A teenager and his two friends are part way through a challenge to drive 10,000 miles through 20 countries to raise money for charity.
Andy Bichan, 19, from Stamford, and his friends Rory Langan, 18, from Kibworth near Leicester, and Ben Lovell, from Wilbarston, Northants, both 19, are taking part in the gruelling Mongol Rally.
The teenage trio, all former pupils at Stamford School, set off from Battersea Park, in London, earlier this month to drive to Ulan Bator in Mongolia to raise money for the charity Clic Sargent.
The charity supports children and teenagers being treated for cancer and leukaemia, and helps their families during worrying and stressful times.
Before setting off, Rory said: “All three of us know people our own age suffering very serious illnesses who have been helped by this fantastic charity.
“We had been talking about entering a rally in Britain, but then Andy heard about the Mongol Rally and we liked the sound of that.
“It seemed such a huge challenge and one that appealed to us in our gap year before going to university.”
One stipulation is that teams have to tackle the rally in a car with an engine not larger than 1000cc.
The friends bought a 1997 VW Polo on eBay for £500, which had 65,000 miles on the clock before they started the journey.
The rally should take between three and five weeks and take the trio through 20 countries, including Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Russia and Uzbekistan.
Rory said: “There is very challenging terrain along the way – the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan is one of the driest and hottest places on the planet.
“Crossing the Caspian Sea is another big hurdle. Ferries are irregular and crossings have been known to take 96 hours, even though the sea is not much wider than the English channel.
The friends have undergone months of planning, filling in visa applications, learning mechanical skills to cope with a breakdown and Ben has been brushing up his A-level Russian.
Rory said: “Andy, Ben and I decided to combine the adventure of a lifetime with going flat out to raise funds for Clic Sargent. We hope people will support us.”
To donate, go to www.justgiving.com/kccmongolrallychallenge.