Sign-ups opened today for the 2013 Mongol Rally, a fun, if not peculiar, race for charity in which teams cross almost the entire Eurasian continent–in granny-mobiles.
Put on by The Adventurists, an event-organizing, charitable group with the motto–”fighting to make the world less boring, and save a bit of it as well”–this year’s Mongol Rally kicked off in the UK seven days ago.
The race spans the entire continent of Europe and finishes in Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia, some 10,000 miles later.
To get an idea of the light-hearted manner with which the rally is conducted, consider the number one rule: drivers must use tiny cars.
“Cars should be small with an engine displacement of no larger than 1.2 litres,” according to the rules page. “Tiny Granny-mobiles if you will.”(Race participants are permitted to use scooters or motor bikes as well.)
According to The Adventurists, the sure-to-break-down cars help inject the spirit of adventure into the race. If you had a nice, dependable ride–say, a Range Rover–all you’d have to remember to do is fill it up. But when things go wrong, things start getting fun. Such are the ethos of the Mongol Race.
There is no prescribed route either. Teams tend to wander all over Eurasia, with some dipping down and cruising through Afghanistan and Iran, others going straight through the middle, and others still taking a cruise through the north in the arctic regions.
This year, 300 teams launched into the Mongol Rally, departing from the Goodwood Motor Circuit on Saturday, July 14.
You can meet some of this year’s participants in this video.
To get in on the mayhem, sign up for next year’s race here.