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Dorset foursome in Punto on 10,000-mile trip to Asia
THREE boys, one girl and an elderly Fiat Punto called Bruce are taking on the challenge of a 10,000-mile charity drive to Mongolia.
Maria Robinson and Steve Crabtree from Bridport, David Dignam and Tom Brain are joining forces to take part in the Mongol Rally 2012.
The team – the Mad Hatters Tea Party Rally – plan to leave on July 15 taking a route through Europe, heading out of Turkey, then going through Iran, Turkmenistan, Kazhakstan, Azerbajan, Tajikstan, Russia and on to Mongolia.
The epic trip is to raise funds for charities Plan-UK, ShelterBox and The Lotus Children’s Centre.
Each member is committing to sponsor at least one child for five years, fund at least one Shelterbox and the Fiat will be donated to the Lotus charity, which works with vulnerable children in Ulan Bator, on arrival in Mongolia.
Maria, from Bridport, who is working at Bridport Leisure Centre as part of a gap year, says she met the other team members by chance.
“We all met very randomly, two through Lonely Planet forums chatting about the rally and one in the gym in Bridport because he was eavesdropping on my loud conversation describing the perils of the trip,” she says. We’re looking for as much funding, sponsorship and support as possible.
“We’re selling sponsors’ space on the car and it would be great to fill it with as many Dorset companies as possible – which means there is potential for these companies to be noticed as far away as the middle of Asia and the Himalayas.”
She added: “It’s a crazy route, we receive no help, no RAC equivalent, no nothing. It will be like visiting Mars.”
The Mongol Rally is for cars of less than 1200cc and is designed to be an adventure for the participants, and not a traditional rally/race, without support teams and no arrangements made as such for accommodation.
There is a plan to rename the car, and for a donation, people can make their own suggestions. The team’s website is madhatters teapartyrally.com which is where they will be blogging from, uploading pictures, receiving donations and selling space on the car for company logos or messages of goodwill.