Coming soon, the finale event of RFC Global Series for the year, the Rainforest Challenge (RFC) mother event in Malaysia, this 25 Nov to 5 Dec: RFC’16 Grand Final. That time of the year for the bravest of the land daredevils coming for a “special dose of high adrenalin” in will-power, engine power and their enduring passion to “get up and get going” against all odds in the unforgiving terrain of the RFC, rated as among the Top Ten Toughest Motor Races in the World. This year’s special 20th edition will take place in Pahang, the biggest state in peninsula Malaysia, a tropical paradise for sports & adventure based tourism. RFC is also a promotional platform for Visit Pahang Year 2017. Some highlights of RFC Grand Final 2016.

Public Display @ Publika.

Public Display on 25 Nov @ PUBLIKA, the up market and trendy lifestyle mall in Kuala Lumpur. New this year: Catch HITZ FM (#1 hit station for the Young, the Trendy & the Updated generation) powered by Petron Turbo Diesel, RFC Enduro Trophy motorbikes, Supped up Nissan Navara, the EarthCruiser (from USA, the “go anywhere” trucking in comfort), Flash Mob Dancers by AENO (official drink) & UTV/ATV machines. Meet the overseas participants and media. Program: 0900 hrs: Police escorted RFC convoy from Leapple klcc hotel. (1000hrs — 1545hrs):Technical inspection. (1600hrs): Presentation of who’s who. (1700hrs):Tea Break. (1800hrs):Event Welcoming/Briefing: Past, Present & Future. (2000hrs): End of function. Special purchase of all RFC items, Explorer camping items & Beaume products @ 20% discount for 20th Edition RFC @ Explorer Outfitter.

 Back to our Roots : Welcome to Kuala Lumpur.

It will be a nostalgic “Going Back to Our Roots” for our 20th Edition of the RFC this 26 Nov, to “Relive Our Birth,” so to speak, that many years ago on 23 Nov 1997 @ Dataran Merdeka (iconic Independence Square in the centre of Kuala Lumpur). Yes, we will be where we first started the RFC @ same square, same street (Jalan Raja) & same majestic building (Sultan Abdul Samad, built in 1897) in collaboration with the City Hall (tourism department). It’s not every day that we get a chance to celebrate a 20th edition, so expect a razzmatazz “Welcome to Kuala Lumpur!” on 26 Nov.

Welcome to Pahang.

The official state flagging off ceremony will be held at Padang MPK Kuantan (Taman Kerang) on 27 Nov, “Welcome to Pahang” by Tourism Pahang with state VIPs.

Meet the 7-time Champion

Heading the Top Guns list vying for a place in RFC Global Series Hall of Fame will be a formidable yet affable, humble & sporting champion indeed. He has clinched the champion’s trophy not once, but 7 times in three countries! And he has done so almost in succession since 2005. Why take the risk of being overthrown? “Winning or losing is not everything in life; I love the adrenalin rush during the race, love crafting the machines, love meeting off-road people & I love the RFC,” he smiled. Yes, it’s Team 117 of Tan Eng Joo @ Ah Lu from Johor, Malaysia. This 3-time champion in the mother event (2005, 2006 & 2013), 2-time champions in RFC China (2010 & 2011) as well as being the 2-time Champion of RFC India (2014 & 2015) is ready to take on the mother event once again, for this historic year of our 20th edition with Alex Tan, his co-driver/winchman since 2013. Both these small-frame diminutive off-road warriors will be the team to watch out for, not only by the other Top Guns but also by everyone coming to see The Master “live” in action.

The Warriors from Eastern Siberia

The other Top Guns coming to take their rightful place in the Hall of Fame will be two Russian teams comprising of (1) Team 104 of Roman Kublak, the 2-time champion of mother event (2012 & 2014), his winch-man will be Pavel Kovalenko and (2) Team 105 of Valeriy Lyubarenko (driver) who has mother event experience and the current RFC East Russia Champion. His proven winchman, Andrei Katkov is ready for action. Both Team 104 & 105 hail from Vladivostok, the Russian port-city on the Pacific Coast in eastern Siberia.

