Teenagers drivers in desert test

TRAVELLING nearly 4,000 miles across unforgiving desert terrain in a 10-year-old car worth just £100 may not seem like everybody's idea of fun.But two adventurous teenagers with a passion for all things mechanical plan to do just that – while spending only £15 tinkering their Ford Escort until its ready for the road.

TRAVELLING nearly 4,000 miles across unforgiving desert terrain in a 10-year-old car worth just £100 may not seem like everybody's idea of fun.

But two adventurous teenagers with a passion for all things mechanical plan to do just that – while spending only £15 tinkering their Ford Escort until its ready for the road.

Former Thurston Community College pupils James Rowland and Trevor Waspe, both 18, will begin their challenge – which will take them from Plymouth to Dakar, capital of Senegal – in January, and say they are fully prepared for whatever they may encounter on their journey.

"We are expecting to have to do some roadside repairs on the way, and I just hope we will be able to keep going," said Trevor, who has maintained equipment on his family's arable farm in Bradfield Combust for the past five years. "I enjoy putting things right and making improvements, and James and I have both done several odd jobs on our own cars.


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"We are not mechanics, but are confident we can sort any problems out while we are travelling.

"The journey will take us through France and Spain, which will be good, then into Morocco, which I think will be quite an eye-opener. We will then drive down the western Sahara. This section of the trip will probably take the most time because of the desert terrain.

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"We wanted to take a year out after finishing school before thinking about university, and decided that driving somewhere would be good. We saw an article in the EADT about the last rally and thought it would be ideal.

"We are both really looking forward to it and cannot wait to get going."

The duo expect their 3,700 mile journey will take around three weeks – providing their car lasts the course – and will donate the vehicle to the GOVI (Gambian Organisation for the Visually Impaired) once they arrive at their destination.

"I like the excitement of it," said James, who lives in Norton. "I'm really looking forward to driving through the desert, as I have never done anything like that before.

"We chose two charities to raise money for, one in Africa and Cancer Research UK, which seemed like a worthwhile cause. We are now looking for sponsorship to help us on our way."

Anyone interested in donating money or spare Escort parts to help the duo complete their challenge can contact Trevor on 01284 828303.

"The charity is Africa is close to where we finish the journey, and we thought we could take the car directly to them and see the work they do at the organisation," added Trevor. "And as cancer is such a worldwide disease, we decided it would be important to donate money to Cancer Research UK in the hope a cure might be found."

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