• Adventurist team will participate in Mongol Rally
  • Small 1.2 L Aveo will drive from Goodwood (U.K.) to Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia)
  • Car and donations will go to SOS Children’s Villages
  • 1.5 meter One World Futobol and care package will be delivered to kids in Mongolia
  • Starting at Goodwood on July 14 – ending in Ulaanbaatar on August 18

Chevrolet Aveo Mongol Rally Team

Zurich. On July 14, a very special Chevrolet Aveo departs from Goodwood motor circuit on a no-backup, no support, no-set-route Mongol Rally adventure of more than 9,000 miles, to raise money for childrens’ charities.

The Aveo’s FIRST Mongol Rally Team will take a 1.2L Aveo small car on a journey full of obstacles: mountains, deserts, bad roads, no roads, bandits. The rally team trio, comprising of an experienced marketing manager, Guy White, an investment banker, Ed Kliphuis, and a developmental biology researcher, Arnout Schepers, all of them with no rally or car knowledge, are driving the Aveo to raise much-needed money for SOS Children’s Villages along the way.

Asked about their motivation to do this, Guy White answered: “Life is for living and there are only certain moments in your life when you can make something like this actually happen. Driving across a third of the world, meeting so many incredible people, having so many unbelievable memories and doing some good while doing it, is just a perfect combination. I want to be one of those grandfathers that has grandchildren who want to hear his stories.”

The team which met – for the first time – three years ago on a rugby field in Geneva, is collecting donations for SOS Children’s Villages in Mongolia – to which also the Aveo will be donated. They are also “selling” interesting interaction opportunities for this good cause along the way: Check it out on:

The Route

The Mongol Rally is very different from other rallies in that there is no fixed route. There are only two joint milestones that the teams need to hit: the so-called Czechout Party in the historic Klenova Castle in the Czech Republic, where live bands will play and people will camp in verdant meadows, and the arrival parties in Ulaanbaatar. What the team can expect in between those points and where they will drive exactly is not known to them at this point in time.

Some teams will go south via Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan, others will go north via the Arctic circle and another group will travel through central Asia. “To keep the sense of a true expedition, the organisers, “the adventurists”, refuse to make any route recommendations or give information on what to expect,” says Guy White. “This is not a vacation trip. It is a real adventure, exemplified maybe also by the warning you can find on the adventurists’ website that some people participating in their rallies lost their lives or became disabled.”

The team expects to drive the 8,780 km in 34 days and has planned the following route and schedule:

The route of the Aveo’s FIRST Mongol Rally Team
Leg From To Miles Days Date
NW Europe Goodwood, (U.K.) Czech Republic 940 2 days July 14
SE Europe Czech Republic Turkey 1,250 3 days July 16
Turkey Istanbul Armenia 940 3 days July 20
Caucasus Armenia Azerbaijan 560 2 days July 22
Caspian Sea Baku Turkmenbashi 130 2 days July 23
Turkmenistan Turkmenbashi Turkmenabat 750 3 days July 25
Uzbekistan Turkmenabat Uchkurgan 620 2 days July 27
Kazakhstan Lugovoy Semeyrus 1,400 7 days July 31
Russia Semey Mongolian border 940 4 days August 5
Mongolia Mongolian border Ulaanbaatar 1,250 6 days August 9
Total 8,780 34 days August 17

On its way, the team will visit kids in three SOS Children’s Villages: in Vienna, Austria, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The team will also transport a care package from the SOS Children’s Village in Austria to the one in Mongolia and provide virtually indestructible footballs to the kids in Uzbekistan and Mongolia.

The team’s progress can be followed on

The adventurists have raised over €4.5 million for charities with various programs. The money raised with the Mongol Rally will go toward the Lotus charity for children.

The car

The 1.2L Aveo with 86 hp is the standard production car – but it has undergone some special preparations for this long trip on often difficult roads:

  • All-terrain tyres were fitted
  • The suspension was reinforced, stiffened and raised
  • A front bull-bar and drive-train protection guards were fitted
  • A high-voltage, heavy-duty battery was fitted
  • Additional headlamps were mounted on the roof carrier and extra interior lights were fitted for map reading
  • An engine sump guard was added
  • The team are carrying a heavy-duty hydraulic jack, fuel canisters and spare wheels and a first-aid kit

The team

Ed Kliphuis

Edward is a specialist in Life Sciences and Healthcare equity sales for a boutique investment bank in the Netherlands (Kempen & Co). His daily job is to raise capital for cash-strapped life science companies. Edward has a lot of experience collecting money for good purposes. As a student in University City Leiden he raised money for Kika (helping children who have a long time disease) by sailing the channel. He also supported a project to build a school in Mataram on Lombok (Indonesia).

Arnout Schepers

Arnout completed his Ph.D. in developmental biology as recently as in June 2012, working on stem cells, ingenious disease models and cancer research to find clues to fight cancer. In the future, he hopes to have his own laboratory. In his spare time, he likes to run, cycle, play hockey and to windsurf. He is attracted to challenges and adventures, and therefore the team decided that he will have to be the first to approach and get on with aggressive border guards.

Guy White

Guy is a marketing manager with over ten years of experience and a proven track record in global brand development, multi-country launches, portfolio strategy development and new business creation. He recently worked at Procter & Gamble where he was responsible for their global development markets and brands. He is a member of the Hermance Rugby Club that played in the Swiss National League, he likes to ski, snowboard, skydive, paraglide and scuba dive.

How the Aveo adventure team was formed

Several years ago, Guy was yearning for a bit of adventure. Asking around, he heard about something called the Mototaxi Junket – a rally from Peru to Paraguay in a Mototaxi (which is nearly the same thing as an Indian Rickshaw, but worse). While in South America, he met the guys behind this crazy idea – the Adventurists – and found out they did all sorts of other adventures, including the Mongol Rally.

About a year ago, he was reminiscing about the amazing time he had on the Junket and Ed said it sounded insane but amazing. Anyway, a few beers later, Guy described the Mongol Rally to Ed, suggesting he might be interested in doing it. He wasn’t serious. He thought the whole idea was insane. The Junket had been hard enough. Ed, being a salesman… actually, a drunk salesman at this point… told Guy that if he was a real man he would do it. Guy, being competitive and a little foolhardy, rose to the challenge and they shook on it with the following conversation:

Ed: “Shall we do it?” Guy: “Really?” Ed: “Yes, really? Are you chicken?” Guy: “Pah – no!… Do you know how to fix a car?” Ed: “No, do you?… Actually, don’t answer that – I’ve seen how you drive…” Guy: “Whatever! I’m only going to do it if you’re serious… We’re going do it properly. Get sponsorship and raise lots for charity. My only regret from the Mototaxi was we didn’t raise enough for charity.” Ed: “For sure. Let’s do it!”

And it was done.

The next morning, Ed called up Arnout, (who he said had to come along – as the only man he knew that would be able to stop the guys killing each other) who for reasons best known to himself agreed instantly (and besides that, who wouldn’t want to get lost with a stem cell biologist in the Mongolian desert…?).

The rest, as they say, is history.