Here at Adventurist HQ we are most impressed by feats of enduring tenacity and we think Mr Lorenzo Dutto from 2013 team Rougher dan Khan has earned himself a place in The Adventurist legend books. Lorenzo and his team-mates suffered a massive three engine failures. This is an account of what happened in his own words.
ENGINE CHANGE 1
Pre-rally. I'm taking the car to the mechanic to get the suspensions raised and a few other bits and bobs. A few miles from the workshop and the engine starts making funny noises and works on three cylinders only. VALVES BENT, GOD KNOWS WHY. We decide to take the whole unit down and refurbish it all together with brand new parts from a Renault dealership who become our sponsor.
ENGINE CHANGE 2
We leave Rome on the 14th bound for Klenova. We decide to stay overnight in the north of Italy. Cliopatra (it's a Renault Clio) is running great. On the morning of the 15th we turn the engine on to leave for Klenova, to be there nicely on time. The engine dies after a few seconds. VALVES BENT AGAIN. The nut that holds the distribution shaft was loose. We decide to change the head. We're gutted, no opening party for us.
ENGINE CHANGE 3
One week later we're nicely making road again, catching up with other teams on an engine that works fine once again! On July 27th, on the road from Volgograd to Astrakhan I tell my mate Emanuele: I'll close my eyes and rest for a while". When I wake up, smoke's pouring out of the hood, Emanuele is slowing down, the engine's rattling. This time it's the engine block itself: destroyed, chewed by something that has come loose, a hole dug in the carter by a flying piece. When we open the hood the plastic of the ventilation fan is on fire due to the burning oil pouring out and the metal bits melting everything."
Lorenzo - Team Rougher Dan Khan
A tow truck is an ominous sight in Mongol Rally photos, it often means the unmentionable has happened, it also usually precedes tears, disappointment and the feeling of failiure. Imagine then, the horror of facing not one, but five of these harbinger of bad tidings, enough to make the stiffest of upper lips somewhat flaccid. It certainly proved too much for Lorenzo's team-mates who opted to fly home. Lorenzo however was undeterred and vowed to reach Ulaanbataar regardless, he's currently inching closer to the finish line by the noble method of thumbing a lift.