January 10, 2007

Saskatchewan pair to enter Mongol Rally in a 1993 Geo Metro

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Regina, Saskatchewan – In July of 2007, Regina residents Jason Minvielle and Michael Vaughan will enter a 1993 Geo Metro in the world famous Mongol Rally, an annual 13,000-km rally and charity event that benefits the Ulan Bataar orphanage, the Send-A-Cow organization and the Christina Noble Children’s Fund (CNCF).

After shipping their car via container ship to Thamesport, England, they will start the Mongol Rally in Hyde Park, central London on July 21, 2007. From there, they will head for Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia via 13,000 kilometres of roads ranging from the easy-cruising autobahns to areas where not only are the roads bad, they are non-existent. Through two deserts and five mountain ranges, the route will take them through UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan followed by a ferry across the Caspian Sea to the first of many “stans”, Turkmenistan. From Turkmenistan they will venture through Uzbekistan, Krgystan, Kazakstan, Russia and then finally, Mongolia, hopefully completing the rally at its capital, Ulaan Baatar.

In Ulaan Baatar, their vehicle, along with a hundred or so others that make it, will be donated to and auctioned off by the local orphanage. From there, Jason and Mike will hop a train to Beijing and fly home.

Unlike the world famous Paris-Dakar Rally, there will be no fancy off-road vehicles with massive support crews all aiming to win multi-million dollar prizes. The Mongol Rally is termed a “Crap Car Rally”: to qualify as a “Crap Car”, the vehicle can cost no more than about $800.00 CDN and can be powered by an engine with a maximum of 1000 cc’s. The Geo Metro they selected is exactly 1000 cc’s. The journey is expected to take four to five weeks.

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