One of the world's top ten toughest and the most internationally represented 4X4 off-road motorsport event, the Rainforest Challenge (RFC) is now entered India with RFC India's first edition set to take place in August. The event will be held over a period of ten days from 7th to 17th August and will witness contesting teams struggling to survive through rugged terrains of the rainforests of western India.
The year 1997 saw the launch of one of the world’s most demanding 4x4 extreme off-road events in Malaysia. This hardcore adventure motorsport event was baptized as The Rainforest Challenge (RFC). Conceptualized and founded by Mr. Luis J.A.Wee, it has become an annual event held in the jungles of Malaysia during the monsoon season when the logging industry shuts down. Over the past decade, RFC has built a reputation as the world’s most well-known and internationally represented off-road motorsport event. Struggled out intensely over ten days in rugged and unforgiving terrain, the event flashes action, drama, camaraderie and heroism. Adventurers from all over the world continue to participate in this challenge of a lifetime. RFC takes competitors through mud, drenching rain, steep slippery slopes, deep ruts, gullies, flooded rivers, and landslides that are mercilessly demanding and dangerous.
Indians love driving and their cars. They enjoy motorsport in all its variety. This is quite evident from the number of off-roading clubs existing across the country. Although small in size, these clubs organize their own local events but have no exposure to international standards of off-road racing. This leaves a large gap in the sport for its hardcore enthusiasts. But, now no more! Cougar Motorsport, which successfully conducts off-road events for various automobile manufacturers including Land Rover and Mitsubishi, is bringing one of the world’s 10 toughest motor races to India. It’s time for Indian off-roaders to join the ranks of the global 4x4 community and with the RFC coming right at its doorstep, what better way to upgrade both the skills of man & machine with real live action & learning experience. The first edition of the challenge will kick-start in the Western Indian rainforests in August 2014 during the south west monsoons and more than 50 Indian and foreign participants are expected to participate.
Apart from the ordeal of crossing fast rising and swollen rivers, the teams also have to contend with 30 Special Stages (SS) across a multitude of obstacles from muddy, watery, and V-gullies. The challenge is to complete each SS in the fastest time and score the highest points. The Prologue stages, which take place in an area with spectator access, are followed by the Predator and Terminator stages that roll out on the fringes and deep inside the jungle. The Twilight Zone is the final stage that battles out on the basis of ‘survival of the fittest’.
The grand success of the mother event in Malaysia led Mr. Wee to expand and introduce its global series in seven countries; Italy, Russia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Tunisia, China and Australia. India is now all set to make its presence felt on the RFC Global series map from 2014 onwards.