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Team Moose Offroad compete in The Croatia Trophy 2013 [Part 3]Posted on: May 15, 2013 by megan
Yesterday was Stage 5 and with heavy rain falling over night the conditions would be difficult. When the organiser apologises in the briefing for the day ahead and asks you not to hate him you know you are going to struggling!
By 12km the guys had picked off many teams ahead of them in terrible track conditions. They were up to 5th on the road from starting in 18th. As many teams returned to camp with broken trucks and injuries we heard Paul and Tony had hit a tree head on and later had turned the truck onto its side, but were still doing well.
Around 6:30pm (8 hours after start) the support crew received a call to say the guys had stopped due to over heating – A combination of a failed fan and blocked radiator causing the truck to boil.
Trying to locate the truck in the woods as darkness fell was impossible and eventually both truck and support team pulled into camp at 9:30pm. Many hours fixing followed trying to repair the damage and fix the fan. For the first time we were the last team working, well into the early hours.
We were happy to find that by completing 49km of the 55km road book put us ahead of many teams, dropping us only one place to 10th in class. An hour to get the truck prepped as it still rained and we were ready to go.
Track conditions are still terrible, but by Press Point 1 Paul and Tony had risen to 6th on the road, taking many teams in the first 12km. Sadly shortly after the fan failed again causing the truck to overheat. The guys took the decision to pull out for the day and work on the truck.
At least the sun is now out!
Today’s road book was the longest yet at over 70km. The weather is better as the rain has stopped, but the tracks and swamps are still very wet. After failing to finish yesterday the guys started down in 20th place, though a few ahead of them were unable to start.
Shortly after start on a difficult winch section the guys passed 5 cars. Later they struggled with a error in the road book, but so did all the other competitors, so again they gained places. By 30km they were up to 6th on the road! Then they had a few difficulties, first a roll in a water filled bomb hole on to the driver’s side left Paul stuck underwater apart from his head, while they winched the car upright. Later the car overheated again, but the guys managed to refill the radiator and cool the engine from a stream.
At the end of the stage the guys finished 7th on the road, we’re currently waiting for the results to be posted.
The long stage took its toll on the car. The front axle lost its filler bung and filled the axle with mud, destroying the front diff. The steering was damaged, the front suspension damaged, windscreen wipers stopped working, the brake pads are all completely worn out….. But a late night means we’re good to run in the last stage, one of only about 20 teams left.
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