The duo, endurance rally drivers Robert Belcher and Stephen Cooper, left the Royal Automobile club on Pall Mall, London, at 4am this morning, and will be crossing a total of 13 countries by Monday October 14.
The pair will need to maintain an average speed of 42mph, 24 hours a day in order to cover the 10,000 miles in 10 days. Any time lost on delays, crossings or stops will need to be made up for – all without breaking each country's speed limit.
The Union Flag-wrapped Discovery is mainly factory-spec, with added sump and underbody protection fitted, along with chunkier General all-terrain tyres and four high-intensity lamps mounted on the roof, plus a roof rack. To increase time between refuelling, extra fuel tanks have been added, more than doubling the D3's range to around 1200 miles between each stop.
Driver Robert Belcher said: 'Despite continuing improvements in Africa's transport infrastructure, there are still countless issues that could arise on this journey. We're driving through often volatile regions, areas where we could be seen as potential targets and border crossings can be notoriously slow processes that would cost us precious time. Not to mention if we have car problems then our attempt could be quickly scuppered.
'Having said that, we're full of the spirit of adventure, we're well prepared and are both very much looking forward to the challenge. This is an ambitious record to aim for, but we have every reason to believe we can achieve it.'
The record attempt is being sponsored by Warranty Direct, see warrantydirect.co.uk