Video: Norwich team take on their own Top Gear challenge in worn out Renault

Daniel Brown and Justin Whitpen who are doing the Mongol Rally for charity. Photo by Simon Finlay.

Daniel Brown and Justin Whitpen who are doing the Mongol Rally for charity. Photo by Simon Finlay. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

A Norwich resident and his team are gearing up this summer for the greatest adventure of their lives.

In a quest reminiscent of those featured in the popular TV show Top Gear, Sam Scott, 29, will travel 10,000 miles from England to Mongolia in an old 96 registration Renault 5.

The team, who include Ashley White, 29, and Richard Sims, 29, will face the dangerous Silk Road that runs through Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Krygystan.

The group of explorers is one of 100 teams from around the world aiming to raise a minimum of £1,000 to take part in the event, which starts on July 20.

The four teammates are old school friends who stayed in touch on Facebook. Mr Scott was met with unrivalled enthusiasm upon suggesting the idea. 'When I said I'd signed up to the rally they both jumped at the opportunity of joining me,' he said.

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Mr Scott, who is the team captain, added: 'The rally is something I've wanted to take part in for years; I've just not had the means or the time available to do so.'

The captain, who lives on Barret Road in Lakenham, added: 'I came here by chance while visiting family in Norfolk a couple of years ago and fell in love with the city so I decided to move here.'

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The money raised by the group will go towards the charity 'Cool Earth' to prevent the deforestation of rainforests.

A worker at Lotus in Hethel, Mr Scott said: 'I've seen first-hand how mass deforestation affects the communities that inhabit those areas. I think it's a very worthwhile cause.'

Wyatt Engineering in Bressingham near Diss is sponsoring the team whilst helping to make the necessary modifications to the car.

Jason Wyatt, 45, working on repairs, said: 'If Sam supplies the parts I donate the effort.

'We can guide him so when he is in the middle of nowhere he can rely on his knowledge.'

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Daniel Brown, Justin Whitpen and girlfriend Kerry McCauley will combine efforts to raise money for Cool Earth and the Christina Noble Children's Foundation when they also take part in the Mongol Rally.

The foundation helps disadvantaged children in Vietnam and Mongolia by giving them with access to healthcare and education.

Mr Whitpen, who is from Aylsham, explained how he had seen, first-hand, the project's work in operation in Mongolia.

He described that when a woman remarried, her children were not accepted by the new husband and were often left stranded from their homes.

The 32-year-old spoke of his uncertainties at taking on the challenge of the Mongol Rally with his team.

'There will be a couple of stages where will be going quite close to Ukraine and through Russia; this is a bit risky,' he said.

'There is also the Pamir highway, where there are no barriers and a chance of land slides.'

His girlfriend and seasoned traveller Miss McCauley, from Belfast, needed no persuading to do the trip.

Mr Whitpen added: 'Kerry is very excited; she didn't take a lot of convincing.'

Mr Brown, team member of Baatar or Bust, was equally ready to put himself to the test.

'I am more excited than nervous, part of the challenge is for the car to break down,' he added.

Members of the team will leave for their two-month expedition, on July 20.

Link to sponsor the team:

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