A big part of the rally was meeting like minded people. Throughout our journey we encountered several other ralliers. The class of 2015 officially featured 245 cars. Several of these turned back before leaving Europe, more broke down in Central Asia, and countless cars were written off in Mongolia. We convoyed with several teams throughout the rally, but some we spent more miles with than others. We could write pages and pages of stories about the time we spent with these guys, but instead here are some small snippets.
|Car: Suzuki WagonR+
Distance Convoyed: 4,495 miles
This was one of the teams we spent the most time and distance with and shared lots of great memories. We first caught up with Stu at Goodwood, both of us in the same position of not having a passport to hand. It then took until Armenia to catch up again, this time on the shores of Lake Sevan. We were on the same convoy through Iran, but travelled at different rates, bumping into each other every now and then. We lost each other for all of Turkmenistan but then caught up in Bukhara. From there we stayed together for all of the Pamirs and some of Kyrgyzstan. We split off for Kazakhstan, meeting up again in Semey. There we stayed in convoy all the way to the finish in Ulan Ude. Even after the rally ended we caught up with Blake, Sarah, Stu, and Tiff in Moscow and St Petersburg.
Forty Percent Nuts
|Car: K11 Nissan Micra
Distance Convoyed: 2,419 miles
We convoyed from the start through to Aachen in Germany, meeting again at the Czech Out. Our routes took slightly different paths from there and it wasn't until the Iranian border that we caught up again. In Turkmenistan we joined them for a late night dash to Darvaza and stuck together from then until part way along the Pamirs. We lost them on the road, but found them the next day when Ian came running towards us warning of deep sand. They had broken down at the same spot and Adam was busy taking the front end of the car apart to get the clutch plate out. Luckily, due to their ingenuity, they fixed the car up. We didn't see them again until Ulaanbaatar then Ulan Ude. The semi-broken Micra managed to tow another team through all of Mongolia, and even towed a stricken Polo back from Moscow to Lithuania!
Now We're Farming
|Car: Daihatsu Sirion
Distance Convoyed: 2,180 miles
Tom and Paddy came into our rally life not far from Yamchun fort. We stuck together for all of the Pamirs up to the point we broke off to Song Kul. We met again in Semey (Kazakhstan), but due to odd timings with their visas we had to wave goodbye and hope that we would catch up in Mongolia. To our surprise they somehow managed to blitz their way through Russian and into Mongolia, catching up with us in Khovd where we greeted them with a present of cow pats. Their rock solid car, Diane the Daihatsu, would often be our test vehicle for river crossings and their driving style often involved the co-driver being sat on the roof! Tom and Paddy were great fun to have around on the rally and we wish we had convoyed with them more!
Mischief & Mayhem
|Car: Volkswagen Polo
Distance Convoyed: 2,174 miles
The very fact that Polo made it to the finish amazes me. The team originally consisted of two cars and six people, but was reduced to the format we knew by the time the team reached Istanbul (Frank, Jokubas, Reinhold). We initially met up twice in Georgia, the second time going on a rescue mission to try help them find a fuel pump. After that we convoyed in Armenia, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. Our convoying only really came to end because they (along with 40% Nuts) were just a bit too quick for us, with them having a spirited WRC-esque driving style. We caught up again in Ulaanbaatar and Ulan Ude, sharing stories of our respective times in Mongolia. Unfortunately the rally proved too much for the Polo and it had a slight engine fire whilst on one of the Moscow ringroads!
|Car: K11 Nissan Micra
Distance Convoyed: 1,160 miles
We convoyed with Igor from Lake Sevan into Iran. At this stage he was driving solo, Martin joining him later in Tehran. However, we lost them after Tehran as their car had developed a mechanical fault. We met again on the Pamir Highway, not far from Yamchun Fort. We stuck together for the rest of the Pamirs and some of Kyrgyzstan, up to the point we took our detour to Song Kul. We shared some of the most challenging driving with these guys, and the sight of their Micra with a shopping trolley welded on top always brought a smile to my face!
