Cape Agulhas - The Longest Drive team, driving from North Cape in Norway, has successfully reached Cape Agulhas in South Africa in an incredible 8 days 21 hours and 3 minutes.
During their extremely challenging journey, the team of three, covered more than 17 000km in a Porsche Cayenne SUV, breaking the former record by 7 hours and 6 minutes. The team is comprised of a trio of veteran drivers - Shaun Neill (South Africa), Vitoldas Milius (Lithuania), Jan Kalmar (Denmark).
Team leader Kalmar said: “The previous record time was good, so we had to avoid time-consuming mistakes. A big motivation for the team was that more people walked on the moon than those, who managed to accomplish this non-stop journey of almost cosmic proportions.
“This is what kept us motived to move forward during the whole journey.”
Richard Mitchell, the mayor of Cape Agulhas Municipality, congratulated The Longest Drive crewmembers upon their arrival. Kalmar presented him with a municipality flag brought all the way from Nordkapp - a gift from Mayor Kristina Hansen.
The previous record was held since September 2015 by Rainer Zietlow, Marius Biela and Sam Roach after they completed the Cape-to-Cape journey from south to north in 9 days, 4 hours and 8 minutes driving a Volkswagen Touareg V6.
FOLLOW THE TEAM:
Project website: www.thelongestdrive.net
Facebook: The Longest Drive
Very difficult challenge
Though every member of The Longest Drive crew has vast experience in long distance driving, it was a challenge to accomplish their record-setting drive. In order to break the previous record of 9 days 4 hours and 9 minutes, careful preparations, strict driving, a resting order and attentive handling of the car was required.
For example, every stop at a gas station took under 8 minutes, winter tire change was also performed in about 8 minutes, and even two broken rims were repaired in about 40 minutes.
During their record drive, The Longest Drive crew crossed 20 countries in total. To cross the borders in the shortest time possible, the crew had to take care of all required documentation in advance and to find locals who would help speed up the process. The biggest challenge was not to drive a modern car though Africa, but to cross the sometimes very chaotic borders.
The other challenging task was driving the car non-stop. Each team member went through a 6-hour shift before the next driver would take over. Furthermore, wild animals represented a big risk while driving in Africa, therefore the driver and co-driver had to be fully concentrated at any time.
Overcoming bad luck
Despite all the difficulties and horrible road conditions, The Longest Drive crew managed to reach Cape Agulhas - although with a quite warned out Porsche Cayenne that endured three broken rims, four broken tires, a broken shock absorber, broken windscreen and a bend suspension.
The team also experienced some difficulties with the car after they filled it with low quality gasoline in Ethiopia, but the problem was quickly solved by getting better quality fuel.
Having accomplished their challenging journey and successfully setting a new record, The Longest Drive team is especially grateful to all its supporters. The whole team is also thankful to more than 7000 fans on Facebook, who closely followed their progress.
Planning for the next project is already underway.
Facts and figures:
The Longest Drive record: 8 days 21 hours and 3 minutes – including parking the car for 19 hours 10 minutes to compensate for the flown distance.
Previous record: 9 days 4 hours and 9 minutes
Difference: 7 hours and 6 minutes
Total distance: 17 475 km
Fuel consumed: 1949 l
Average consumption: 11.16 l/100 km
Longest Drive - The Team
Shaun Neill (South Africa):
An adventurer, who spent a year racing Ferrari 360 Challenger's in the GT Series in South Africa, and then a season in the VW Polo Cup Series. South African show jumping champion for 3 times.
Vitoldas Milius (Lithuania):
Editor-in-chief of "Auto Bild Lietuva" magazine. Experienced adventurer and driver, has done a lot of record drives. Murmansk-Magadan-Murmansk, Lisbon-Vladivostok, Northcape – Tarifa are just a few of his achievements.
Jan Kalmar (Denmark):
Automotive enthusiast and full-blown petrol head.
Longest Drive - the car:
- Porsche Cayenne.
- Unmodified 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel engine (180kW/580Nm) and original drive train.
- Modifications: Weight reductions, full roll cage, bull bar and under body protection. Winch, 200-litre fuel tank, fridge and specially reclining rear seat for sleeping. Tracking systems, satellite phone and internet.