Sandhurst duo set to drive Hummer through Morocco

Published: 2 Sep 2013 09:000 comments

A FATHER and son from Sandhurst will drive through mountains and desert after reaching the final of a major driving competition.

Roger, 57, and Mark Ayling, 23, have qualified for the Conti4x4trophy as one of 14 pairs of drivers.

In the final, the pair will be driving one of 14 Hummers through breathtaking scenery and sand dunes, navigating through rocky gorges and fords.

Roger, a civil servant, said: "We're really pleased and excited to have this opportunity, especially the chance to explore the rocky Atlas Mountains and sands of the Sahara.

"We can't wait to get out there and meet the other teams involved."

The six-day trip to Morocco in September will involve the two flying to Casablanca before travelling on to Ouarzazate, nicknamed 'the door to the desert', where films including Lawrence of Arabia, The Living Daylights, The Mummy and Gladiator were filmed. This is where the driving begins and they will navigate the difficult terrain during the day.

In the evening they will be pampered in a selection of luxury hotels, and also have a true Bedouin experience with one night camping under the stars.

The pair came top in the first stage of the competition run over 12 weeks, amassing the most 'virtual miles' by explaining why they wanted to take part in the event, through blogs and videos. They were one of 28 pairs of drivers invited to a qualifying event at the Land Rover test track near Banbury, where their skills and aptitude were tested.

The pair had to demonstrate their off-road driving ability and a range of other skills to be one of 14 pairs selected.

Mark, an air traffic services assistant, said: "It's going to be an unforgettable adventure - an exciting and rewarding challenge which will put our driving skills to the test. We're most looking forward to driving in the desert and trying to resolve any technical problems which might occur."

Peter Robb, from Contine-ntal Tyres, which organises the event, said it is "a once in a lifetime driving experience". He said: "Roger and Mark can expect a real challenge. We're really looking forward to them being part of an amazing adventure."

For information about the Conti4x4trophy, visit www.conti4x4trophy.co.uk.

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