Cooper Tyres to Receive Ultimate Wet Performance Test
In July 2007 T&A reported news of a Chinese man who navigated the Yangtze River perched upon a truck tyre inner tube, and now a Yorkshire farmer is preparing to cross the chilly waters of Bering Straight – in a Land Rover. But do not fear, unlike our intrepid friend Mr. Cheng, who set off on his 3,000 kilometre trip without even the most basic safety equipment, the adventurers from Blighty have planned well for their journey, and can rely on the buoyant assistance of Cooper Tire.
Steve Burgess and his partner Nicky Spinks set off on their 30,000-mile journey from England to South America on January 29. While most of their travels will see them traversing solid ground, when they reach Russia’s east coast their trusty Land Rover 110 Pickup, shod with Discoverer STT tyres, will be fitted with ‘floats’, and driven into the sea towards Alaska, 50 miles away.
Burgess and Spinks are not the first to attempt the watery shortcut between Russia and the US. The Ford Motor Company and explorer, Richard Creasey, set out to cross Bering Strait in 1993, only to experience a sinking feeling mid-journey, while the Fiat Motor Company’s effort foundered in 1996. The aquatic A-road has also defeated Sir Ranulph Fiennes and British explorers Steve Brooks and Graham Stratford, whose attempt had to be aborted in 2001 after damage to their Snowbird 5 vehicle.
Once safely on US soil, Burgess and Spinks will then replace the floats with standard Cooper Discoverer STT tyres and drive through North and South America, arriving at Cape Horn towards the end of 2008. Both explorers have spent the last seven years planning the trip, and encountered obstacles even before pulling out of the driveway. “The main things have been finding funding and dealing with Russian bureaucracy,” explained Burgess. “We’re doing something that’s never been done before, so you can’t just get a form and fill it out. I needed permission from the army and the police to travel in the Far East. Most significantly, I needed permission to leave Russia in an amphibious vehicle from a non-existent port in the Far East – we’re just going to drive off a beach!”
“We chose the Cooper Discoverer STTs because we knew we needed a tyre with hard-core traction, durability, and reliability in almost any condition,” said Burgess. “Most of the distance that we will be travelling will be over a myriad of challenging terrain, and we are confident that the STTs will be flawless.”