Two teams representing Monaco are taking a part in the 4L Rally, a humanitarian race across the Moroccan desert. Thomas and Jean-Baptiste began competing alongside Lucas and Julien on 20 February.
This year, 3,000 participants are facing over six thousand kilometres of desert terrain for the 4L Trophy. The yearly charitable event stretches across the Moroccan desert between Biarritz and Marrakech. Equipped with a compass, participants will have to reach point A and point B every day without a GPS system or any communication network. All the vehicles in competition are the legendary 4L Renault, which hasn’t been in production for over two decades.
This 2020 edition will be raising money for the Children of the Desert association, the French Red Cross. Enough materials to build 22 classrooms with 2 toilet blocks will be raised. About 250,000 children will be able to benefit from school supplies or other donations raised during the competition.
About a year ago, Lucas and Julien, two students from the Nursing Training Institute (IFSI) set themselves a big goal: to participate in the 4L Trophy. Their goal is not to win, but to at least cross the finish line. This competition will be, for them, the opportunity to strengthen their bonds of friendship, to represent their training establishment and to contribute to humanitarian aid.
Jean-Baptiste Orengo and Thomas Montanera, fans of old cars, participated in some historic Monaco rallies in the past before taking on the challenge of participating in the 4L. Thomas works in an automobile garage in the Principality, so he will be ready with mechanical knowledge and tools should anything go awry.
Every day, the aim of the 4L challenge is to reach the checkpoints using the Road Book, a map of Morocco and a compass. The ranking is based on the teams’ ability to drive in the desert and reach the meeting point in as few kilometres as possible, rather than being the fastest team. Driving in the desert provides a lot of challenges. First of all, there are no roads in the desert. The main obstacle for participants is called “oued” in Arab which means “sand sea” in English. These oued require a lot of skill to go through without any trouble.
The results aren’t in yet, but according to the 4L Trophy website: “A major technical innovation this year, the odometer reading is no longer manual but automated, to the nearest metre. It’s going to be tight…”