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Philip Young and Paul Brace break the world record driving from Cape Town to London Philip Young and Paul Brace break the world record driving from Cape Town to London

Triumph at the Arch! Cape Town to London record smashed as Panda arrives back in London

11 February 2013

History was made this evening when the "three Ps" - Philip Young, Paul Brace and the Fiat Panda - made a final celebratory circuit of Marble Arch before triumphantly passing under the iconic London landmark.

The Panda arrived to popping champagne corks and jubilant cheering before the engine was allowed to rest for the final time at 5.28pm UK time - 10 days 13 hours and 28 minutes after leaving Cape Town. The previous best was 11 days, 14 hours and 11 minutes.

Bulbs flashed as the daredevil duo emerged from the car looking dazed but elated to wild backslapping and handshakes.

And, in a moving tribute, one of the very first people to congratulate the pair was Brigadier John Hemsley, who held the record for the quickest drive from Cape Town to London for 30 years, until this evening.

Drivers Philip Young (left) and Paul Brace enjoy their champagne moment under London's Marble Arch

Read the BBC report of the duo's triumph.

And make all that sweat and pain worthwhile by making a donation here.

Out of Africa, into Europe

10 February 2013

The three Ps - Philip, Paul and the Panda - set sail last night across the Mediterranean from Tunis to Palermo in Sicily.

But their departure was not without drama! A two hour delay in sailing was bad enough, but a particularly conscientious customs official raised the stakes further when he could not find the entry stamp into Tunisia in Philip's passport! After some running round to find the official's superior, the entry stamp was eventually found tucked into a page full of stamps from the other countries driven through so far.

The Panda is now fast approaching Sicily where it will dock at Palermo before heading for another 20 minutes crossing across the Straits of Messina and onto the Italian mainland. From there it should be plain sailing.

Despite the drama of Tunis, the team are still very much on schedule to arrive at London's Marble Arch tomorrow afternoon to break the world record.

Find out more about the team and track their progress all the way back to London via the Yellowbrick icon!

Make a donation on the drivers' fundraising page to make all their hard work, sweat and tears worth it!

The Panda on the picturesque streets of Tunis

Panda arrives triumphantly at the top of Africa!

9 February 2013

Philip and Paul always felt that just getting into Libya would be harder than getting across the country due to a political situation that has seen the country closed off to foreigners.

But excellent planning and preparation means that the driving duo swept through the border post to the waves and smiles of the Libyan officials. They ate up the 1,550 kms across this vast state in just under 18 hours and have now completed the final 600km run through Tunisia to its capital Tunis.

They are now taking some well earned rest at the port from where they will make the 6 hour crossing to Palermo in Sicily at about 11pm tonight.

So by early Sunday morning the pair will drive off the ferry and on to European soil just nine days after setting off from Cape Town.

They drivers are extremely tired as you can imagine but are well set to arrive in London on Monday afternoon, meaning they should comfortably break the record of 11 and a half days.

Track the drivers' progress 

Help motivate the drivers by making a donation.

 

Into Libya!

8 February 2013

Another huge hurdle in the way of world record glory was removed today when the Fiat Panda crossed the border from Egypt into Libya.

All foreigners have been banned from Libya and Philip and Paul have always seen the crossing from Egypt into Libya as the 'hardest nut to crack'. But thanks to incredibe preparation which has seen the intervention of UK parliamentarian, Lord David Steel, the Panda was greeted with smiles, handshakes and lots of good luck wishes.

Before arriving at the Libya border the pair had spent 24 hours eating up 1,813kms as they sped through Egypt. The only hitch came in Cairo when the Panda drove over some broken glass, collecting four punctures which could only be fixed with a visit to a tyre repairer.

The pair have spent today driving across yet more North African desert scenery with the Sahara to their left and the Mediterranean to their right. They are heading for the border of restive Tunisia, hoping that they will be able to cross into their last African country and make it to Tunis in time for their ferry early Sunday across the Mediterranean to Palermo in Sicily.

Track the drivers' progress 

Help motivate the drivers by making a donation.

 

Panda pair first to use new Sudan-Egypt crossing

7 February 2013

Philip and Paul stepped into the history books this morning when they became the first people allowed to use a new border crossing designed to speed up passing from Sudan into Egypt.

