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VW team set for third world record drive

2014-09-04 08:42

READY TO ROLL: All set with their VW Touareg for the trek through Europe and down the length of Africa are the Zeitlow team (from left) Matthias Prillwitz, Rainer Zietlow and Marius Biela. Image: Volkswagen

NORDKAPP, Norway - To drive from the northernmost part of Europe to the southernmost part of Africa in record time: that's the target for Team Zietlow and a VW Touareg 4x4 SUV - which, given the vehicle, shouldn't  be too difficult.

The trip will start on September 21 from Nordkapp, Norway, and finish about 10 days later at Cape Agulhas.

That's the same start/finish lines as used by a middle-aged South African couple, Sally and Stanley Hannath, who in early 2013 took five months to do the trip but at least they saw lots of countryside, covered 32 000km and raised a lot of money for a hospital charity.

THREE HUSKY GUYS

They also covered 15 000km more than the Zietlow team's planned route - though to be fair the Scandinavian crew will drive home again...

The Zietlow team of three husky guys will drive through Europe and then the length of the eastern side of the Africa continent to the southernmost point of Africa, Cape Agulhas - which the media release incorrectly describes as "where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet".

Rainer and team are planning to reach Cape Agulhas in around 10 days after driving through Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Egypt, Sudan, Ethopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Awaiting the adventurers are deep potholes in Sudan and Ethiopia (not to mention South Africa, to be fair) countless switchbacks in the African Highlands and the infamous "Road of Hell" with its corrugated and volcanic rock surface in northern Kenya.

Temperatures typically range from freezing in Norway to 48 degrees Celsius in Sudan.

MOVING DOT ON A MAP

During the record attempt drive the team will post daily reports on their experiences on their website www.touareg-capetocape.com. They will also have a blog with photos and a brief video which will provide information on each day's stage.

The current position of the Touareg will also be shown on a virtual map that will be updated every five minutes.

The team has pledged to support "Food & Trees for Africa" with the planting of about 600 trees around the city of Johannesburg in October 2014. These trees will make the entire "Touareg CapetoCape" project CO2 and climate-neutral, including the record drive and the scouting tour early this year.

Wheelsd24 wonders if they know that Johannesburg is already the most-treed city in the entire world?

Once the team has rested for a few days the Touareg and its crew will start on the return journey, this time to Germany.

• The Zietlow team already has two world-record drives: Tierra del Fuego to Alaska along the Panamericana in 11 days and 17 hours an Melbourne to St Petersburg in 17 days and 18 hours.

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