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Fordingbridge duo in final of Sahara racing contest
TWO men from Fordingbridge have been announced as finalists in a major driving competition.
Dylan Phillips 38, and Michael Gerrard 30, have won through to the final of the Conti4x4trophy – the driving experience of a lifetime.
The pair will be driving one of 14 Hummers, exploring the Atlas mountains and the Sahara Desert, crossing breathtaking scenery and fiery sand dunes, navigating through rocky gorges and fording spectacular rivers in the Continental Tyres competition.
The six day trip in September will see the two fly to Casablanca before travelling on to Ouarzazate, nicknamed ‘the door to the desert’ and where many films such as Lawrence of Arabia, The Living Daylights, The Mummy and Gladiator were filmed. This is where the driving begins.
They will navigate the difficult terrain during the day and be pampered at night in a selection of luxury hotels, and also have a true Bedouin experience with one night camping under the stars.
Mr Phillips and Mr Gerrard came top in the competition run over 12 weeks and were one of 28 pairs of drivers invited to a qualifying event at the Land Rover test track, where their skills and aptitude were tested. They had to demonstrate their off-road driving ability and a range of other skills.
Design engineer Mr Phillips said: “I once won a prize for my mum at a Tupperware party when I was eight.
“This is literally the first thing I have won since. I simply can’t wait to take on the challenge.”
Mr Gerrard, who is also a design engineer for a well-known sports car manufacturer, said: “I’m very excited about the trip. It still hasn’t fully sunk in but the opportunity for such an adventure is amazing.
“Both Dylan and I have never done anything on this scale. We have embarked on a few road trips with very challenging situations, but nothing this extreme and especially not with the off-road element.”
Peter Robb, spokesman for Continental Tyres, said: “This is truly a once in a lifetime driving experience – Dylan and Michael can expect a real challenge.
“We’re really looking forward to them being part of an amazing adventure.”
For more information about the Conti4x4trophy, visit www.conti4x4trophy.co.uk.
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