A DENTIST from Builth Wells is gearing up to raise money for the international dental charity Dentaid by driving from Britain to Siberia in his grandma’s aging Renault Clio.
Chris Shorrock is revving up for the Mongol Rally, a 10,000 mile driving challenge that will take him from Goodwood race track, near Chichester, to Ulan Ude in eastern Russia.
Along the way Chris and his partner Rico Pena will drive through Europe – including Luxemburg, Liechtenstein and Macedonia – across Georgia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan before reaching the dusty Mongolian steppe and heading north into Siberia.
The intrepid adventurers will set off on July 16 and expect their challenge will take about six weeks.
Although many teams take part in the event, they all have to plot their own route and take their chances on the torturous roads. And, because there is no mechanical back up, Chris has attended a car maintenance course, swapping his dental drill for a spanner and learning some essential new skills.
“The car we’re driving used to belong to my grandma who used it as a runaround, so it’s going to be quite a challenge for us and the car,” said Chris.
“I’ve learned some mechanics and we’re toughening the bottom so it doesn’t get torn apart by rocks. We’ll take plenty of repair kits and hope for the best.”
The rules of the race say the journey must be completed in a car that is at least five-years -old with an engine capacity of no more than 1.2 litres.
In many places the roads will be bumpy, dusty or virtually non-existent and with searing temperatures and few places to stay, conditions will be tough. Visa restrictions in many of the countries the team will drive through also add the pressure to keep their foot down.
“Some people think I’m mad but we’re both really excited,” said Chris.
“In fact, we’re planning to drive home as well but there’s always the Trans-Siberian Railway if the car isn’t up to it.”
Chris, who works for MyDentist in Builth Wells, and Rico, have both volunteered with Dentaid in refugee camps in northern Greece. Working as part of a team, they provided emergency dental care for many refugees who had no access to treatment since leaving their homes.
“It was a really good experience and when the opportunity came up to do this amazing challenge I decided to fund raise for Dentaid,” added Chris. “We can’t wait to hit the road.”
To sponsor Chris in his Mongol Rally attempt visit www.mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/christophershorrock1
See full story in the County Times