The drivers were met on the Sudanese side at Wadi Halfa by officials who drove with the pair in the darkness to the shores of Lake Nasser on the River Nile.

Stamps were then produced from the officials' uniform pockets to mark the drivers' passports which were spread out on the bonnet of the Fiat Panda.

The officials then helped the drivers load the Panda on to a military barge which set off for the Egyptian side of the lake at dawn.

Veteran British parliamentarian Lord David Steel played a key role in gaining permission from the Sudan Government for the pair to use the new crossing. Lord Steel is President of the UK's Endurance Rally Association which is backing the record attempt.

The drivers have refuelled the car which is now ahead of schedule thanks to the help of Sudanese officials at the border. Last time we spoke to them the drivers were making excellent progress north towards Cairo.

You can watch the drivers' progress here via Yellowbrick's Panda Tracks.

And you can help motivate the drivers as they make a last push for London by making a donation here.

Driver Philip Young watches as a Sudanese official stamps his passport on the shores of Lake Nasser at the Sudan Egypt border.

 

Reaching Sudan just in time

6 February 2013

Philip and Paul found the people of Ethiopia great, enjoying the cheers as they passed and offers of help whenever they stopped.

The pair found the drive through Ethiopia very different and with petrol being a rare commodity, running out of fuel was their biggest worry. Filling up both tanks and cans, they set off for the long overnight drive to the Sudan border. They were forced to push the car's 'eco' button to save fuel. Both Philip and Paul had to be creative in other ways to save petrol, including cruising down hills in neutral or with the engine turned off. 

It was a tough night, but the pair made it to the Sudan border just in time, with the fuel light flashing and the Panda running on petrol fumes. Now they're making their way across the country, with Eygpt in their sights.

The road to Ethiopia

5 February 2013

Philip and Paul faced their biggest challenge so far with the road from Marsibit to Moyale. The roads seemed to be worse than last year and there were worries the car wouldn't make it. But the pair and the Panda pulled into Moyale two hours sooner than the predicted 12 hours. Crossing the border into Ethiopia went smoothly. Once in Ethiopia they faced a 300km diversion on to a gravel track. The next worry was fuel. They don't have much in Ethiopia, preferring a much more gentle mode of transport... the donkey. So a lot of the afternoon was spent trying to get fuel, before making their way up to Addis Ababa. The team now face a long, hard night to the border of Sudan.

Read their blog to see how they're coping with the journey so far...

The Marsabit road

Smooth entry into Kenya

4 February 2013

After three days the duo have driven more than 5,500km and through four countries.

The team have faced many challenges crossing Tanzania, including speed bumps every few kilometres and holes in the road slowing down their progress across the country.

But Philip and Paul stuck with it, and had a smooth and quick crossing through the border into Kenya. They then drove on to Nairobi, where they met up with friends who helped them through the busy city using the quickest route possible.

They have passed through Nairobi and now face the road to Marsabit, which will test the drivers' skills and the Panda's strength.

Driving on the open road in Kenya

The team took time out at Marsabit to have a mechanic check the Fiat Panda over and get ready for the next leg of the journey, including hiring a guard and mechanic to escort them to Moyale. They have been told the 250km there will take approximately 12 hours - travelling at about 13mph all the way. We wish them the best of luck.

Crossing into Tanzania

3 February 2013

It's day three and after a long night driving through northern Zambia on the worst road they have faced so far, it hasn't been easy. It was a much harder to drive with pot holes, broken trucks and dancing shadows, but the Fiat Panda has handled the bumps very well, and is impressing everyone with its strength and the distance and tough roads it has done.

There has been a four-hour delay in today's schedule after problems at the Tanzania border. Paul and Philip had to return for a missing stamp after 100km and meet a checkpoint. They are now running four hours late, the first real setback of the challenge.

Philip and Paul have spent the day driving through Tanzania's national parks, trying to make up for the delay they had at the Tanzanian border early this morning. It is an unfortunate setback, but some delays were to be expected.

On the drive to Morogoro, the pair had the opportunity to see the local wildlife, with elephants on one side of the road and giraffes on the other.

The local wildlife

Let's see what tomorrow brings...

