The grand finals of the Rainforest Challenge was held in Malaysia from November 28th to December 7th. the race itself is a real off road challenge for all competitors. During the monsoon season, rainforests in Malaysia aren’t just a walk in a park.
Malaysia was the host for the main competition after a whole year of national RFC races which are united into a brand called Rainforest Challenge Global series. Italy, India, Bulgaria, Russia, India and a dozen more races… And now the main event – the Rainforest Challenge Malaysia.
Luis AJ Wee, the founder of the event always emphasizes: Rainforest Challenge Malaysia 2015 is not just a motorsport challenge, to race in Malaysia is both personal and off road victory.
Thirty five competing crews, the media and the staff gathered in Bandar Sri Sendayan for the opening ceremony and presentation of the teams and then moved near Port Dickson for the prologue, which ended on November 29th. This first phase gave us a taste of what to expect in the jungle.
Special stages including water, mud and vegetation, were a worthy summary of what would happen later. In fact, during the transfer to the first field called Predator, the convoy was separated in two, the reason being a difficult path. The crews in the race started first, they managed to get to the camp only after a long night spent winching to overcome a challenging mountain while the media and some marshalls had to camp along the way and use a different way later on. Special tests were staged here before organizing the transfer to the second camp called Terminator, in the district of Kuala Pilah.
Crews have taken a path along the ridge of the mountains. The rest of the convoy reached the field following a different path at the foot of the mountain. For the teams, it should have been a short and simple way but the roughness of the territory, the mud and the rain have made this stage so difficult that only a very few managed to arrive at the bivouac on time. Others have succeeded in the following morning while the less fortunate were forced to leave their vehicles in the jungle and – walk. After that, due to incredibly heavy terrain, some of the tests were canceled.
On December 7th, the awards ceremony was held in Kuala, After an incredible odyssey that pushed everyone to their limits, the Rainforest Challenge Malaysia 2015 has finished with a great success. See you next year!
TEXT & PHOTOS: Paolo Baraldi