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A £400 Micra from Bristol and a 16,000km journey with Firestone

Mongol 5

As memorable journeys with Firestone go, few are coming close to a 10,000-mile, five week jaunt across the Asian continent in a 1999 Nissan Micra worth £400.

This is the exact scenario facing intrepid Bristol fundraiser Joe Scott and his friends Osain Minogue, Aleix Gemino and Matt Sales, who are currently competing in the Mongol Rally on Firestone Multihawk tyres, taking in 20 countries, three deserts and five mountain ranges.

The infamous race – which began on July 18 – is boasting a Firestone presence after Joe made contact for some complimentary tyres, as his Bristol-based team aims to raise over £1,000 for Cool Earth, which works to halt deforestation and climate change.

The 27-year-old said: “I was watching Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman travel around Mongolia some years ago and the idea always appealed to me. It’s going to be a huge challenge, because if you break down, you get no help and the terrain is uncompromising.

“Some people think we’re crazy to do, while my mum wasn’t best pleased when I told her, but she understands that it’s something I need to get out of my system.”

Any mechanical issues will be dealt with by Joe, Matt will utilise his geography teaching skills to navigate the route, while Alex is the culinary expert who will keep the team fed and watered. Osain, meanwhile, is a photography expert who will capture every magical moment along the way.

Joe added: “It then occurred to me that we would need some top quality tyres to keep us on track. For all the mechanical work done already, we know that there’s only four contact points with the road, and that’s the tyres.

“We have had great experiences on Firestone products in the past and I know all about their products, so we were thrilled to bits when the company came back to say they could help. Their support means a lot and will make a huge difference.

A gruelling drive across some of the most challenging terrain known to mechanical engineering, participants in the Mongol Rally will be waved off at the start line in Prague with the prospect of 16,000km ahead of them on their way to Mongolia and then the finish line at Ulan-Ude in Southern Russia. But - spurred on to raise as much money as they can for Cool Earth, the team remains far from daunted.

"There will be challenges, and I'm sure there'll be a few heated conversations in the car, but together I think we'll overcome anything. If you break down or crash, the organisers don't come out and support you, you've got to sort it out yourself. But we can always seek help from locals if we have a massive break down that we can't fix, that's one of the great things about the rally.

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