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March 11, 2008

The alternative Dakar rally

BANJUL, The Gambia – According to Julian Nowill “if you have lots of money and a sense of adventure then the Paris-Dakar rally could be your cup of tea… if you’re cash-strapped though the Plymouth-Banjul challenge could be more up your street”

And Julian should know. He organises the event, now in its sixth year, which sees cash-strapped adventurers taking on some of earth’s most hostile terrain in nothing more than a car costing less than ¬£100.

The event, unofficially dubbed the Ultimate Banger Challenge, sees hundreds of intrepid explorers travel over 3,000 miles from Plymouth in southern England to Banjul in The Gambia. This year group seven
contained a team aided by Nokia’s navigation devices. Armed with a 6110 navigator and 330 Satnav, Tim Cox and Sean Gladwell set off in their 20-year-old Mercedes 190E.

The team, with the moniker “C-YA-Soon”, covered the 7,200Km in 17 days, tracing their way across eight countries, a series of deserts and non-existent roads. Best of all though, the boys’ efforts have raised a whopping ¬£4,084 for the Macmillan Cancer Support charity whilst “Madge” (the 190E) raised ¬£1,262.56 at auction in Banjul.

Obviously the Nokia devices worked flawlessly.