4L Trophy: the Challenges of a Successful Preparation
Baptistin Buchet, 22, a student in the final year of the “System, Network and Security” (SRS) specialization of the school will participate in the 4L Trophy as the pilot of the crew EPITA, alongside Vincent Bohly (EPITA – 2012).
What is the 4L Trophy?
Over a period of ten days, the 4L Trophy is a 100% student raid, combining good atmosphere and humanitarian actions. The 1,200 pairs or 2,400 students from all over France, travel nearly 7,000 miles through France, Spain and Morocco, driving a legendary car: the Renault 4L. In addition to this particular challenge, each participant will carry two hundred pounds of school supplies and sports clothing for the neediest children of Morocco.
What motivated you to participate?
It’s been several years since I heard about the student raid. Whenever I met people who had participated in 4L Trophy, their description of the event was so attractive and was so mind boggling that I finally wanted to be part of the future participants.
Besides the meetings and sharing, Vincent and I wish to have an involvement full of emotions and achieve our first humanitarian experience. The final ranking will thus remain merely a bonus.
How are you and your co-pilot preparing yourselves for this event?
Although the feedback for preparation of 4L Trophy is pretty scary at first sight, it’s totally affordable if the motivation and desire are present. The departure of a crew costs about € 6,000. With our limited student salaries, the first logical step is to reach individuals, associations and businesses for financial aid, such as grants or partnerships, to collect such a sum.
With Vincent, we have successfully met this challenge in just over seven months. It is the town hall and zoo of Thoiry and EPITA that are now part of our biggest partners. These funds are then used to purchase a Renault 4L and perform related technical preparations so that it can withstand the ups and downs of the Moroccan desert. Currently we are working with our hands dipped in dirty grease.
How to balance school and participation in the 4L Trophy?
Many students become discouraged looking at the work required to prepare for a 4L Trophy. It is true that at EPITA our free time is extremely limited. But I can assure you that with proper time management this preparation is quite feasible. So I will try my best to help and motivate future participants by proving that it is possible to balance school and participation in the 4L Trophy.
What is the specificity of this year’s event?
Each year, the organizers of the 4L Trophy try to improve by learning from past mistakes. This year, the outstanding feature is the location of the big start on 16 February. While it was being done at “Stade de France” earlier, the 1200 Renault 4Ls will this year depart from the Futuroscope theme park to celebrate its 25 years.