Victory for Africa in a Record Run!
At the beginning of the year we brought you the story of Philip Young and Paul Brace, two British rally drivers, who were about to embark on a 16 576 km journey from Cape Town to London in a two-cylinder, 875 cc Fiat Panda. A crazy expedition some might say but the trio succeeded, broke a World Record and managed to raise money for charity all at once. Well done gents!
At the end of an epic drive that started merely ten days prior, Phillip and Paul arrived at Marble Arch, London, at precisely 17:28. The pair conquered the previous best time ever of 14 days, 19 hours and 26 minutes, which was achieved in 1983 by Brigadier John Hemsley and his wife, Lucy, in a Range Rover V8.
The rally drivers accomplished their goal and drove from Cape Town to London in only 10 days, 13 hours and 28 minutes. They had to cover 1 609 km a day at an average speed of 65 km/h to complete the route in record time.
The Fiat Panda was slightly modified to endure the extremities of dry desert terrain and tough potholed roads, but survived its African trip and performed well as a continent-crossing vehicle. Updated suspension and a long-range tank that enabled it to be driven 965 km between top-ups were added to the vehicle, along with extra under-body protection.
The pair raised funds for the charity, Farm Africa, and drove relentlessly through 13 countries and two continents.
Young relates: “It has been a remarkable time on the road – exciting and exhilarating – and the Panda was amazing. The roads were treacherous and the heat was unbearable but the car never missed a beat.”