Leeds businessman racing to reach Paris and £100,000 charity goal

Phil Burgan and  John Wright don't take training too seriously.
Phil Burgan and John Wright don't take training too seriously.
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A mammoth 13,000km car rally in a 50-year-old Volvo awaits a Leeds businessman, who is hoping to raise £100,000 for charity.

Motoring enthusiast Phil Burgan, from Scarcroft, has taken on the epic Peking to Paris rally challenge with his childhood friend John Wright, 64, in a trip that will take them through the Gobi Desert, outer Mongolia and Russia among other places.

The 61-year-old, who is owner and managing director of the Leeds-based Maria Mallaband Care Group, has already raised over £75,000 for the Princes Trust but is hoping to reach his target before he sets off on the 33-day journey on May 28.

The pair have stocked up on food supplements and undertaken a strict fitness regime prior to setting off on the trip, on which they expect to lose a stone each due to poor food quality and problems finding fresh water.

Father of four Phil, who also has two grandchildren, said: “My family are used to it and my wife’s always known I’ve been a bit of an adventurer over the years.”

The 1959 Volvo Saloon they will be using has been extensively modified to prepare it for desert conditions and long distances without having to refuel.

Phil said: “The Prince’s Trust helps people help themselves, it’s a great charity and gives people a start in life.”

The charity aims to help support 50,000 young people who have struggled with employment or education this year.

The race usually sees half the entrants fail to reach the finish. To donate text PJBU52 and the amount to 70070 or visit www.justgiving.com/philip-burgan52.