The Longest Drive. "The North to South Challenge".
Two world records to be beaten!
Driving from the top of Norway to the bottom of Africa in one go – and with a little detour via London and Cape town. That’s our aim.
“Can you really do this?? Of course we can – The big question is if we will succeed!” admits team member, Jan Kalmar.
The 2nd May 2015 is when “The North to South Challenge” starts for Jan Kalmar and his two co-drivers. This is the latest and by far the biggest challenge for ‘The Longest Drive’ project.
Going via London and Cape town enables the team to target two world records rather than just the one: The first record is from the northernmost point in Europe, Northcape to the southernmost tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas. The second is the famous historic London-Capetown enduro rally. The first record was set in November 2014 and stands at 21 days and 16 hours. The second record was set in April 2013 at 10 days and 3 hours. It is a 24 hour detour to go via London but this enables the team to claim two records at the same time.
How do you prepare for this?
The crew has prepared for this project over the last couple of years. In 2011 and 2012 they crossed the globe along the 48th latitude in two separate legs (Europe-Asia and Canada). As a “little walk in the park”, the team drove around Australia on Highway #1 15.000 km in less than six days. All the expeditions were completed faster that anyone had done previously!
How do you drive so far and in such a short time?
The team aim to drive as efficiently as possible with the minimum amounts of stops and minimise the amount of time out of the car. This is the basis for achieving the shortest driving time. Its important that the team adheres strictly to local traffic rules.
Jan Kalmar explains:
“As the average speed drops dramatically when standing still, we are not planning any stops when we are underway – apart from refuelling. We have to live in the car for the 11-12 days we expect the 20.000km trip to take. The clock is ticking from the moment we leave Nordcape until we arrive in Cape Agulhas. Of course we will be exhausted but we will have a lot of experiences and hopefully two world records!”
But what is the point of all this?
Besides supporting charities, the Team wants to prove that it is possible to get in a modern car, albeit modified for long-distance driving, and drive 20000km without letting the engine get cold.
The car – a Porsche Cayenne Diesel has been specially modified for long distance driving with extra large fuel tanks and a place to sleep as the main modifications.
20000km and 23 countries in one trip!
The two-for-one record attempt takes in the following countries: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Republic of South Africa.
The Longest Drive has always supported charities and for this project we have teamed up with “Farm Africa” which is a London-based charity helping local people in Africa improve their farming techniques rather than sending food as aid. We are hoping to create more awareness about their important work and also generate some financial support for them!
Longest Drive – The Team
Sebastian Bierhalter (Germany): Day job – car technician but wants to see the world though the front screen of a Porsche Cayenne.
Michael Griffith (RSA): An ‘adventurer’ who has taken part in several Paris-Dakar rallies.
Jan Kalmar (Denmark): Advanced driving instructor. Team manager in motorsport.
Longest Drive – The Car
Porsche Cayenne – Unmodified V6 turbo diesel engine (245 BHP) and original drive train.
Modifications: Bull bar for protection against large animals on the road, power winch, undercar protection plates, roof rack with spoiler, roll cage, snorkel air intake, 200l fuel tank, fridge and specially reclining seat in the rear of the car.
Project website: www.thelongestdrive.net
Facebook: The Longest Drive
Twitter: _ longest
Farm Africa: www.farmafrica.org