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Team Moose Offroad compete in The Croatia Trophy 2013 [Part 1]

Posted on: May 3, 2013 by megan

Moose Offroad are a group of friends that share a hobby which is adventure and the need to try and push their offroad vehicles further and faster than last time, whilst staying the correct way up! The team of 5 have been working very hard to prep their vehicle (and themselves) for The Croatia Trophy 2013, and now the time has come to compete……

The journey to Croatia:

After some hard work to get the new suspension fitted and set up on the truck the Moose Offroad team were set to depart on Tuesday 30th April. Our convoy of VW van towing the race truck on trailer and Discovery support truck left Southampton at 5:30am, with slight delay to collect Tony’s passport that he’d forgotten! A fuss free run down to Calais meant that we managed to catch an earlier ferry.

Leaving Calais at 11:30 we were faced with a 1,050 mile drive through France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Slovenia and into Croatia. With the competition starting on Thursday we would have to drive non-stop, swapping drivers at fuel stops.

At our first stop in Belgium we noticed the Disco had sprung a leak from the rear diff pinion, but we decided a Land Rover normally marks its territory like a dog, so as long as there was oil still to leak we’d carry on!

As night fell we pressed on through heavy rain in Germany. The de-restricted autobahns didn’t help us while towing sadly.

Just before dawn we reached Austria and the Alps, we took the chance to setup some of our ‘Veho Muvi’ cameras to catch the awesome scenery as the sun rose. Some of the team had been able to sleep, but by now 24 hours on the road had started to take its toll. We stopped for a breakfast break in a service station that must have some of the best views in the Alps!

The drive down out of the Alps and into Slovenia was fuss free as the temperature rose. We’d heard some scary stories about the border crossing into Croatia and had been winding each other up about who would be the first to get some attention from the border guards. In the end though as soon as we opened up the van and the guards saw our collection of spares, tools and equipment they let us straight though

We nearly caused an international incident when Paul driving the VW forgot to pay for his fuel at our next stop, but luckily he remembered soon enough to walk back and make his excuses!

Another hour and we were following the road book into camp. Rural Croatia is eye opening with few shops and still plenty of signs of the hard times in their recent past. Arriving in the remote camp at 12:30 we had plenty of time to set up camp and relax before heading into to Topusko for a well earned (and surprisingly cheap) beer!

The weather is extremely hot, so setting up camp in 30 degrees was not the best time to find the event has no showers provided!

Prologue Day:

We’d managed to sign in and pass inspection on Wednesday after arriving in good time, so all we had to do was make sure the truck was ready to go in the morning.

The 12:00 briefing slid to 13:00, as is normal for European events. The brief, briefing ended in a draw for start order, with Moose being drawn 5th.

The Prologue is a short 10-15 minute course run in groups of 4. Your result sets your start position for the first race day on Friday. Starting in the second group, Paul headed off the line hard and made it to the first single track section in the lead. Keeping their pace up as the more technical section started they managed to one-shot a steep hill after a boggy section, something only 6 others managed in the adventure class.

Still in the lead and pushing hard they lifted a front wheel high in the air round an off camber corner, sending the truck into a tree. Luckily they blocked the track as they shunted free and continued in the lead. The last corner of the technical section sent the boys high onto two wheels, to a cheer from the crowd. Pushing hard proved worthwhile as a 4th place in class means a great start position near the front of the running for tomorrow.

The only damage from the prologue, a broken rear suspension joint, has now been temporarily repaired. Hopefully we can source a new part and get it shipped out from the UK and our repair will hold up tomorrow.



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