Let’s start with a few figures. During the 2016 event, the 19th 4L Trophy™ rally, 1,200 teams, giving a total of 2,400 competitors from 1,460 colleges and universities took off from the Halle Iraty in Biarritz, with a single, unique Departure Village on board the legendary Renault 4L. Their goal was Marrakesh, the final destination at the end of a trip lasting ten days and covering nearly 6,000 kilometres on the roads of France and Spain as well as the off-road tracks of Morocco, all following the familiar format that has made the 4L Trophy™ Rally Europe’s largest student rally.
However, the 4L Trophy™ Rally is more than just a few lines of figures: it’s an amazing humanitarian adventure filled with challenges that encourage sporting prowess and charitable activity, open to students aged between 18 and 28 years old. The challenge for the winner is not to go quickly but to navigate effectively, and the first requirement is to get over the finish line. Getting to that stage requires the competitors to discover the true meaning of the word support, avoiding the pitfalls and the sandy wadis where many will fall by the wayside, unable to escape the sands and helping their fellow competitors to fix their mechanical breakdowns. Only the support of others allows the feeling of immense satisfaction that comes from a job well done that can be seen on the faces of all successful participants, alongside their pride in having given everything for themselves and for others.
As well as their thirst for the wide open spaces, the crews set off in their Renault 4Ls, carrying equipment and school supplies to help Morocco’s most underprivileged children.
Solidarity for the local populations is not just a buzzword for the 4L Trophy™ Rally: it’s embedded in its DNA. The emotional response of all participants at the ceremony to hand over donations, organised in partnership with the Enfants du désert (“Children of the Desert”) Charity is a highlight of the adventure and testimony to the importance of the solidarity shown by the participants.