The London Tashkent Challenge
Kyrgyzstan Needs Our Bangers!
No money, no worries, no sense.
The London Tashkent rally is an alternative to the corporately sponsored and excruciatingly expensive Dakar rally and the likes. Following the success of the Plymouth-Banjul Challenge, which has successfully rehomed hundreds of LHD scrapyard fugitives to Banjul, in 2005 some brave souls started looking eastwards. And hence the London Tashkent was born.
2009-12 saw over 120 of Europe's finest bangers relocated 5000 miles and moved to the streets of Bishkek, where they will be cherised for ever by their new owners as a living tribute to our motoring heritage.
A brief pause in proceedings was necessary for 2013 due to some extreme disorganisation issues at the warmer end of the route, and 2014 is a bit close all of a sudden!
However with any luck and some serious diplomatic action involving Ferrero Rocher, 2015 will see the madness will start all over again. Around 60 of Europe's (often aided and abetted by a couple of "guest" teams from the US / Canada / Oz / New Zealand...) bravest banger drivers will set off in 30 bangers. Around three weeks later they will arrive in Central Asia, by which time border controls, corrupt policeman and pot holes you can stand up in will have reduced the 30 cars down to 20 or so.
On the way these valiant adventurers will experience the delights of Russian speed guns (their accuracy can vary by as much as 20 US dollars), a few laps of the Nurburgring, and will have negotiated both the Transfagarasan Highway (aka the greatest driving road in the world) and the Kazakh Steppes (aka the worst driving roads in the world). Around that, and breakdowns permitting, they'll try to fit day trips to underground cold war bunkers and some delightful missile silos.
Will you get lost? Probably
Will you break down? Probably
Will you have the best time of your life? Without a doubt!
Add in a few breakdowns, fuel that a 50cc moped would struggle to run on, and a large crate of Baltika 7, and you have the perfect holiday.
If you've read the above and have developed an irresistible urge to go down your nearest scrapyard and buy the first thing you see, you can register your interest for a 2015 event.
There are no restrictions to taking part - if you can drive (at least one of you anyway) you can come. Our oldest participant to date was 69 - beat that!
Nor do we require that your car is under 5 years old / left-hand drive / has a lawnmower engine - all we ask is that it's a bona-fide banger, and looks like one...