Event organisers describe the Put Foot Rally as “being for those who see themselves as explorers, unafraid to chart the uncharted, unfazed by running out of petrol or losing a tyre in the middle of a pack of lions or herd of elephants. This adventure is for those who listen to the Garmin and Tom-Tom girls for their sexy voices and for those who laugh in the face of a 2-minute noodle diet.”
In English that translates to an epic 17 day, 7000 km journey from Cape Town through Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique. The Rally ‘vibe’ is for participants to get off the beaten track and take the road less travelled. Teams are responsible for their own vehicles and final route, with challenges around every corner, experiencing different cultures and traditions.
So who better to sponsor local KZN crew, Team Shake & Bake, than MINI – a brand that sees itself as unique, fun, adventurous and all about the journey.
Meegan Rourke, Louise Gans, Andrew McGill and Gordon McTavish are thrilled to partner with MINI, an innovative and iconic brand associated with sporty fun and individuality. MINI has committed a brand-new MINI Cooper S ALL4 Countryman to the four Durbanites, who are excited to welcome MINI as the ‘5th member’ of their crew. Hailed as a Sports Activity Vehicle for extreme driving fun on any terrain, the Countryman is a perfect fit for this Put Foot Rally crew.
MINI is no newbie to the world of rallying. Go back in motorsport history books and you’ll find MINI recorded rally victories across Europe in the 1960’s, including the legendary Monte Carlo Rally on three occasions, in 1964, 1965 and 1967. Not to be outdone by the past, earlier this year Stèphane Peterhansel and his co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret won the 2012 Dakar Rally in South America, thanks to the MINI Cooper ALL4. In addition, the MINI John Cooper Works is currently participating in the FIA World Rally Championship.
“We are excited to partner with the Put Foot Rally crew and have no doubt that the MINI Countryman will demonstrate its broader range of abilities in both urban use and beyond. The crew will demonstrate how the MINI Countryman paves the way for larger and evolving target groups with a greater need for space and flexibility to experience the driving fun that comes with a MINI,” says Karen Valle, general manager of MINI.
Besides giving participants the opportunity to travel into the heart of Southern Africa, the Rally is also a fundraising initiative. Team Shake & Bake has targeted R50,000 as their fundraising goal for The Put Foot Foundation, and are encouraging people to ‘rally’ around them in support of a good cause. But that’s not all; as part of MINI’s sponsorship agreement, MINI has pledged to match funds raised by Shake & Bake up to R100,000.
Donations earmarked for The Put Foot Foundation will be channelled into ‘Shoe Drops’, where underprivileged school children at pre-identified schools along the route will be given brand new quality 100% leather South African made school shoes, enabling them to walk to school without discomfort, cold or infection, and giving them access to schools who prevent children from attending without a full school uniform.
On June 20th, in a cloud of dust, fuelled by a thirst for adventure, Team Shake & Bake will set off in their MINI Countryman in search of their Checkpoints (Etosha, Victoria Falls, Kariba Dam, Lake Malawi), and finally to the finish line in Mozambique on July 6th.
“What an amazing feeling it’s going to be, leaving each point along our route knowing that we helped to make a difference in the lives of those children. We’re really hoping that people will get involved to help make this happen,” says Meegan Rourke, one of the crew members.
Support The Put Foot Foundation by making a secure online donation today at shakebakecrew.givengain.org. And don’t forget to visit Drive RSA for a daily update from team Shake & Bake on their epic Southern Africa adventure.