|Car: Renault Clio
Distance Convoyed: 819 miles
We stuck with Strange Fellows from the Iranian border through to Tabriz. We then drove as a twosome South towards Esfahan. The rest of Iran was spent driving at slightly different paces, with our only other stint being from Shirvan to through to Ashgabat. Their trusty little Clio looked slightly menacing with the ever growing pile of items on the roof rack, definitely one of the least aerodynamic cars on the rally!
|Car: Volkswagen Polo
Distance Convoyed: 516 miles
A slight guess on the distance convoyed here. We picked up Bourne Dubbers on a motorway around Liege in Belgium. At this point we had no plan for where to stay that night, but the lads suggested that we aim for Germany. Since we had no better plan we joined them up to Aachen and camped the night. The next day we convoyed towards Prague. We ended up losing sight of them not too far from our destination. We caught up for some drinks at the Czech Out.
Give Us A Push
|Car: Nissan Sunny
Distance Convoyed: 471 miles
The hilarious looking Nissan Sunny had a serious overheating problem. This meant the lads had to have their bonnet permanently propped open, using some custom leather belt buckle straps holding it down! We caught up with them at Lake Sevan, driving all the way to Tabriz in Iran together. We occasionally bumped into them on the road in Iran, but their Sunny was very slow (top speed around 50 mph) so we would wave a drive up. Every night in Iran we wondered what time they would make it to the hotel, often being one of the last teams to arrive. Despite their slow pace and overheating car they were by far the happiest cheeriest bunch of people in a car. We last saw them in Ashgabat, with our route taking us across the Pamirs and theirs taking them north towards Kazakhstan.
|Car: K11 Nissan Micra
Distance Convoyed: 453 miles
We bumped into Tin Khan at petrol station just inside the border of the Czech Republic. Together with a couple of other cars we drove towards the Czech Out. The following day we convoyed as a twosome down to Budapest, with a brief stopover in Bratislava. We camped together in Budapest, but then said farewells as we drove South to Greece. The lads were great fun to drive with, and were almost certainly the youngest team on the rally. Hats off to them for doing something that most under 20 year olds would never think of doing. We were pleased to see an update that showed them at the finish line in Ulan Ude.
Ralliers of 2015 - The Finishers
2 Guys 1 Car (Volkswagen Lupo) - 2 Tees Please (Morris Minor Traveller) - 2CV-Rally (Citreon 2CV) - Adventure Before Dementia (Ligier Ambra) - Albert Goes To Mongolia (Morris Minor Traveller) - All Pain No Gain (Diahatsu Gran Move) - Alquimistas (Hyundai) - Are We There Yet? (Vauxhall Agila) - Aston Micra (K10 Nissan Micra) - Bits and Talls (Suzuki WagonR) - Blunderstruck (K11 Nissan Micra) - BOS MUTUS (Opel Corsa) - Bourne Dubbers (Volkswagen Polo) - Car Of The County Down (K11 Nissan Micra) - Challengers Of The East (Skoda Favorit LX) - Chitty Chitty Brum Brum (Ford Fiesta) - Cowboys Ted (Toyota Starlet) - Crazy Chemists (Toyota Yaris) - Cross Border Smugglers (Robin Reliant) - Don't Be Russian Us (K11 