The sixth edition of the Mongol Rally got underway earlier this week when 400 teams, making a simultaneous start from the U.K., Spain, and Italy, set off on the ultimate road trip. Over the next month, their 10,000 mile journey will span two continents, pass over mountains, through deserts and jungles, and will only end once they reach the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar.
But the Mongol Rally isn’t just any road race. There are some strict rules that the competitors must adhere to. For instance, this isn’t a rally for speed demons, as the largest engine allowed in the competition is a mere 1.2 liters in size. And since the race is used to raise money for a number of charities, the teams are required to raise at least £1000, which is roughly the equivalent of $1650.
Perhaps the most important rule however, is that the teams are completely on their own once the race is underway. That means they have no back-up, no support, and if they run into any kind of trouble, they’ll have to find their own way out. The race is completely self-supported, and all the participants will have to be quite resourceful to over come the inevitable ostacles that will arise on their way to Mongolia.
There was a new rule added to the rally this year which requires that all the cars that are used in the race must be less than ten years old. The reason for this, is that the vehicles are also donated to charity once they reach Mongolia, and the government there has stipulated this change in order to ensure the cars that arrive are of high quality and safer for the environment.
One of the more interesting aspects of the race is that there is no set route that the teams must follow on their journey to Ulaanbaatar. In fact, they are encouraged too “get out there into the world, get lost, stuck and in trouble”, as they make their way across Europe and Asia. The Mongol Rally website does offer some examples of past routes however, and you can see that teams have ranged as far north as the Arctic Circle and as far south as Afghanistan in their wanderings.
This looks like the ultimate driving adventure. Who wouldn’t want to load up a few friends, stock up on drinks and snacks and hit the road for a 10,000 mile drive?