Maroc Challenge: A low cost extreme desert car rally

WHOSE essential emergency tool kit includes the following? Sellotape, Superglue, string, duct, masking tape, scissors, bits and pieces of wood, plastic, metal, toilet rolls, cans of WD40, seas sickness pills, bucket and spade and an unreadable map of the Moroccan desert?

The answer is two crazy guys, entering into an equally loco car rally taking them across 2,000 kilometers of deserts and mountains in a 25 year old two wheel drive Golf GTi mark 2, with a dubious 250,000 km registered on a clock clinging for its life on something vaguely resembling a dashboard.

And if that doesn’t make sense, they have gathered over 30 business sponsors who actually believe they will make the round trip; and that includes their main sponsor; The EuroWeekly News.

If they do, the two Brits, Richard Mentessi and Paul Harold both from Quesada near Torrevieja, will become legends in their own lunch time, and Knights of the Grand Order of Red Bull in every bar within the area.

The amazing thing is that there are at least another 45 driving teams sharing nine different nationalities, ready to join the lads in the unforgiving Saharan desert old banger brigade.

So what is this magic event that has transformed normally sane human beings into wannabe Lawrence of Arabia’s overnight?

The Maroc Challenge Low Cost Raid is a unique seven day event that will route drivers from Almeria in Spain, across to the Moroccan port of Mador, then onwards and upwards through five separate rally stages to the finishing line in the northern coastal town of Essaouira.

The only qualifications necessary are that all cars must be at least 17 years old and drivers old enough to know better.

In a recent interview, the EWN team reckoned they are fully up to the task and raring to go.

Former truck and Banger racing driver Paul, age 41, says he is a master at driving off road, especially on two wheels after a couple of pints.

He is also a qualified master ‘bodger.’

Volunteer chief navigator Richard, a translator by profession, admits that even after a few strong wine gums, he finds it difficult to find his way home, but says he knows enough Arabic to ask the way to the nearest McDonalds.

On a humanitarian note, the boys, will be combining the rally with raising money for the EMAUS children’s charity and joining many of the other teams in taking clothes, school supplies, toys or medical supplies to some of the poorer settlements and villages en-route.

Organiser Cabaco told the EWN that there are still a few places left, but if you want to join the crazy gang, get your skates on as the final entry date is March 20.

The rally will start from two points on Saturday March 31st. Javea on the Spanish Costa Blanca and Lisbon in Portugal linking up on the same day at the port of Almeria and finishing on Saturday April 7th in Essaouira. For full information go to web site:

By Benny Davis

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Euro Weekly News Media

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