Armed forces charity complete 2,000km extreme Saharan rally in Dacia Dusters

  • The Future Terrain armed forces team, many with physical and mental injuries, completed the 2000km Carta Rallye in Morocco
  • Dacia UK has partnered with the charity supplying the team with Dacia Duster 4x4s 
  • Future Terrain is a career transition and rehabilitation charity that helps veterans secure qualifications through participation in competitive and arduous motoring activities
  • The team drove back to the UK in the Dusters after a week driving through extreme conditions in the desert

A team of 14 current and ex-military service personnel, some with severe physical and mental injuries, have completed the Carta Rallye in Morocco, an extreme 2,000km challenge that took place in the Sahara Desert, all in a trio of Dacia Dusters.

Over seven days between the 31st March and 6th of April, the Future Terrain team, a charity that supports career transition and rehabilitation mainly for those with physical and mental injuries, took on giant sand dunes, rocky roads, flooded tracks and harsh terrain – in Britain’s most affordable 4x4. The journey to Morocco was also just as arduous, with the team driving more than 2,000 miles from the UK and then all the way back home again.

While several specially-built rally cars costing hundreds of thousands were getting stuck overnight in the desert, the shockingly affordable Dusters made it back to the camp each evening after ten-hours of driving. The Dusters were near-standard, with little to no modifications made to them other than some racing seats, roll bars and all-terrain tyres.

The team took part in the GPS Challenge, a timed navigation-based event. Not just about podium results, the aim of the event for the charity was to build confidence and skills in the group that competed and challenge them to redefine themselves. However, the team aimed high and achieved second and third place finishes in some legs. 

While the team were expecting a dustbowl, they arrived following highly unusual heavy rain and the first day of the rally saw the cars being driven through a far wetter environment than predicted, meaning that the challenge was even greater as they had to improvise and think even more carefully about the routes they were taking through the desert.

Scott Garthley, who was a Sergeant in the Adjutant General’s Corps, received several complex injuries following an explosion while serving in Iraq in 2003, including the need to amputate a limb in recent years. He was an expedition coordinator on the event and said: “The event really threw up some challenges for us with the changeable weather. One-minute sunny weather, then heavy rain with poor visibility and sandstorms. It made navigation really tough.”

On completing the rally, Grant White, co-founder of Future Terrain, said: “The Carta Rallye is highly demanding even for the fittest able-bodied people, when you bring people into the mix who are in wheelchairs, with prosthetic limbs or have mental illness, it really ups the ante. It’s the first time we have driven these cars in this kind of environment and we found out the Dusters can even climb mountains as we went slightly off-piste! I sat there in wonder seeing people that only three to four weeks ago had never driven off-road but took these cars up things you just wouldn’t believe.”

Ben Fletcher, Head of Dacia UK, said: “I’m delighted to see the success that Future Terrain had in Morocco with the Duster. It’s been amazing to hear the stories from the team, how they overcame the challenges facing them and how their skills and confidence are growing with the support of the charity.”

The team of volunteers from Future Terrain now prepare themselves for the next challenges - racing the Dacia Dusters in the British Cross-Country Championship rally series as well as other events in the UK. 

The All-New Duster starts at just £9,995 with the 4x4 version priced from just £13,710 OTR. It carries over the same off-roading credentials that helped make the previous model such a success with a high ground clearance of 210mm, approach and departure angles of 30 and 33 degrees respectively as well as Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist. Also as standard on 4x4 versions is a 4x4 monitor that incorporates a compass and notifies the driver of the vehicle’s angle in real time.

For more information on the Dacia range please visit www.dacia.co.uk.

ENDS

About Dacia
Dacia has a long history associated with Renault, the French brand first working with Dacia plants in Romania in the 1960s, before acquiring them fully in 1999. The brand concept is simple: to shake up preconceived ideas. Dacia produces spacious, robust, high-quality vehicles of original design that are affordable for everybody.

Dacia vehicles offer exceptional value for money. Reliable and resistant, they embody the best of Renault expertise. Relaunched by parent company Groupe Renault in 2004, the Dacia range has been expanding constantly and buyers have a wide array of vehicles to choose from, ranging from Dacia Duster, a sporty all-terrain vehicle, to family vehicles such as the Dacia Sandero and Dacia Logan MCV.  The concept continues to enjoy great success with over 5 million Dacias sold in Europe since the brand’s revival in 2004. 

Dacia launched in the UK in January 2013 and enjoyed the most successful start ever for a new car brand in the UK. Dacia was named as the most recommended car brand in 2018 in a list compiled by YouGov in its BrandIndex, beating 34 other manufacturers. Dacia was also named Best Value Brand at the Auto Trader New Car Awards 2018, voted for by 43,000 real UK car owners. Dacia was one of only four out of 36 manufacturers to receive five-star reliability ratings in the 2017 Which? Car Survey, outperforming many well established and premium brands. The Dacia Sandero has been awarded the title of “Best Small Car under £12,000” by What Car? for seven consecutive years (2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013).  More than 140,000 Dacia vehicles have been sold in the UK to date.

For further information please visit www.press.dacia.co.uk or @RenaultUKPR or contact:

Matthew Bendall
Head of Press & Public Relations
Matthew.bendall@renault.co.uk – 01923 697653 – 07814 990247

Alistair Sommerville
Press Relations Manager
Alistair.sommerville@renault.co.uk –  01923 697592 - 07464 537744

Callum Chamberlain
Product & Corporate Communications Manager – Dacia
Callum.chamberlain@renault.co.uk – 01923 697512 – 07989 434003

Laura Brighton
Senior Events Manager
laura.brighton@renault.co.uk – 01923 697537 – 07825 754442

Charlie Roper
Press Fleet & VIP Relations Manager
Charlie.roper@renault.co.uk – 01923 697778 – 07816 641843

Ciaran Sands
Communications Assistant
Ciaran.sands@renault.co.uk - 01923 697363

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Armed forces charity complete 2,000km extreme Saharan rally in Dacia Dusters

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