Melvin the Micra Motors to Mongolia

Last year saw adventurer Chris Ramsey take his Nissan Leaf across continents to complete the Mongol Rally. This year there’s another Nissan going, but it’s arguably a less appealing proposition.

The infamous rally, starting this week and continuing until mid-august, has been entered by the Tiki Tourers in a 17-year-old Nissan Micra. The team, made up of Lucy Barrett and Chris Hyde, will take in 20 countries, three deserts and five mountain ranges as they head to Ulan-Ude in Southern Russia.

The rough terrain will be tough on the car, but Bridgestone Dueler All Terrain tyres should mean that they won’t be running out of grip in their £230 1.0-litre hatchback.

“I was watching Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman travel around Mongolia some years ago and the idea always appealed to me,” explained Hyde. “The biggest challenge was getting my partner Lucy to say yes, but she liked the idea too, so we are going!

“It then occurred to me that we would need some top quality tyres to keep us on track. For all the mechanical work done by my Lucy’s father Pete, we know that there’s only four contact points with the road, and that’s the tyres.

“We’ve always travelled, so we’ve always had an ambition to do a challenge combined with travelling,” he added. “We’re not ones for sitting on a beach.”

“The car cost us £230, but we’ve been preparing it every other weekend to iron out anything that could stop us, and there’s been a lot of investment through sponsors, including Bridgestone,” Chris added.

“There will be challenges, and I’m sure there’ll be a few heated conversations in the car, but together I think we’ll overcome anything. If you break down or crash, the organisers don’t come out and support you, you’ve got to sort it out yourself. But we can always seek help from locals if we have a massive break down that we can’t fix, that’s one of the great things about the rally.”

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Phil is a motoring writer for print and web, failed racing driver, car hoarder and banger rally competitor. Nominated for the Headline Auto Rising Star award and a MGMW member, Phil freelances for outlets as diverse as Diesel Car magazine, and Cambridge Magazine, amongst many others. He also maintains a fleet of unloved motors, but spends most of his time driving an old Corvette.

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