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The Corporation

Posted: 13/07/16

Students help daring duo get motoring

Motor vehicle engineering students at West Nottinghamshire College’s Engineering Innovation Centre have jump-started an amazing driving adventure for two daredevil ladies this week.

(lr) Jane Box, Rosi Moore-Fiander, tutor Dave Donald and motor vehicle students Katie Rickett and Sasha Jephson

Kitting out a 14-year-old Nissan Micra with new brakes, radiator, fan, pump and thermostat and removing the back seats was the first stage for engineering students to help lifelong friends Rosi Moore-Fiander and Jane Box’s ambition of driving the Mongol Rally, come true.

Friends for over 35 years, Jane and Rosi met when they were working in Nottingham and Rosi moved into Jane’s shared house. In Jane’s words they “bonded over late night ironing and baking while drinking large glasses of Bailey’s Irish Cream.”

Over the years Jane and Rosi have gone on to launch and grow their own businesses and Rosi now lives in Australia. The twosome have continued to be friends and have travelled abroad regularly, sharing experiences such as “landing in a ditch in India, moped riding in Vietnam, skiing in Italy, losing shoes and mobile phones along the way.”

Their next shared adventure starts this Saturday (16 July) at Goodwood, as they start the greatest motoring adventure on the planet, in the Micra, kindly refurbished by West Notts students.

Their entry into the Mongol Rally will see them travel more than 10,000 miles across Europe and Asia, ending up in the Russian city of Ulan Ude. The rules state the car must be a small vehicle with an engine size of 1.2 litre or less, there’s no on the road back up and there must be a minimum of £1,000 raised for charity.

Always wanting to push themselves, Jane and Rosi will fund the journey themselves and have set themselves a combined target to raise £25,000 for charity and the support from West Notts College and other sponsors has been invaluable to their success. Their charity page is www.sugarspice2016.weebly.com

Jane said: “The students and staff have been amazing and have fully-serviced our Micra so it’s ready for a seven-and-a-half-week slog of more than 10,000 miles. It’s been adapted to suit carrying everything we need for the journey with the back seats now missing!

“We’ll need to carry water, dried food, minimal clothing, emergency kits, spare tyres, oil, fuel and car parts. We’re going in convoy with brothers Drew and Scott Gurian from America. They’re also driving a Micra and because of the very poor terrain we’ll be driving through we know that breakdowns are inevitable so we can share parts and knowledge with them!

“Many people think we’re crazy, but we’ve always been up for an adventure. We keep lurching from apprehension, fear, panic to excitement and back to fear, but we’re going to make it work. We’re both well-travelled, but we do appreciate that this is going to be a challenge and will take us out of our comfort zone.”

Jane and Rosi will share the driving as they start off going through the Channel Tunnel, aiming for Cologne by the first evening. Then on through Europe and into Turkey, followed by Iran where they’ll stay for nine days. Arranging their own routes, which is part of the Mongol Rally experience, they’ll travel across Asia, into Russia, then through the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, finally crossing the finish line in the city of Ulan Ude in Siberia.

Motor vehicle engineering student Sasha Jephson, 21, who is returning to study the Level 4 programme next term, said: “It’s been a great project to work on and we’ve paid great attention to all the parts we’ve changed and serviced, knowing that the car is going to experience such rough terrain.

“Our welding colleagues have made them a spacious roof-rack for their supplies and it’s great to see the college name on their sponsored logos. We wish them the best of luck and we’ll be following them on Facebook as they travel.” www.facebook.com/SugarAndSpice2016

Full and part-time students have spent more than 36 hours working on the car during their practical workshop sessions. The college provided the spotlights, switches and cabling and all electrical parts which it needed.

Meanwhile Halfords donated all engine-related parts and Acorn Signs in Mansfield applied sponsors logos to the vehicle.

Caption: (l-r) Jane Box, Rosi Moore-Fiander, tutor Dave Donald and motor vehicle engineering students Katie Rickett and Sasha Jephson