In 2019 – we hit the Spanish run event the Panda Raid in a four car BRITISH team, calling ourselves the ‘Pandanistas’ – In Auto Addicts Volume Three we followed the adventure across the four Fiat Pandas and their attempt to triumph in the Moroccan desert. This year the event runs again from the 6th – 14th March with three British Teams entered. We look forward to finding out how they get on.
One of the biggest challenges of the event was packing. We take a quick look back at what was useful and what wasn’t!
MUST HAVES – Essentials: –
Short Shovel – Goggles – Tools & Spares (Suspension top joint & CV joints) – Sump Guard (Decent thickness) – Kettle to make Coffee, (we did actually use this a fair bit.) – iPad with GPS App and charging points for phones – Towels – Tent – Super warm sleeping bag – Music – Local currency – Spare wheels / tyres (You will get a puncture.) – Hand Brush for dusting dashboard/locks etc – WD40 (for keeping locks etc working) – Rock Pegs & Sand Pegs for tent – Wet Wipes (wiping off sand) – Tow Rope – Spare Fuel. – Waterproof/Sand Proof holdalls for food/ clothes (The sand gets everywhere!) – Sand Ramps – Tow Rope – Opal Fruits – Sunglasses.
DON’T BOTHER – Things we took and never used!
Spare Tent – Too many warm clothes – (There was only 2 chilly nights, the rest of the time it was pretty warm.) – Bucket (Don’t know what I was thinking) – Shee Wee (never used it.) – Too many heavy spares and tools (These all get airborne when you go over jumps/ rocks) Keep it simple, there is a huge spares truck on site with pretty much everything you need.
GOOD IDEAS – Things we wished we had taken:
More snacks – You don’t get much time to stop and eat and if you break down it can be along wait. – You have to carry 5 litres of water We had an enormous carrier – the sensible teams just bought 2 x 2.5 litre bottles from the supermarket. Much easier to carry / store / ditch. – Some teams had a small compressor plumbed-in under the bonnet for blowing out the air. There is one in camp each night but the queues to use it… – More nuts and bolts (they work themselves loose) – More sand proof bags – More ratchets for holding stuff down.
PANDA CAR – Weaknesses
In the 2018 Panda Run – there were lots of windscreens broken, 2019 different route – no windscreens broken. So every year is different. But common problems were: Suspension top joint breaking through, CV Joints breaking, Bent wheels, Punctures, Fan stopped working (sand), Boot locks stop working from Sand, gear linkage hangs down in some cars and can catch on rocks, others had reengineered this to be inside the car, Exhaust mountings work loose or get bashed. Otherwise mechanically the car is pretty tough.
Fancy joining this event for 2021? – One of the team has a spare Panda for sale, so – get in touch.
The above video is the edited version, and below is more raw footage of the event, clipped together – feel free to skip through – these are hand held clips, no music, no voiceover. But it gives you a feel for the adventure and the fun we had doing it!