The Land Below the Wind

Team Maxxis 119 of Chang Chew Shen from state of Sabah in East Malaysia, the current champion, is back to defend his title. This time, he will have a most able winch-man @ “strongman” in the likes of Eward Benggon (who was also the co-driver of RFC Champion in 2009). Chang’s mean machine and driving skills plus the agile and fast-footed Edward will be going all out to prove a “second win.”

The Dark Horse Entries

Team 106 of Igor Vakhniuk (driver) & Maksim Kalimullin (winch-man), first time entry to mother event is the “dark horse” entry from the far eastern region of Primorsky Krai, Russia. The other “dark horses” will be Team 108, the champion of RFC India comprising of Gurmeet Singh Virdi assisted by able winch-man Kirpal Singh (both from Gerrari Off-Roaders Chandigarth). Proven on home ground and now for the ultimate test in this final of RFC in Malaysia. Yet another will be the Top Gun of RFC Vietnam of Tran Manh Hung and Nguyen Manh Dung of Team 151. These are the “Dark Horse” entries, who can cause an upset anytime, should any of the top teams become careless.

Eastern and Southern Tigers

Apart from the “Dark Horse” entries, the other contenders should not be overlooked nor discounted at all. These will be coming from the eastern and southern regions of peninsula Malaysia, namely from Kelantan, Terengganu and Johor off-road warriors. They have earned their rights as qualified regional champions respectively and going all out to put up a good show of driving and recovery skills. They could also “turn the tables” on the Top Guns, who knows?

The “Amazonia” Ladies of Steel

Enter Fabiana Martins & Julieth Zanelato, the “T 3,000” generation of Ladies of Steel to take on the macho men. They will live up to the names of the earlier T 1,000 & T 2,000 ladies of steel in RFC. However, they will also make Brazilian 4×4 history as the 1st “all women team” from the motherland to battle against the odds A feat like this will require “Amazonian” willpower, strength & perseverance to “get up & get going” when the going gets very tough plus having lots of experience in 4×4 competitions. All of which, the duo possess. Fabiana @ Fabi also has a RFC experience in the mother event back in 2014 albeit in a UTV. “It’s an opportunity to show the talent & prowess of an all Brazilian women team in an extreme race of this nature. So, we’ll fight “tooth & nail” all the way to finish while enjoying the camaraderie of the RFC, unique and unequal to any 4×4 event anywhere in the world. “Getting mud in our faces is not for cosmetic purpose or just having fun, this is the real thing,” summed up Fabi.

Angels of Steel

Another T 3,000 entry will come from Malaysia’s up and coming next generation ladies in the likes of Nur Aina & Nurul Izzatie, who will be coming up with a new machine and more power to their driving and recovery skills. It will be interesting to watch how these young ladies (twenty-something) fare against the rest of the contenders and how they have improved from their first outing last year. Whatever their chances, they are a sight to behold alright and will certainly give the men, “a run for their money!” So, make way for the “Angels of Steel.”

Maslina Power

What about a mother with 4×4 power? Yes, that will be yet another Lady of Steel to contend with this year, that will come from Datin Maslina with winch-man Firdaus ready at anytime to go through the thick and thin of the RFC. This will be the second time she will be driving her much upgraded Suzuki. What makes this doting mother so interesting to watch is her drive and passion to keep going come what may, into the mud, uphill, downhill, you name it, she will be there and ably assisted by strongman Firdaus.

“Go Anywhere” Vehicle from USA.

This is an award winning 4×4 truck, called the EarthCruiser, that will be making a meaningful and historic entry from Bend, Oregon (USA). It is trucking into the wilderness, but with comfort. How & why? (1) It’s an EarthCruiser EXP, specially built to attend our 20th Edition (2) First time to be seen in Malaysia (3) It’s part of our global RFC family — owned by Lance Gillies (RFC 1998) who’s returning with Michelle Boltz for our memorable reunion (4) This EarthCruiser will be assigned for duty as our Event HQ command centre.

