3 engineers and a banger

Three Mechanical Engineering students are to put their skills well and truly to the test when they attempt to drive a 21-year-old car across 17 countries for charity.

Mechanical Engineering students and their Mongol Rally carLuke Clover, from Ipswich, Philip Sharples, from Newmarket, and Luke Dashfield, from Milton Keynes, are about to complete their final year at the University of Sheffield. As soon as they finish their exams, the trio, all 22, will set off on a 10,000 mile trek across two continents, two deserts and two mountain ranges in a 1996 1.0 litre Suzuki Swift. They hope to complete their fundraising challenge – known as the Mongol Rally – in just six weeks. Cash raised from the trip will be given to East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).

Philip said: “With 12 years of combined engineering education we like to think we know enough to keep a small, elderly, overloaded car going for 11,000 miles over rough terrain but we have a sneaky feeling we may need to rely on our enthusiasm to fill the gaps in our experience. “We met in Sheffield but we’re all from East Anglia, so we’ve chosen to support a great charity which does fantastic work for children and young people with life-threatening conditions and their families. “We’ll also be donating £500 to Cool Earth to offset, in some small way, the carbon emissions of our journey.”

The Mongol Rally will see around 300 cars – all 1,000cc or lower – leave Goodwood Circuit in the UK on July 16 and attempt to get to Ulan-Ude in Siberia via the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbataar. The group have to fly back mid way through the trip to get to thier graduation ceremony.

The group, who have named themselves 'team karyak', are adding to what they have described as the “gross inadequacy” of their Suzuki by taking a kayak with them, which will sit on the roof.

Other modifications to the car include a kayak-ready roof rail, a sump guard and a reinforced radiator. Improvements are also being made to the radio, which the group joked will help them to avoid “10,000 miles of awkward silence”.

To donate to the team's chairty, visit mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/karyak