The 4L Trophy: a full-scale learning experience for our Vatel Bordeaux students

The 4L Trophy is ready and waiting for Alexandre Piquer and Tanguy Forcade (M3B). Ever since their first year at Vatel Bordeaux, they’d both decided to take part in this new challenge which will take place from February 15 to 25.

Ten days, 6,000 kilometers in the desert, two pilots in 4L cars, among 3,000 participants! This is the 4L Trophy, the largest 100% student rally in Europe.
Though they were preparing, they took time to answer all our questions.

How did you get the idea of participating in the 4L Trophy?

Both of us had seen a video by Amixem, the YouTuber (a participant in the 2016 4L Trophy), and that inspired us. At first, the adventure part was more important. And now, the humanitarian part is the one we’re most inspired by. We had the opportunity of doing our internships in luxurious hotels in Saint Barthelme and knew we were privileged. But that’s not the case for everyone and that’s why we want to give a helping hand, do something to improve the daily lives of people who are having a hard time.

How do adventure and humanitarian experiences go hand-in-hand in the 4L Trophy?

We’ll drive for 6,000 kilometers in Morocco. Then, in about the middle of this trip, we’ll spend two days and one night alone in the desert. We’ll take a tent, a survival kit, spare parts, etc. We’ll have to plan for all our lunch meals.

We hope to have lunch with local people to discover a new culture, share convivial moments. They know we’ll be coming. Three thousand participant which means 1,500 cars don’t go unseen!

We’ll be bringing school supplies for children. Thanks to our partner, Agnes Ferret, who manages Calipage, we’ll bring 60 book bags. Also fifteen school kits and five calculators. These supplies are for primary school to middle school children via the “Les enfants du désert” [Children in the desert] association. We hope to be one of the ambassadors who will be chosen to donate these supplies in direct to have this unique opportunity and be closer to the population.

We’ll also donate foodstuffs to the Red Cross.

You are both Vatel Bordeaux students. How is Vatel Bordeaux supporting you?

Our school is our largest financial backer.

Outside of financial support, our professors, including Mr. Mettelin (a wine vintages professor at Vatel Bordeaux), gave us a list of contacts for potential partners.

Also Mrs. Thiolas (a geopolitical professor at Vatel Bordeaux) spoke with us about Moroccan culture so that we’d be well prepared to contact the local populations.

And last but not least, our Vatel courses allowed us to learn more about creating associations and having the donations generate tax breaks. That’s why we decided to found the “2 Vatel en 4L” Association to facilitate donation collection. We’d also like to make this association a sustainable one to allow future generations of Vatel Bordeaux students to take part in this race too.

How did you find your sponsors?

We contacted people in the hospitality field, our friends, parents of our friends. We used crowdfunding sites.

What did you learn both personally and professionally?

We wanted a car that had already done this rally to cut down on costs. We found one on Craig’s List. We thought we had a good deal. But at the end of the day we had to change almost everything! At least now we know how to change a carburetor, brakes, head gaskets, tires …(laughs).

I’ve also become more independent, and can solve more problems by myself, Tanguy added.

What are your goals?

Being approved for the tests! (laughs). There’s still a lot of work that needs doing. Starting by painting the car.
We hope at the least to get to the Ambassador’s Day to meet the children. Of course we want to finish the race and win it.

You have to use directions well and correctly because the goal is to do the least amount of km to go from point A to point B.

We’re sure of one thing. We’re going to learn a lot in this rally, even if we don’t yet know what.