The true heroes of this rally are the Sweeps.
The sweeps are the 10 mechanics in 5 four-wheel drives that provide the mechanical support to the event. For the people with issues, these boys are like gods and angels.
The sweeps vehicles are loaded with their own personal tools and various parts and pieces they think might come in handy along the way.
The role of a sweep is that they drive the same route as everyone else along with also manning time controls early in the day. They then follow along behind tidying up the carnage at the back of the group, to help get people going again and driving to the overnight stop. If the repair job is one that can’t be done on the side of the road then you are advised to call for the truck to take you the overnight stop.
When the sweeps arrive in camp or at the hotel they get inundated with requests for help and immediately start work on helping and fixing cars welding and replacing head gaskets and patching broken sumps and the like; with this process going on until the early hours of the morning.
This group of blokes have the amazing ability to operate with very little sleep working until the early hours of the morning then on the road again at 7 with the rest of us to start it all over again – day in day out; for the twelve days until the rest day in Novosibirsk, where they were given the day off and everyone got help from the Russians.
So Guys; thanks for the help in getting us all this far. Without you, I think about 30 cars would still be in Mongolia somewhere!