May 12th, 2017
On Tuesday, February 14th, 6 teams took off for the famous student race : the 4L Trophy.
Mixing athletic challenge with a change of scenery and solidarity, the mythic race attracts over 2, 200 students each year who come ready to cross the Moroccan desert exclusively on a Renault 4L. We interviewed Charles Elloy, a 4th-year student in ECAM Arts et Métiers, president of the ECAM 4L Trophy club, and 2017 participant.
Why did you want to do this race ?
Stories from my friends who already did the race made me want to tackle the adventure myself. It’s a unique experience, both on a human, athletic level but also on a professional level. A lot of things are discovered that can’t be learned in a classroom like finding sponsors, technical and mechanical knowledge…
How to prepare for such an adventure ?
We started working on it in August 2016. We had first to find a car that was either drivable or had a good-quality motor and sound chassis. Then we had to prepare it mechanically. We were lucky to find a mechanic for our sponsors who did the car’s technical preparation and taught us the basics of mechanics. You can’t invent a mechanic from one day to the next! We also gave a hand with painting the car and adding all the electronic elements (led headlights, horn, meters, radio…).
The biggest part was finding sponsors, of course. After getting a lot of rejections, we finally raised 7,500 euros.
How will the course proceed ?
We leave the ECAM Lyon campus on February 14th. After a required stop for a technical control, the official take off for the 4L Trophy is Thursday, February 16th at Biarritz. We then must reach the south of Spain at Algeciras and take a boat to Tangier. After that comes the great adventure: with only the help of a compass and a map, we must reach different stages in the Moroccan desert. The official arrival is planned for February 24th at Marrakech. School supplies and registration fees will be provided to the Children of the Desert organization. A great way to combine the practical with fun!