Team Philippines completes 10-day off-road competition in Malaysia

eam Philippines was able to complete the 10-day off-road motorsport Rainforest Challenge (RFC) Grand Finals 2018 in Malaysia.

Dubbed as one of the toughest motor races in the world, the RFC was held in the treacherous jungles of Kota Bahru, Kelantan in Malaysia.

The Philippine team composed of driver Eduardo Sobrepeña and co-driver Boxy Malonzo, both natives from the City of San Fernando, raced against 28 country teams from Russia, China, Mongolia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Czech Republic, Korea, Ecuador, Vietnam, and Thailand from November 23 to December 4, 2018.

The team competed in a modified Land Cruiser FJ40 in the Modified Production Category with 14 competitors. The other 14 competitors are in the Protoype Category.

After finishing 32 special stages and two Twilight Zone Transport Stages, Team Philippines earned a total score of 1,642 points and landed in fifth place in the Modified Category during the Night Closing Awards at Gua Musang on December 4.

The team finished with top bracket standings in 12 out of 32 Special Stages.

The team also received the special award and distinction as the “Most Up and Coming Team” for demonstrating great winning potential even as a first timer to the race.

Meanwhile, the Malaysia Vietnam team bagged the first place in the Modified Production Category, and the Russian Vladivostok won the first place in the Prototype Category.

“Grabe pala ang hirap,” Philippine team driver Sobrepeña said when asked to describe his experience at the RFC Grand Finals.

But despite the hardships, RFC Global Series Philippine Representative Robby Consunji said the team will continue to prepare for the world’s toughest off-road motorsport.

“The Filipino racers demonstrated guts, grit and determination to compete and complete the RFC Grand Finals putting the Filipinos in the international arena of off-road motorsports. We’ll try again next year,” Consunji said.

The Philippine team was fully supported RFC Global Series Event Chairman Rene Romero, a known-off-road enthusiast from Pampanga.

Romero’s Romac Group of Companies including his group Pampanga Off-Roaders Club, Inc. served as sponsors to the Philippine team.

Petron Corporation, a Filipino-owned oil company, served as the official fuel and engine oil of the RFC Grand Finals Malaysia.

Other sponsors to the event include Clark Development Corporation, Petron Corporation, Maxxis Tires, ARB 4×4 Accessories, Old Man Emu, ComeUp Winch, Project Arrow 4×4 Outfitters, Coffee Lab by Conlins Coffee, LINE-X, CTEK, Bendix, Hardex, BlueChem, Britpart Philippines, Cebuana Lhuillier, WRU GPS Trackers, Red Bull, Motolite, Inbox Stores.Ph, Grand Rajas Block Corp., The Tree of Erwin Dizon, Laus Auto Group, former Congressman Mikey Arroyo, Manman Bengco, Fred Lao, Nel Canlas, Joey Bravo, René Mouris, and YSA Skin and Body Experts.

The race was supported in partnerships with Land Rover Club of the Philippines, Jungle Base Firing Range and 4×4 Center, Outdoor Challenge Philippines, Pureforce and Rescue Corp., and the AFP Northern Luzon Command.

Local government partners include municipalities of Floridablanca, Arayat, Porac and the cities of Angeles and Mabalacat.

Media partners include, Autocar Philippines, Mellow 94.7, The Awesome Wake Up Show, Punto Central Luzon, and Adventour Asia International Travel Magazine.

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