off to Mongolia in a clapped-out car

One Norfolk student and his buddy are preparing to embark on a 10,000-mile adventure through the wilds of the world.

One Norfolk student and his buddy are preparing to embark on a 10,000-mile adventure through the wilds of the world.

They will travel from London to Mongolia, driving on some of the worst roads imaginable and passing through three deserts and five mountain ranges along the way - and all in a 21-year-old one- litre Suzuki SJ410 they bought for £500.

Art student Sam Brettingham, 21, from North Creake, said he and his team mate James Binning, a 20-year-old architecture student at Cambridge University, had decided to take part in the Mongol Rally 2007 because they wanted to set themselves a "dangerous and debonair" challenge.

And 199 other crazy teams will join them in equally clapped-out cars at Hyde Park on July 21 to take part in this year's annual Mongol Rally which will see them pass through many countries - including Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan - before they arrive in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar.

Mr Brettingham and Mr Binning hope the trip will take them about one month.

"Our participation in the Mongol Rally is as a result of a lengthy search for a suitably dangerous and debonair adventure," said Mr Brettingham.

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"It came to the point where, if we had not set about doing something, we would have been branded as "all talk". So we decided this would prove we're seriously up for a challenge and would raise money for good causes at the same time.

"We are really excited and fairly confident. I have got a lot of faith in the car. I do not know much about fixing cars but we will have a manual with us and a big roll of gaffer tape!"

They want to raise £1,000 for Mercy Corps, an international development organisation which supports rural communities and herding families, in Mongolia, and £1,000 for Send a Cow, a charity that helps poor farmers in Africa. So far, they have raised about £400 for each charity.

Mr Brettingham said they were planning to pack as light as possible, taking only a two-man tent and basic supplies. Their only luxuries will be an iPod and a

camera.

Once they arrive in Mongolia they plan either to drive their car back to England via Russia or to donate it to a Mongolian mechanic.

Anybody who would like to sponsor Team Norfolkn'chance should e-mail sambrettingham@hotmail.com or visit www.mongolrally.com

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