Dakar. Pikes Peak. Baja 1000. 24 Hours of Le Mans. These are incredible driving challenges which require skill, bravery and feats of extraordinary endurance amidst some of the toughest conditions in the world. But there’s one place closer to home which can break even the best of drivers: the M25.
Welcome to the Spacesuit Orbital Run: 24 hours of continuous driving around London’s notorious ring road. This is not about winning; it’s about survival.
Teams are poised to attempt to complete 24 hours of continuous driving around the notorious M25 motorway in the inaugural Spacesuit Orbital Run, which will take place from 3 to 4 June 2017. The event is the bright idea of Current E’s photographic partner, Spacesuit Media.
Starting at 4pm on Saturday afternoon, the goal is to get as close as possible to the theoretical maximum distance that can be covered in a 24-hour period without breaking any posted speed limits: 1680 miles. Roadworks, traffic jams and temporary speed limits will create a driving challenge unlike any other.
Professional racing drivers Alexander Sims and Jody Fannin are among those participating, sharing the wheel of a BMW i8 supercar. Fannin will be using the event to raise money for the Buttle charity, which seeks to improve the lives of children and young people. Sims is keen to highlight the environmental issues faced by motor transport today as well as solutions already available from the automotive world.
The BMW i8 is a petrol-electric hybrid vehicle which is designed to deliver the performance of a Porsche and the emissions of a Toyota Prius, while looking absolutely stunning. It is the perfect vehicle with which to champion green forms of personal transportation as well as underlining that shifting to a more environmentally-conscious vehicle needn’t diminish driving pleasure.
The concept has been devised by Spacesuit Media, a photographic collective headquartered in Kent, UK. “We find adventure in the most unlikely places,” says Ross Ringham, director at Spacesuit Media. “Our photographers work all over the world in exotic locations, including the world-famous 24 Hours of Le Mans event. We want to bring that spirit of exploration home. What we’re trying with Spacesuit Orbital Run has never before been attempted, as far as we’re aware, so this will be a first for the country and for this famous stretch of motorway. We’ll be demonstrating that you don’t need to be a professional racing driver doing 200mph at Le Mans to challenge yourself in new ways. Make no mistake – this will be no picnic.”
Other teams are welcome to take up the challenge. Teams must include three drivers, each of whom will abide by a set of guidelines designed to protect the safety of participants and those around them by complying with best practice driving guidelines from the DVLA. In fact, the advice provided goes one step further, by complying with regulations governing professional drivers. Advice includes driving for no more than three hours in any one stint and no more than nine hours in total. Cars must be roadworthy and road legal; drivers should have plenty of experience of motorway driving. The event criteria have been assessed by the MSA, the UK’s motorsport regulatory body, and deemed to constitute a “social rally” with no need for external regulation.
All drivers who complete the 24 hour event will receive a special pack of professional-grade car care products from event partner ValetPRO, including Advanced Poseidon Car Wash, Dragons Breath, Glass cleaner, Bug Remover, Mad Wax, wax applicator, brush and micro fibre cloth.
Imagery from the event will be made available at Spacesuit Collections (spacesuitcollections.com), the specialist automotive and motorsport stock imagery site launched by Spacesuit Media in April 2017.