The Camel Trophy
For the past ten years, the Camel Trophy has been internationally renowned as being the toughest endurance motorsport event in the world. This year’s event promises to be even tougher, thanks to the organisers’ decision to move from the usual jungle setting to Lake Baikal and the Taiga Forest in Siberia. The Camel Trophy is an event for the man in the street; no skills are needed, just stamina, an adventurous spirit and a good sense of humour. Every year thousands of People from all walks of life apply for the privilege of being a member of the two-man British team, and from these, only thirty are chosen to attend the four day selection trials which this year took Place in Camberley, Surrey, at the beginning of February. Last year’s British team, Bob and Joe Ives from Hampshire,
who went on to win the Camel Trophy after a gruelling 1,062 mile drive through the Amazon jungle, were there to offer encouragement to the hopefuls, and to show Formula One driver Derek Warwick the skill of off-road driving. The official vehicle for the 1990 Camel Trophy is the Land Rover Discovery, as announced at the Motorfair last October, and Derek was as surprised as anyone at the ease with which the seemingly cumbersome vehicle handled the rough terrain and vertical inclines. “When Bob said drive down that slope, I thought he was joking,” he was heard to say later. Participants in the trials also had a go at off-road driving, including through a small lake: “By June when the event is underway, although it will still be cold in Siberia, it will have started to thaw and there’ll be a lot of flooding,” commented Tony Jardine, Camel’s PR. There are also several difficult and vigorous physical exercises to complete, where simulated obstacles, such as crossing rapids with a casualty, have to be overcome all possible situations which the chosen two could find themselves in. This year’s team has yet to be announced, but after last year’s amazing British victory, the competitors will have an even tougher challenge to live up to the high standards set by Bob and Joe Ives and return the Camel Trophy to British shores. SS
Derek Warwick and Bob Ives take a breather from the stresses of off-road driving.
This small lake is nothing compared to the conditions the team are likely to face in Siberia.