the ter­ri­ble car, there will be ‘no on-the- road backup or sup­port’, as the race states ‘if it’s not dan­ger­ous and you aren’t lost, you’re not on an ad­ven­ture’.

The rules also stip­u­late that par­tic­i­pants must also raise money for char­ity – Mr Kerr, an ex-Lit­tle Chal­font po­lice­man, is rais­ing money for the Alzheimer’s So­ci­ety and Sol­diers, Sailors, Air­men and Fam­i­lies As­so­ci­a­tion (SSAFA), and Mr Coe is fundrais­ing for The Lym­phoma As­so­ci­a­tion.

The pair have al­ready raised around £1,800 but are hop­ing to raise that amount as much as they can.

Mr Kerr, who re­tired in 2010, said he was do­ing it for an ‘ad­ven­ture’ de­spite not be­ing a par­tic­u­larly ad­ven­tur­ous man: “I’ve never done this be­fore, but I’m very, very ex­cited.”

De­scrib­ing him­self as ‘not very into cars’ and a self­con­fessed mo­tor­cy­clist, the chal­lenge of the rally lies in keep­ing an old car, bought for about £200, go­ing for as long as they can.

He added: “It’s an op­por­tu­nity to see dif­fer­ent cul­tures and visit dif­fer­ent coun­tries.

“We’re pretty much fol­low­ing the old Silk Road be­fore we end up in Mon­go­lia.”

And while the duo have fit­ted the car with things like a snorkel, spare wheel and roof rack, it has not re­ceived any spe­cial treat­ment.

“All we’ve done is get this car up to a level – it’s road le­gal,” he said and added: “I hope the car will make it –it’s a long way for such a small en­gine.”

Visit https://car­ry­on­cam­pus 2016.word­ the-rea­son/johns-char­ity/ to fol­low the ad­ven­ture.

Ral­ly­ing: Paul Kerr (right) and John Coe with their ‘steed’

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