Pink Panther at the 'Show Start'

4×4 croatia trophy 2010 – the show start in glina

The show-start in the town of Glina in remote Croatia gives the competitiors a chance to meet the locals and show off their machines…

Day 1 of the Croatia Trophy. The moment everyone has been working towards for a long time. It has been a full year since the previous ‘F1-in-Mud’ and everyone is raring to go and get into the mud!

Before the action commences in the forests around Staro Selo all the competitors are lined up and follow a police escort to the town of Glina, which is about twenty minutes away.

This serves as a warm-up for the vehicles (although they should be ready by now!) and we park up in a long row in the town square.

It’s a way to parade your truck to each other as well as, more importantly, give the local population the chance to view them up close. This builds bridges and understanding and serves to impress on the community just how big the trophy has become. And introduces them to the guys and girls, who have come to this remote part of Croatia, from all over Europe.

From as far afield as Malta and Portugal, with many English, Dutch, Belgian, German teams etc…

I guess the main idea is to give the villages in the area a reference point, to put a face behind the voice if you will. Most of the action (except possibly the ‘Team Trophy’) takes place in the dense forests. So most of the locals who have not ventured to go out and spectate have heard loud V8s being revved to within an inch of their lives. And shouts and directions echo through the bush as stuck vehicles are extricated from yet another mud hole.

So most will have glimpsed a trophy truck passing by (probably lost) or seen the convoys as they pulled into camp for the first time. Now they have a better idea of who comes storming into town every year and the demand for beer goes through the roof…

2 Comments

Experienced competitors are used to this and are mentally prepared for a tough first stage. Less experienced drivers commonly exhaust themselves in the first couple of hours and spend the rest of the stage and probably the whole event wondering what they have let themselves in for. Ah but, Stage One of the 2010 Croatia Trophy was even more cunning than that this year.

Old hands had psyched themselves up for a blistering start straight into the deepest swamp the forest could offer but instead found themselves parading in an exciting procession of competitor vehicles, press cars and support vehicles through the centre of Glina, the local administrative capital. Glina suffered greatly during the war and this unusual event was a welcome sign that the town was once again back on the map.

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