To see where they are now, visit the Africa Record Run website.

Crossing the Zambezi...

2 February 2013

Philip and Paul have spent a long night driving through Botswana to the Kazungula ferry. Thanks to their planning and getting hold of immigration forms in advance, it only took minutes for border formalities, reaching the Zambezi as the sun rose over the water. The Zambezi river is nearly a mile wide and fast flowing so the crossing had to be done on a pontoon, which was done in the company of a pair of crocodiles! The duo have safely arrived in Zambia in the Fiat Panda, which is still going strong. They have arrived in Livingstone where they are taking a brief break to refuel and have a nice breakfast, before continuing their journey through Zambia.

Crossing the Zambezi river

©gerardbrown

The pair have had a long day driving, stopping only briefly five hours after Livingstone. Despite torrential rains of a thunder storm, Philip and Paul arrived in Mpiki ahead of schedule. This allowed them the luxury of finding a hotel for a wash, a few precious hours' sleep, before starting the night drive to Tanzania.

See how they are getting on at the Africa Record Run website.

Philip Young and Paul Brace start their world-record drive

1 February 2013

The clock has started, at 6am the adventure driving from Cape Town to London began. Philip and Paul were waved off by MSA official Bob, hotel staff and locals.

Philip had spent most of the night before trying to sort out final glitches with visas and borders. 

Setting off from Cape Town

Philip and Paul have spent the day driving through South Africa, across the vast, open plains of the Karoo region. Next they made their way up through Kimberley heading towards Mafeking. From there the duo will cross the border into Botswana to the Kazungula ferry.

See where they are and follow the drivers' progress on the Africa Record Run website.

South Africa media attention before drivers set off on their world-record attempt

31 January 2013

Driving adventurers Philip Young and Paul Brace enjoyed lots of media interest this morning in South Africa on both TV and radio. The duo started at Expresso, South Africa's top breakfast TV show, where they were seen by 1.3 million viewers. The Expresso TV studio is seven floors up in the Penthouse and although the Fiat Panda is small, it is not small enough to fit into the elevator. So the basement carpark was cleared and turned into an impromptu studio. Philip and Paul then rushed across Cape Town to do a live interview with Heart radio. The rest of the day was sent preparing and relaxing before they set off first thing in the morning. Let's see what tomorrow brings...

Philip Young and Paul Brace meet Expresso presenter

Drivers make final preparations for ten-day world record drive from Cape Town to London

30 January 2013

The British driving duo Philip Young and Paul Brace have landed in Cape Town and are making final preparations for their epic attempt to break the world record by driving from Cape Town to London in ten days. Good to see that they have given the car a good wash before they set out!

washing the car before they set off!

Read our latest press release for route details and more.

From Friday 1 February you will be able to follow the drivers' progress here.

Background to the challenge

On 1 February 2013 rallying duo Philip Young and Paul Brace will set off from Cape Town to London in an attempt to break the world record for driving between the two cities in a non-specialist car.

They have chosen Farm Africa as the charity to benefit from their effort to beat the time set by Brigadier John Hemsley 30 years ago when he drove into the Guinness Book of Records after completing the gruelling journey in just 14 days. 

1000 miles a day in a Fiat Panda

They will be hurtling from the bottommost tip of Africa to the top and beyond in a car more commonly used as a small city run-around: the latest model of the Fiat Panda Twin-Air, ‘powered’ by little more than an 85 bhp turbocharged engine of less than one litre.

Philip and Paul are aiming to complete the entire 10,300 mile journey to London in ten days. To pull that off they will have to drive 1,000 miles a day on all kinds of roads and terrain, from desert trails and narrow tarmac roads to rough tracks through jungles – while respecting the speed limits. They will also have to cope with chronic traffic jams as they battle their way through the chaos and congestion of various cities.

Non-stop across deserts and through jungle

The two-man crew will constantly be on the move, with one sleeping on a foam mattress while the other drives and navigates.

And if they were to find themselves motoring up the A20 towards London just ten days after setting out from under Cape Town’s Table Mountain, the British pair would have broken the overall record for any type of car. That record was snatched two years ago by a three-man crew which completed the drive in 11.5 days in a Land Rover Discovery.

 

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