Littlehampton daredevils set to drive to the Sahara desert and back in a week for charity

Two intrepid friends from Littlehampton who drove around Europe last summer for charity have upped the stakes with an African adventure.

On Saturday, August 17, Toby Harris and Simon Clube from Littlehampton will set off from Mewsbrook Park in their Suzuki Alto on a 5,000-mile challenge to get to the Sahara desert and back within a week.

Toby Harris, left, and Simon Clube, have organised a Top Gear-esque, 5,000 mile challenge across Europe and Africa for charity. Picture: Derek Martin

Toby Harris, left, and Simon Clube, have organised a Top Gear-esque, 5,000 mile challenge across Europe and Africa for charity. Picture: Derek Martin

The goal for the Top Gear-inspired trial was to raise £5,000 for Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice.

Toby appealed to parents to dig deep for a good cause. He said: “If your children needed that service, what would you do if it wasn’t there?”

Soon after driving through 16 European countries in a week last summer for charity, Toby and Simon set their sights on Africa – a journey 2,000 miles longer but that they would complete in the same amount of time.

“It pushes the boundaries a little bit more,” Toby said.

After driving through France, the Pyrenees and Spain, the pair will catch a ferry to Morroco and drive down the coast to Western Sahara, an disputed territory across the border, to sleep under the stars.

Toby said the hardest challenge would be traversing the Atlas mountains, which have roads that are little more than tracks.

The daredevil said: “When I found out that the roads were among the 100 most dangerous in the world, I knew that was the route we were taking. Something like that is proper exciting.”

As the designated driver, Toby said he would need to stock up on coffee – because to make it to the Sahara and back in time, he anticipated he would have to drive 15 hours a day.

But he said he was not apprehensive at all: “I wish it was time to go now! We’re both very excited.”

This year’s car – which has been given ‘the Toby treatment’ – belonged to Toby’s sister Charlotte, who died in 2017 and inspired last year’s challenge. Toby said it gave the trip ‘sentimental meaning’.

To donate, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/africa-2019