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Dangers of Iraq no roadblock for 11,000 mile non-stop London to Cape Town record attempt
A UK team are aiming to beat the world record time for driving non-stop from London to Cape Town. The 11,000 mile / 18,000 km (approx.) drive will involve traversing Iraq with all its security implications. As a test run for their 20 year old Land Rover they intend to complete a 6,000 mile / 9,600 km (approx.) round trip test drive to the Iraq border on August 12th 2013. For the record attempt the team of three drivers will travel through 21 countries crossing Europe, the Middle East and Africa with their final destination being Cape Town, South Africa. Their route will include high-speed motorways, desert crossings, country tracks and pot-holed roads. Some of the route may be washed away by sudden rains or blocked by local conflicts.
The Drive4Change team (left-right) Ben Worth, Steve Hancock and Tony Cole in London before the start of their test drive to the Iraq border
The biggest challenge of the venture will be security particularly while traversing Iraq. The team of three from Somerset, who style themselves as Drive4Change, have engaged a security company to advise and support them. The main dangers though the whole trip are impromptu road blocks where one of a number of situations could happen. However the worst case scenario is kidnap or theft of the Landrover. In Iraq one of the biggest dangers is improvised explosive devices (IEDs) one the main road from Iraq to Jordon which they must take to keep to their tight schedule. The team will have a security person with them while travelling in the Middle East and Egypt. In Iraq where additional security is needed they are likely to have a full armed escort. TheDrive4Changeteam will drive non-stop in shifts stopping only for the completion of paperwork, refuelling and toilet breaks. They will sleep on seats, which have been modified and fitted in the back of the Land Rover. For the test drive they will travel non-stop through 10 countries (UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria & Turkey). They are expected to take five days testing their driving skills and unusual sleeping accommodation and patterns. Drive4Change rebuilt and customised their vehicle which has nearly 30 modifications for the trip and will also be tested to the limit on the way to Turkey. The teams test drive to Silopi, Turkey near the Iraq border will depart from London 12th. of August at 3pm.
They will depart in October for the record attempt and the venture is raising funds for and awareness ofbibic.It supports children with conditions affecting their social, communication and learning abilities.