Two Manchester drivers will experience an adrenaline fuelled ride across Casablanca in September after reaching the finals in a major motorist competition which saw them passing two gruelling qualifying stages.
Arnout Andrews and co-driver Andrew Hayes, both 46, sped ahead of the competition in the first of three stages of the Conti4x4trophy coming top in the 12-week long challenge.
The competition, set up by Continental Tyres, will see the pair two fly to Casablanca in September before travelling on to scenic Ouarzazate where films like Lawrence of Arabia, The Living Daylights, The Mummy and Gladiator were filmed.
Arnout and Andrew will be driving one of 14 Hummers, exploring the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert, crossing breath-taking scenery and fiery sand dunes, navigating through rocky gorges and meandering spectacular rivers.
The competition began with a virtual rally where teams could earn miles through tasks like making a video of themselves, purchasing Continental tyres and subscribing to their social media sites.
The top 28 teams then progressed to the second stage, an off-road trial at Land Rover Experience in Gaydon, where they undertook a series of challenges ‘designed to test their spirit of adventure, teamwork and have-a-go attitude’ managing to qualify in the top 14 teams.
Mr Hayes, an IT solutions architect, said: “I’ve been good friends with Arnout since school and we are really looking forward to the challenge.
“We have both always competed in exciting and tough sporting tests throughout our lives, such as mountain biking, triathlons and snowboarding, but this tops the lot.
“Neither of us have ever done anything quite like this; however, I fully expect to enjoy the excitement of the trip – I enjoy being tested and this experience should certainly deliver that.”
Mr Hayes said: “There will be obstacles to overcome, but I will relish the chance to immerse myself in a foreign culture and climate.”
The pair can also expect to be pampered at night in a selection of 4-star luxury hotels, as well as a true Bedouin experience with one night camping under the stars.
Arnout, an environmental consultant, said: “I am looking forward to being in a very different landscape, far out in the desert in the middle of nowhere – it will be a unique experience and I can’t wait to get out there and soak it up.”
Peter Robb, spokesperson from Continental Tyres said: “This is truly a once in a lifetime driving experience – Andrew and Arnout can expect a real challenge. We’re really looking forward to them being part of an amazing adventure!”
For more information about the Conti4x4trophy, click here.
Picture courtesy of Johan Douma via Flickr, with thanks.