Rhode & Schwarz

A state of the art radio communications 4×4 to assist our Event HQ will come from Rhode & Schwarz Malaysia. They will also relay communications from the General Operations Force (Royal Malaysian Police) based at Camp Bukit Galing, Kuantan, the overall Tactical Operations Centre of this year’s RFC.

RFC Enduro Trophy

Another special of RFC 2016will also witness the entry of Enduro and Dual Purpose motorbikers competing for their place in a RFC event. They will have the same flag-off in Kuala Lumpur & Kuantan followed by Prologue SS action. Organized by Tri-Mus Motorsprorts, a partner of RFC Global Series, this will be the side event running from 26 to 28 Nov.

Twilight Zone (TZ)

Two Twilight Zones are planned for this year, the longest so far, at the north-western part of Pahang connecting to Cameron Highlands. This is not for the faint hearted. To take on the TZ, everyone must be fighting fit and fully prepared. To get out, teamwork is compulsory. It is a place the ordinary becomes extraordinary. A place where “heroes are made” facing the odds and conquering their fears, only for those with nerves of steel and spirit for endurance will pull through. A true place where the adage truly applies: when the going gets tough, the tough gets going.!

RFC Explorer

Here comes the RFC Explorers (RFCE) a new tourism category in line with our 20th Edition (Past, Present & Future). Spearheading the Europeans will be the Italians headed by Thomas Tonicello & Damiano d’Ambrosio. “A chance to touch-base & understand more of the jungle & enjoy the billion-star camping too,” both smiled. RFCE is for those who wish to savour the sights and sounds of the 120-million-year old rain forest first and foremost, but still are part of the RFC Grand Final (RFCGF) event. That’s why we have created separate routing for RFCE & RFCGF, but, both categories are able to rendezvous for camaraderie at selected campsites.

Rendezvous with the Jungle People

This will be a highlight mid-way into the event this year for both groups. To touch base and understand more of the jungle with the tribal inhabitants of the oldest rain forest in the world. It’s a special Goodwill & Camaraderie with Corporate Social Responsibility session with the people of the jungle and their children. A getting to know you session as well as appreciation of the way of life, traditions, culture, hunting as well as the culinary delights of the tribal inhabitants deep in the jungle of central Pahang

Enter the Dragon

This year, the Chinese will form the biggest contingent for the RFC Explorers group, some 45 media representatives in print, electronic and social media. While their competitor may not excel against the leading contenders, they are no pushovers and they are willing to learn.

Tactical Operations Centre (TAC)

This will be set up at the Brigade Tenggara of the General Operations Force of the Royal Malaysian Police at Bukit Galing, Kuantan to monitor the entire 10 days of the RFC this year. TAC is the nerve centre for tracking the event and will in touch with the RFC convoy on daily basis.

Welcome to RFC Grand Final 2016

To be at the starting line of the mother event RFC, you are already a winner, to finish the event you are extraordinary. Going through the rough and tumble, the unforgiving terrain and also facing the wrath of Mother Nature all combined to give the Rainforest Challenge (RFC) a reputation unequaled in the extreme world of 4×4. Be prepared in mind, body and machine.!

Note I: All schedules of both RFC Grand Final & RFC Explorers are subject to changes once the event rolls. “Mother Nature Rules Supreme,” all participants & media members should check with our field Event HQ at all times. It’s compulsory for all to attend the daily morning briefings. RFC Explorer is purely an expedition route enjoying the splendor of the 120 million rain forests.

Note II:However, for those in RFC Grand Final (in the racing category), take note that RFC is not rated among the Top Ten Toughest Motor Races in the World for nothing! Be prepared for: “Anything Goes.” Welcome to the RFC Grand Final in Malaysia.

A Press Release by RFC International Secretariat. Tel: 603 92008908. Cell phone: 012 211 7080 (whatsapp) Website: Facebook: rainforest challenge international group, Luis Wee, RFC, Luis Wee II & RFC Global Series. Email:,,,