North to South 2.0
On May 16th, at 13:03 The Longest Drive Team had reached their destination point and, at the same time had set the new World Record in non-stop driving between North Cape and Cape Agulhas. The distance of 17,450km was covered in precisely 8 days, 21 hours and 3 minutes using 1,949l of diesel fuel.
The journey began in Norway on May 7th at 16:00. With a great farewell from the mayor of North Cape, the team started with good weather and good spirits. The first refueling was done after 1,920km in Sweden, where much warmer weather and the sun had welcomed the TLD adventurers. Perfect timing for a drivers rotation and good road conditions allowed them to reach the Czech Republic 3 hours ahead of schedule – good vibes for the team and all followers. Early morning of 9th of May The Longest Drive Team already covered 1/3 of the road, reaching Serbia and heading to Istanbul for air freight to Africa. One may say that air freight was a bit of shortcut to Africa, but no one should dare to risk life and health with a trip through the war zone in Syria. In order to be fair with previous record-setters, the Team “parked“ the car for 19 hours and 10 minutes, to even out the time saved on the flight. This equals 90 Km/h in the average of the road distance covered by plane.
The African leg of The Longest Drive 2.0 began in Egypt where the team again, saw a very difficult border crossing from Israel to Egypt. The route continued through the African continent, still a few hours ahead in timing. The team reached Ethiopia and the roads there are basically one big pothole …. Result were 4 broken rims and 2 destroyed tires and the team had to find a tire shop in the middle of Addis Ababa at 02:00 in the morning! Thanks to Osman a tire repair-shop was found and they were able to fix the unfixable. The record attempt could continue. The team managed to get through Ethiopia “smoothly” but some issues with the fuel quality did again put threats to the record drive. The more mileage they covered the more excited did the team get. A bad road recommendation did result in a 300 km detour in Tanzania and suddenly the team was behind schedule. In order to catch up, the car was pushed to its limits but performed incredibly, taking the team safely through Zambia and Botswana to the Republic of South Africa! The last country on the long list of all in the itinerary was reached 11 minutes earlier than planned. Not too bad after 16,000 km.
All is owed to the supporters and fans of the whole endevour, and therefore The Longest Drive managed to set the world record and achieve something that some doubted in. Luckily the team never gave up and all three – Shaun, Vitoldas, and Jan, are already planning their next challenges. It wouldn’t be possible, though, without TLD families, friends, and fans. Thank you all for the support and faith in our endurance.