If you’ve never heard of the Rainforest Challenge Series (RFC), then here are some key facts. Established in 1997, the series stands as of the toughest 4x4 challenges in the world, and is perhaps one of the most internationally represented event of its kind to be held within Malaysian borders.
This year, the series saw its Grand Finale leg flagged off last weekend in the state of Kelantan. In conjunction with that, RFC’s title sponsors Petron Malaysia opted to host its special annual press road trip, with the aim of giving press members – us included – a closer insight of the competition and how the latter firm fuels it – quite literally.
Things kicked off early on Sunday, Dec 1 with the RFC 2019 Grand Finale’s flag off ceremony held at the Hotel Grand Riverview Kota Bahru. This year, the series hosts 450 participants hailing from 20 countries. In all, there were over 50 vehicles competing, and Petron powered all of them.
More specifically, Petron supplies the challengers with its signature Petron Turbo Euro 5 Diesel fuels and Petron Rev-X diesel engine lubricants throughout.
The opening leg of the Finale in Kelantan alone would see competitors competing across Special Stages, each more challenging than the last.
“The focus on full racing aspects this year will be tough as teams will try to overcome 50 Special Stages (SS). Only the best combination of man and machine, plus the right fuel and engine oil will propel the teams for a podium finish,” said Luis J.A. Wee, the founder and creator of RFC series in describing what RFC was all about.
Some of the stages, by the way, have names like Predator, Terminator, and Twilight Zone. To conquer them, the tasks undertaken by competitors include navigating up and down extremely steep hills, crossing V gullies, swamps, not to mention steering around the brown-red mud pools.
In between all of these stages, competitors will have their vehicles over at Petron service stations in Kota Bahru, Pasir Putih, Laloh and Gua Musang to refuel before continuing their challenges. Last weekend’s leg would see them venture further off road into some of Kelantan’s rough and tough ex-logging trails.
Adding to the challenge last weekend too were the constant heavy rainstorms. Kota Bharu had been experiencing non-stop rain for several days prior to the flag off, and it resulted in competitors having to deal with even more mud, tougher ruts and much deeper waters in some stages too.
Having seen all these challenging stages first hand, it’s no surprise that competitors would want the best fuel and lubricants available, and Petron Malaysia did not disappoint them to say the least.
“This is our fourth collaboration with RFC, fuelling the globally recognised race and underscoring the capability of our technologically-advanced Petron Turbo Diesel Euro 5, which delivers better power, excellent engine protection, and better mileage,” said Choong Kum Choy, Head of Retail and Commercial Business Petron Malaysia.
In short, if ever there were doubts about the leading fuel retailers products – Euro 5 diesel and Rev-X diesel engine lubricants, in particular – then doubters need not look further past this intense annual 4x4 challenge.
By the end of its run, the RFC 2019 Grand Finale would have gone through Kota Bharu, Pasir Mas, Tanah Merah, and Kuala Krai before concluding in Gua Musang. The event will cap off with a massive two-day carnival that open to members of the public on December 8 and 9, 2019.
Pictures: Petron Malaysia