A COUPLE from Worcester will take on the challenge of a lifetime as they take on an epic 4,000 mile journey across Europe and Asia.

Francesca 'Frankie' Jones and her partner Jon Drinkwater decided to take on the challenge of completing the Mongol Rally, an annual endurance driving challenge which invites drivers to get to Mongolia in “The worst car they can find” which must be one litre or less.

The duo’s journey will begin in Prague in July before heading through Belarus, Latvia, Russia and into Mongolia before coming back into Russia for the final destination of Ulan-Ude in Siberia.

In total, the pair’s drive is expected to take around two months, and they have been preparing themselves for the journey and the difficulties they could face

Miss Jones, 23, said: “We have been preparing by driving the Mitsubishi Pajero that we will be using and getting used to it.

“We have got a tent in the roof which we will be sleeping in and we have got part of another Pajero which we will be using for spare parts when we need to make repairs.

“The journey will be interesting because the visa laws have changed meaning we only have 30 days to get across Russia so it will be a bit of a race against the clock.

"We will be taking it in turns behind the wheel and splitting it into shifts to make it easier.

“We aren’t quite sure what to expect climate-wise because in Mongolia we have been told it is extremely hot in the day and extremely cold at night.

"It is daunting because some of the areas we will be going can be pretty wild, but we are so excited for it we will just have to see for ourselves what it is like."

As part of the challenge, Miss Jones and Mr Drinkwater are raising money for two charities: Cool Earth, which is a rainforest charity, and The Ickle Pickles Children’s Charity, which provides incubators for babies.

One of the criteria for taking part in the Mongol Rally is that teams must raise at least £1,000 for charity, as well as being unsupported and ensuring their car is removed from Mongolia after the completion of the drive.

The Mongol Rally was first started in 2004 when six teams started and four finished the course.

Drivers are given a starting point, just outside of Prague, and an ending point in Russia, after that they can decide on their own route.

In 2015, the final destination was moved 500 km north from Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia to Ulan-Ude in Russia to save money on exporting the cars back home.

In the guide to the Mongol Rally, the organisers say that the adventure is not for the faint-hearted, saying: "If it's not dangerous and you aren't lost, you're not on an adventure.

"Any ‘Help! We’re broken down in Tajikistan,’ type phone calls to Rally HQ will be met with a snort of derision and a click of the receiver."

For more about Frankie and Jon's fund raising efforts, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/frankie-jones8 and coolearth.org/campaigns/25864/mongol-rally-2019-2/