School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

Engineering students take on the challenge of driving to Mongolia in 61 days

Thursday, 06 July 2017

Mongol rally

On Sunday 16 July 2017, three boys will take on the challenge of driving to Mongolia in 61 days. Two of those boys are Kit Day, an Automotive MEng student and Thomas Crosthwaite, a Mechanical MEng student.

The rally will start from Goodwood and the boys will drive approximately 12,000 miles across 24 countries to reach their goal of Mongolia. Between them, the boys will be driving 200 miles a day, but will get to visit all kinds of unique and interesting countries. They will also get the opportunity to explore every city they visit, as they will get at least 8 hours there every day. Interestingly, the boys are planning on camping throughout the journey. The boys have told us that their presence at the rally was all down to a friend who signed them up without them knowing – however they saw it as opportunity to travel and put the skills that they have learnt whilst being a student at Brookes to use, whilst raising money for a good cause.

The boys are doing it to raise money for charity - two charities to be specific. The whole point of the rally is not to win, but to raise as much money for charity as they can. Kit & Tom’s goal is to raise £500 for Cool Earth, a charity that aims to halt rainforest deforestation and £2K for Teenage Cancer Trust. The boys are currently working on being sponsored for the rally, and so far have managed to get sponsored by OPIE Oils for their fluids. They aim to use social media to attract attention towards what they are doing in order to gain sponsorship. You can find their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/mongolwendy/. In terms of social media, the boys only have their Facebook group, which has been linked above. We will be sharing news and photos about this event on our social media pages leading up to the event, so keep your eyes peeled!

The car, named ‘Wendy the Wagon’ is a 1 litre Suzuki R Plus, which they bought back in October for only £700 – it being the cheapest car they could find. However, the boys have done all the labour on the car themselves; using the knowledge they gained at Brookes. Tom states that the ‘hands-on mechanical knowledge has definitely been useful from my first year of my degree. Learning how to dissemble the Rover K series engine and the various transmissions has already come in useful in attempting to make Wendy ‘Rally-worthy’’.

They have used their own money to buy tools and to sort out their Visa’s. As you can see by the picture, Wendy has had quite a few modifications put in place ready for the upcoming trip – she has had her rear seats removed for storage space, headlights taped up to secure the glass on the bumpy roads, and has a row of spotlights taped to the roof. There are several rules that the boys must follow during the Mongol Rally, and they are that: - No support will be given to the teams after Goodwood - The car has to be a 1.2 litre or less - No 4x4’s are allowed

Even though there is a time limit of 61 days to reach Mongolia, Kit & Tom have assured us that there is no competitivity at all with the other teams taking part – of which there are approximately 250. Apparently they have met all of the teams in London for drinks, and there is talk of a trip to Amsterdam also. Interestingly enough, the trip ends on the day that their Masters starts, so they best hurry on home if they want to make it!

When asked how it felt to be taking part in something like this, Kit said that it was ‘quite an overwhelming idea’, but knows that it will be an ‘amazing experience and it’s for a great cause, that makes you forget about all the risks that are involved’, whilst Tom says that it will be ‘a once in a lifetime opportunity’. In terms of what the boys will personally gain from this experience, both agree that is will have a life-changing impact, as Tom states that he will gain ‘life lessons and experience’, and Kit thinks that it’s the ‘sort of experience which has the potential to change your outlook on life’. Both boys are also looking forward to travelling to all the unique countries on the way.