Three Maltese teams, all members of the All Wheel Drive Club Malta, recently competed in the gruelling Croatia Trophy off-roading event which this year attracted 100 entries from 15 different countries.

The Croatia Trophy is a seven-day racing series where drivers, navigators, service crews and vehicles are tested to the limit.

The Maltese teams knew all too well that a top-10 finish was a realistic target.

The Ciappella Off Road Racing Team, with the Rover V8, powered Revolver Buggy, finished fourth for the best ever placing by a Maltese team in this event.

The Ciappella team driver was Adrian Bezzina with John Zammit as navigator.

Stefan Mallia and Alistair Caruana, with their V8-powered Kamoy Engineering sponsored buggy, were eighth and Kenneth Coleiro and Neville Ciantar (Corvette-powered Jotun sponsored off-roader) were 16th.

This year’s participants also included Jim Marsden, of the UK, who had just returned from one of the toughest US offroad races.

Russia’s Roman Kulbak, fresh from his Malaysian Rainforest Challenge success, was competing while Boros Csaba, of Hungary, was determined to improve on last year’s second placing, a target he achieved in some style.

Other noted participants at the Croatia Trophy were Jaap Bestema, of Holland, Antoine Reul, of Belgium, and Philon Porpottas, of the UK. All three had their sights on a podium finish.

This year’s Croatia Trophy was rendered more difficult as it rained constantly for three days, making the terrain extremely slippery with five-foot deep water crossings to tackle.

The AWDC teams were assisted by Grimaldi Shipping, Sullivan Maritime, Kunsill Malti g─žall-iSport and the Malta Motorsport Federation.

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