Stanmore electrician set for 'crazy' 10,000 mile Mongol Rally
A Stanmore electrician is preparing to drive 10,000 miles to Mongolia in a hatchback he bought on eBay to raise money for charity.Ken Lau, 33, of Aldridge Avenue, will set off on his trek to Ulaanbaatar on Saturday as part of the Mongol Rally, an event where competitors drive across 18 countries in five to six weeks in a car with an engine size of less than one litre.
For Mr Lau, it is an adventure through countries like Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan he decided to take alone to raise money for Cancer Research after he was personally affected by the disease.He said: “I had a friend who was recently diagnosed with testicular cancer, and I decided I wanted to do something to raise some money.“I’ve had a bit of a change of direction in my life and sometimes you just have to do something completely different and take the bull by the horns.
”The rally has no official route and competitors are banned from using GPS devices or satellite navigation, and drivers are warned that others have been seriously injured or died taking part.Mr Lau’s 10-year-old Suzuki Swift, bought for a bargain on eBay, is currently being frantically worked on by mechanics at a garage in Wigton Gardens to get it ready for the journey, but he concedes he may have to improvise if he breaks down on an Uzbek motorway.He said: “I’ll have a boot full of spare parts and hopefully my electrician skills might come in handy.“It might not have been the best idea to buy the car on eBay – most people see the car and say ‘that’s never going to make it’, but with a bit of luck hopefully I can prove them wrong.
“There’s no prize for finishing first and if you do, it shows that you haven’t got lost and had an adventure. It’s all about getting your of your comfort zone and doing something crazy.”The event has taken place since 2004 and last year 350 teams braved the journey to try and make it to Mongolia via a variety of different routes.The rally also raises money for the Lotus Children’s Centre in Ulaanbaatar, which cares for 90 vulnerable orphaned children, and Mr Lau will spend time volunteering at the centre when he gets there.