Epic rally for charity

Team Goodbye Pork Pie (from left), Marc Doran (24), Carmen Doran (28) and Brent Clements (25),...
Team Goodbye Pork Pie (from left), Marc Doran (24), Carmen Doran (28) and Brent Clements (25), all of Queenstown, show the route they will drive on the 2010 Mongol Rally for charity through 22 countries from July 24. Photo by James Beech.
A thirst for adventure and a lack of roads left untrammelled in New Zealand has led a trio of daring Queenstown residents to tackle a 20,000km rally from England to Mongolia in aid of a children's charity.

Siblings Carmen (28) and Marc Doran (24) and friend Brent Clements (25), all former Wakatipu High School pupils, will be the only dedicated New Zealand team out of 400 competing in the epic 2010 Mongol Rally.

Team Goodbye Pork Pie will hit the road on the ultimate road trip from Goodwood racing circuit, near Portsmouth, on July 24, and, hopefully, arrive in the Mongolian capital of Ulan Bator about five weeks later - breakdowns and border crossings permitting.

Each team raises at least 1000 ($2083) for the rally's Mongolian charities, but the trio were aiming to raise as much as possible for the Christina Nobel Children's Foundation.

Ms Doran, who works for a Swiss-based pharmaceutical company, said it was their way of giving back to Mongolia. They would stop by to see the work done for themselves.

"The foundation represents kids who are orphans and helps them in traditional Mongolian homes... It helps them rebuild their country if you can help the kids recover."

Team Goodbye Pork Pie has spoken to rally veterans for tips and watched the 2004 documentary television series Long Way Round, starring Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman, but relish the unexpected happening.

The trio anticipate harsh high and sub-zero temperatures across the Gobi Desert, mountainous highways and sealed roads giving way to dirt tracks. They expect provisions to run out quickly and look forward to sampling local delicacies.

Mr Doran, an aircraft engineer and motor racing enthusiast, heads to the United Kingdom next week to buy a vehicle. Rally rules state the engine must be no larger than 1200cc.

They are also working through the paperwork to be able to drive through France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, the Slovak Republic, Hungary, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Russia, using only maps and a compass, to their final destination.

Mr Clements, a Nomad Safaris tour guide, said they chose the 1981 cult Kiwi caper as their team name for "the idea of travelling without a plan, but having an end goal; no budget and a small car."

They are all first-aid trained and said being raised in the outdoors of Queenstown had gone a long way towards preparing them for the experience. When asked if they had any safety concerns, Mr Doran said it was about doing as you would be done by and believing in the goodness of people.

The trio have called on New Zealand companies for sponsorship in return for advertising on their vehicle.

They have launched their own website - www.goodbyeporkpie.com - and a supporters' club on a social network website.

The community is also rallying around the rally team.

Tatler Restaurant and Bar is hosting a fundraising lunch on behalf of the Queenstown Chamber of Commerce toda. Ms Doran will talk about their venture and $5 will be donated from each $35 to $45 ticket sold.

Winnie's Gourmet Pizza Bar will screen Goodbye Pork Pie on Monday, May 10, as a foundation fundraiser. Tickets cost $10 from the Queenstown Mall bar and Gorge Joinery, on Glenda Dr, and include a free first drink, nibbles, discounted drinks for the rest of the evening and entry for raffles.

The doors open at 8.30pm and the film will begin at either 9pm or 9.30pm. Almost all proceeds will go towards the cause.


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