4×4 Croatia Trophy 2011 Stage 5

Adventure and Extreme Classes took two different tracks.

Adventure and Extreme Classes took two different tracks.

Fun in the mud

Adventure Class

Today we were on our own. What I mean by that is that, normally, the Adventure Class would follow most of the Extreme Class roadbook, and skip only the really challenging, technical sections. However, today we had a roadbook all to ourselves. Just the nine of us (vehicles).

And we promptly get lost! Well most of us anyway. Somehow we surprise Igor at a winch point near a river. And he IS very surprised, as we casually wave, drive up and present our roadbook for a stamp. “What are you doing here?! This is the Extreme Route!”

He waves us away and points us in a direction through the thick trees, smiling and shaking his head. Dumbfounded we turn around and try to figure out which way to go, just as another Adventure 4×4 arrives at the same point. So it wasn’t just us…

Igor is even more confused and some Croatian is exchanged to the other organisation members as he walks off to where the Extreme cars are winching. Leaving us to figure it out!

Some time later – still not sure where we were, we find a checkpoint that confirms we are back on the correct route – but completely out of sync…

And that is where the brake pedal touches the floor. No more brakes. We dive under the car, and see that the brake pads have been worn away so far that the backing plate has fallen out! One of the Croatia Trophy crew (Darko) at the checkpoint drives a Nissan Patrol GR and he is impressed that we have the same axles under the Land Rover. He offers to tow us back to the camp. According to the organisation we were not far from it anyway, but who can tell in this thick forest and the confusion with the roadbook.

Back at camp we take the brake callipers off and try to find a matching pair in camp from the other teams. Nobody can help us as these are Patrol axles and most are driving Land Rover, Jeep, G-wagen etc. We get the phone number of a car parts store, from Darko, and order the parts. Nothing for it than to head for the nearest town in the morning. Disappointing, and a good lesson for us – but we had some fun on the stage today…

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