Ah, that feeling of walkin’ through peaceful forests of Topusko… Forget about it! It’s Croatia Trophy 2016! You sit on a press point holding your camera, half an hour seems forever… And then, just like that, tranquility gets ripped apart by the grueling sound of 600 HP LS engines coming from far away… Soon after that, a mixture of white steam and black smoke coming from small Russian diesel engines has covered the sky!
Eibensteiner and Deutshmann in their “Kamo Oko Vidi” buggy equipped with a remapped LS4 engine!
You can see the first group for a second and then it disappears. They just fall in a deep mud pit that will get deeper and deeper as next vehicles go through. It’was a normal thing at the Croatia Trophy 2016.
Big guns are soon pulled out. PTO and dual-motor winches, portal axles, ropes and mud anchors… These parts all come to rescue and make the difference between life and death at the Croatia Trophy 2016.
It all started with a rainy prologue on the first day of Croatia Trophy in Topusko. And it wasn’t just the prologue that was rainy, each day was blessed with water coming from the sky. A perfect thing to spice up things and create the mud we were all looking for.
A great looking Mercedes G class. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a nice scene when we saw it on its way home before the race ended. A living proof that even the most hardcore machines sometimes can’t cope with the cruelty of Croatia Trophy.
The famous Land Rover Defender coming from neighbouring Bosnia. After breaking too much vital stuff… There was only one way out – on a trailer.
As always, the Croatia Trophy hasn’t dissapointed. Especially the circuit race, night stage and Trophy day. Three most special stages at the Croatia Trophy.
Trophy day is a series of special tests held on a relatively small piece of land. This year, that piece of land was covered in mud and water. A river and a swamp – that’s it. there was nothing dry about it.
Two photos above: Magyar Szilard and team Holm / Mikkelsen in the Gigglepin Defender they just bought recently.
The night stage was more than exciting. As usual… Here’s a mini report by Inge Bloeming. We must say that Inge did a great job. She was in Topusko all the time and the photos (here) and the text is definately something that helped us a lot.
Night Stage, Inge Bloeming: “Trophy Day at Croatia Trophy is always being followed by the famous Night Stage. You can almost smell the adrenaline as the excitement of the teams is rising. The rain is still pouring from heaven above but we decide to go to the press point anyway – we are here for watching the teams in action so that is what we want to do!
The waiting is long and more and more rain is falling down. To our surprise not only Trophy Class but also Adventure is passing by the press point. One of the first Trophy drivers to pass is Christian Poprask with Josef Reinisch and for their Mitsubishi proto there is no struggle at all. Standing underneath many umbrellas we watch several Trophy teams find their way to the other side of the small swamp.
We also watch all our Adventure friends rushing by over the path to the left of the swamp, except for the teams Poison Frog Sjoerd Wijnia and Mad Mudder Hans Turksma, whose cars needed some real serious surgery…
When a few competitors have passed we decide to go back to the camp because of the pouring rain. Nico and Eric are the first to finish this super tough Night Stage, while Willem & Jan Willem and Bas & Jean Paul arrive only five minutes apart around 3:45. We wait for Bokke and Hiske but they don’t show up until the next morning 8:30. A Night Stage from hell, they tell us later.
Rainy weather is bad for the pictures so there are not many of them, but here are a few!”
Circuit race on Monday was amazing. Five kilometers of mud and speed. And the famous mud hole of course… I decided to take a walk when it all started. I will definately remember the moment when Euro4x4parts Defender went by. I managed to turn my back and all that was left was a turbulent puddle of mud and pieces od dirt and grass on my back! An amazing experience, if I may say so.
This story will be finished with a small anecdote about the most amazing recovery ever.
KAMO OKO VIDI 4×4 industries: “Although one of our cars finished the race with a broken wheel, this gave us an opportunity for a hardcore test of our PTO winch. Longer story long: After a lost wheel in the middle of a muddy Topusko forest, our 6×6 TAM 150 recovery vehicle came to rescue.
A fact is that a TAM 150 is a 9 ton army truck, with mud and the car included, it weighs about 11 tones. This was a perfect opportunity to sink deep down without a winch on the 6×6 vehicle.
With only 10 liters of fuel left, the only way out is to use the winch. Well we did that. Fastened the vehicle to the platform, brought the rope over the roof of the TAM and tied it to a tree…. and the car PTO was winching 11 tones of mud and iron through the rest of the stage… sorry for pulling out a few oaks etc… but that’s off roading…“
Exactly. That’s off roading. And believe me, if you wish to experience it, just visit Croatia next year and enjoy one of the most amazing races of Europe!