Stoke Newington's Hackney Gentlemen's Racing Club on rally to Mongolia

A group of intrepid friends from Stoke Newington will be driving 10,000 miles across 18 countries in a clapped-out rally car next month to raise money for children's charities.

Matt Treadgold, 29, and his teammates Alexa Taylor, 26, Mark Minchin, 29, and Steve Wong, 39, will be squeezing into a tiny one litre car bought on the internet to travel from London to Mongolia on July 4.

The friends, calling themselves Hackney Gentlemen's Racing Club, will be tackling mountains, deserts, bad roads and no roads on the Mongol Rally to raise £3,000 for three charities - Haven House Children's Hospice, Christina Noble Children's Foundation and the Esther Benjamin's Trust.

Matt, who lives in Alkham Road, Stoke Newington, said: "We don't have a detailed route planned, any real mechanical experience and don't speak any languages.

"We just thought as a joke, it would be really fun - then when the time came to sign up, we thought why don't we just take the plunge?"

The four adventurers have put most of their efforts so far into preparing their car, which they bought for £700, but are now looking forward to hitting the road.

"We are a little bit nervous but it is going to be a fantastic time," said Matt, who works for the Home Office.

The team want residents and businesses in the borough to back them in their gruelling challenge.

"Hackney has got quite a strong community and we really wanted to incorporate that within our team.

"We want to do as much as possible for the community to get behind us."

To sponsor Hackney Gentlemen's Racing Club, go to www.hgrc.org.
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