For those unfamiliar with the Mongol Rally, it is a road race that covers more than 10,000 miles (16,000 km) across Europe and Asia. The race begins in England, and in the past it has run to Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. Once under way, racers are allowed to take any route they choose between those two points, as getting lost, getting found, and discovering new places is all part of the fun.
The the exact starting point for the 2015 Rally has not been announced yet, but the finish line has. The Adventurists, the crazy group of men and women who organize the Mongol Rally, have announced that next year's edition of the race will end in Ulan Ude, Russia for the very first time. This new ending point opens up the race to all new routes and challenges, and gives the teams of racers the option of traveling a northerly route above the Arctic Circle should they choose.
Before you start making plans for this massive road trip, there is one other important detail you should know. The racers aren't making the journey in a swanky Land Rover or other powerful vehicle. Mongol Rally rules stipulate that the vehicle used in the race should have a 1.2 engine or less, with a heavy emphasis on bringing a car that is far from the ideal. In fact, most racers pick something up off the scrap heap, make minimal upgrades and repairs, and simply race as far as it will take them.
In 2015, the cars are required to be at least 10 years old, and have an engine that is 1000cc or less. The entire point of the Rally is to have an adventure, and having a crazy, piece of crap car is part of that process. For the truly adventurous, the Rally will also allow two-wheeled vehicles, but they must be under 125cc. Consider what it would be like to ride across Europe and Asia on a scooter.
The 2015 Mongol Rally will get underway on Sunday, July 19. How long it takes for you to reach the finish line really depends on your route, how fast you want to go, and how well your vehicle performs. To find out more, and to register, visit the official Mongol Rally website.
And for a glimpse of the Rally, check out the video below.