Nissan Micra) - Don't Worry, I Know A Shortcut (Vauxhall Corsa) - FC Mongoal (Suzuki WagonR) - Flawless (Ford Fiesta) - Foreign Beggars (Vauxhall Corsa) - Forty Percent Nuts (K11 Nissan Micra) - Gas Craic (K11 Nissan Micra) - Genghis Khan't And The Mongrels (Vauxhall Corsa) - Gentleman Explorers Club (K11 Nissan Micra) - Give Us A Push (Nissan Sunny) - Gobiyond (Ford Fiesta) - Hangover in Mongolia (Skoda 105 S) - Hatch Cassidy & The Sunroof Kid (K11 Nissan Micra) - Here Come The Hotsteppers (Suzuki WagonR) - Hop Skip & A Jump (K11 Nissan Micra) - How Hard Can It Be (Toyota Yaris) - Inglourious Bikers (Ford Fiesta) - Kangaskhan (K11 Nissan Micra) - Khan Fly (Subaru Justy) - Khan With The Wind (Volkswagen Polo) - KhanQuistadors (K11 Nissan Micra) - Korean Mongol Rally Team (Volkswagen Polo) - Kukaramakara (Hyundai Santamo) - La French (Renault 4L) - La French 2 (Renault 4L) - Lost Terriers (Volkswagen Polo) - Magical Madness Of A Smile (Fiat 127) - Making Trax (Toyota Yaris) - Making Trax 2 (Toyota Yaris) - Maps are for Yaks! (Vauxhall Corsa) - Micra-waves (K11 Nissan Micra) - Mind Matter (K11 Nissan Micra) - Mischief & Mayhem (Volkswagen Polo) - Mission Loco Motora (K11 Nissan Micra) - Mongraduates (Renault Clio) - More In Hope (Skoda Fabia) - My Left Tyre (Toyota Starlet) - Ndanka Ndanka (K11 Nissan Micra) - Never Look Yak (K11 Nissan Micra) - Not For The Social Driver (Toyota Yaris) - Now We're Farming (Daihatsu Sirion) - On The Run (K11 Nissan Micra) - Paddy Last (Suzuki Alto) - Panda Riders (Fiat Panda) - Pimp My Hide (K11 Nissan Micra) - Polostaan (Volkswagen Polo) - Quijote Team 1 (Subaru Libero) - Quijote Team 2 (Subaru Libero) - Rage Against The Micra Machine (K11 Nissan Micra) - Raiders Of The Lost Yak (K11 Nissan Micra) - Red Rocket Ronins (K11 Nissan Micra) - Samuel L Yakson (Suzuki WagonR) - Shamshir 1984 (Fiat Panda) - Sir Walter Rally And The Teenage Yurtbags (K11 Nissan Micra) - Skid-e-Lot (K11 Nissan Micra) - Skookum Caboose (Renault Clio) - SPQRally (Volkswagen Polo) - Stanpede Ralliers (Suzuki WagonR+) - Starsky & Clutch (Bedford Rascal) - Strange Fellows (Renault Clio) - Strawberry Seahorses (Skoda Fabia) - Superheroes In Training (Hyundai Atos) - Surely Notts! (Renault Modus) - TaiwanWay (Fiat Punto) - Team Alliance (Volkswagen Polo) - Team Anserimates (Suzuki WagonR) - Team BoPat (Peugeot 301) - Team Buffaloes (Toyota Yaris) - Team Formulary 1 (Toyota Yaris) - Team Fritz (Renault Kangoo) - Team Jelly Tot (Perodua Nippa) - Team Karma Kar (Fiat Panda) - Team Leipzig (Peugeot 205) - Team Nomad (Skoda Fabia) - Team Red Adder (Renault Clio) - Team Roffa (K11 Nissan Micra) - Team Slightly Lost (Volkswagen Polo) - Team SNASA (K11 Nissan Micra) - Team Yaks On Yaks On Yaks (Volkswagen Polo) - Team YORKidding (Ford Fiesta) - Team Zaczyn.pl (Mini) - The Baked Potatoes (Mini) - The Brazil Nuts Go To Mongolia (Citreon GSA) - The Chemical Brummers (K11 Nissan Micra) - The Confused Vikings (Skoda Fabia) - The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (Fiat Doblo) - The Haggis Hunters (K12 Nissan Micra) - The Horse & Radish (Subaru Justy) - The Ithaki Project (Renault 5) - The Lost Kiwis (Suzuki WagonR) - The Mongolroos (2x Motorbikes) - The Nerdventurists (Vauxhall Corsa) - The Renewables (K11 Nissan Micra) - The Spare Parts (Renault Clio) - The Sundance Kids (Vauxhall Corsa) - The Sussex Rum Runners (K11 Nissan Micra) - The Three Micrateers (K11 Nissan Micra) - The Top Hot Explorers (K11 Nissan Micra) - The Vast And The Curious (Bedford Rascal) - The Wienerschnitzels (K11 Nissan Micra) - The Wink Team (Nissan Note) - The Yakpack (K11 Nissan Micra) - Tin Khan (K11 Nissan Micra) - To Yak And Back (K11 Nissan Micra) - Top Dogs (Volkswagen Polo) - Tops Off Disco (K11 Nissan Micra) - Totinges Army (Skoda Fabia) - Travellers Of Cadan (Citreon AX) - TukTales (Volkswagen Polo) - Two Yaks In A Hatchback (Suzuki Alto) - Two-Stroke Rocket (Trabant) - Uhuru (Fiat Panda) - Where Eagles Dare (Suzuki Swift) - Where Eagles Dare 2 (Suzuki Swift) - Yaki Da (K11 Nissan Micra) - Yakin' Around (K11 Nissan Micra) - Yaktwurst (Peugeot 106 XN) - Yorkshire Special Branch (Vauxhall Agila) - Zulu Warriors (Peugeot 106)
Ralliers of 2015 - The DNFs
Some broke down, some crashed, some ran out of money, some burst into flames, and some turned around for visa reasons. Despite not making it to the finish line these teams all made a valiant effort to rally into the unknown. As a note, some of the team members did manage to finish, albeit without their cars (either my hitching, buses, or other ralliers).
3 Fists In (Suzuki Jimny) - A Cast-Iron Swine (Peugeot 206) A-Polo XI (Suzuki Swift) - Desert Dolphins (Suzuki Vitara JLX) - Dreamer-A Team (Motorbike) - Dreamer-B Team (Motorbike) - Fat Man On A Small Bike (Motorbike) - For Those About To YAK, We Salute You! (Volkswagen Beetle) - Genghis Tell (Renault Twingo) - Get On The Gryphon (Fiat Panda) - Iron Badgers (Motorbikes) - Licky Charms (Suzuki Alto) - Marco Yolo (K11 Nissan Micra) - Mong Direction (K11 Nissan Micra) - Mooving East (Peugeot 106) - OMJ (Mini Moke) - PandaRaptor (Fiat Panda) - Rocky Mountaineers (Subaru Libero) - Team Going Postal (Nissan Sunny) - Team Khanada (K11 Nissan Micra) - Team MacFoley (Volkswagen Polo) - Team Mongolf (Porsche 944) - The Angry Beaver And The YakAsses (Perodia Kenari) - The Dashing Donkeys (Suzuki WagonR) - The Dharma Bums (Fiat Panda) - The Dropbears (Peogeot 206) - The Gentle Wolves (Renault 4) - The Lost Yeti Hunters (Skoda Fabia) - The Mad Bombers (Citreon Saxo) - The Wandering Wombats (Ford Ka) - Three Blind Mice (Skoda Fabia) - Rally For Rexy (Fiat Punto) - The Mongol Story (Peugeot 106) - The Mongol Story (K11 Nissan Micra) - We Put The 'Ger' In Swinger (Peugeot 106) - World Dhesimation (Vauxhall Corsa)
Ralliers of 2015 - The MIAs
Despite extensive research many of these teams gave no update as to where they were or if they got to Ulan Ude. Several were last seen in Central Asia, some in Mongolia. Do you know if they finished? Please let us know!
Capota Mas Nao Breka (Vaulkswagen Lupo) - Genghis Car (Suzuki WagonR) - Genghis Khan't Stop Us (Mazda Tribute) - Isrally (Suzuki Swift) - Jimny Hendrix (Suzuki Jimny GLX) - Lord Of The Dings (Peugeot 206) - Me So Dirty Panda (Volkswagen Polo) - Mongol Midgets (MG Midget) - Nomad, No Cry (Renault Kangoo) - Team Storhemne (Peugeot 106) - Ulan Beetle (Volkswagen Beetle) - We Khan Team (Fiat 128) - Wrong Direction (NOT SURE)