From the frozen tundra of the Arctic Circle to the slick rock of Moab, adventure driver and Overland Journal publisher Scott Brady has conquered the world’s most rugged terrain. But having racked up hundreds of thousands of miles of hazardous driving experience, even Scott will attest that the Mongol Rally is a road challenge unlike any other.
Spanning nearly 18,000 kilometers of extreme terrain, from the Spanish coastline to the heart of Asia Pacific, the Mongol Rally prides itself as the last great driving adventure in a world gone soft.
But where your average distance rally emphasizes safety, the Mongol Rally goes out of its way to create danger.
There is no official course. Electronic navigation devices are strictly forbidden. In every sense, Brady says, “the marathon is an every-man-for-himself free-for-all.”
And as if a transcontinental expedition across some of the planet’s most remote landscape wasn’t enough, competitors don’t have the cushy performance advantage of premium engines—in fact, race rules cap vehicle engine size at a measly 1.5 liters.
In July 2010, Brady and his navigator Charles Nordstrom set off from the city streets of Madrid in a 2001 Suzuki Jimny, powered by a robust 1.3 liter engine.
Facing down a nearly 18,000 kilometer journey, through desert basins and mountain ranges, they couldn’t afford to take any chances with their equipment maintenance. That’s why they put their trust in Mobil 1, the world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand.
“We crossed through the Wakhan Corridor along the Afghan border, a region known for its lawlessness, and patrolled by bandits,” Brady recalled. “At one point, we crossed a flooded section of road, and any kind of engine failure would have put us at serious risk.”
After nearly two months behind the wheel, having traveled across 22 countries, Brady was amazed that the car’s engine still delivered exceptional performance.
“After driving nearly 18,000 kilometers, on a 1.3-liter engine, it’s pretty clear we made the right call to use Mobil 1,” Brady said.