Sunday, September 17, 2017

John Sambo Wins Inaugural RFC Philippines 2017


Last August 25 to 28, 2017, off-road aficionados congregated at the Clark Freeport Zone Parade Ground to witness Rainforest Challenge (RFC) Philippines 2017. A scaled-down version of RFC Malaysia, the event was a 4-day multi-discipline off-road competition whose main objective was to identify from a pool of local off-roaders the next Team Philippines members.

The Event Flag-off was held at the Clark Freeport Zone with the competition officially opened by a Prologue Race. It comprised of Special Stages (SS) in the Sacobia River Bed, Mabalacat City, Pampanga that tested not only the racers’ off-road driving talent but their survival and vehicle maintenance skills as well. The competition then proceed to the designated campsites for the next two days: Fort Springs, Porac, Pampanga and Sitio Pilyen, Brgy. Sta Juliana, Capas, Tarlac where additional special stages where be conducted.

Despite the threat of Typhoon Jolina, the competition pushed through with 25 teams flagging off along with over 30 vehicles from the organizing committee.

Three days of intense competition saw 15 competitors finish the race. Taking top honors were John Sambo of Sto. Tomas, Pampanga of the Pampanga Adventure Team followed by Dosz Suguitan of Team Giba. Taking third spot was Roel Mercado of Cabalen FourWheelers Club.

Also present durng the competition was Ms. Jezza Mae Daquil, Miss Earth GenSan who finished 15th overall. She bested her dad, National Association of Filipino Off-roaders (NASFOR) 2016 Driver of the Year Jodax Daquil who finished at 16th place.

Winner Sambo will join Team Philippines in Malaysia as a touring adventurer when they compete in RFC Malaysia 2017 in November. He will get to observe the full competition and jungle adventure conditions together with RFC Team Philippines headed by Larry Mendiola. Present during the Awarding Ceremony to congratulate the competitors was none other than RFC founder Luis J.A Wee.

The Rainforest Challenge Global Series (RFC GS) is considered to be one of the toughest 4x4 competitions in the world where racers from more than 30 countries take part. It pits extreme off-roaders from all over the world against each other for over two decades.

Since its founding in 1997, the RFC GS has gone on to become a global off-road phenomenon, with RFC GS races currently being held in Russia, China, Italy, Ecuador, and Sri Lanka to name a few with the finals held every November in Malaysia. To win, competitors have to cross the Malaysian jungle, overcoming all conceivable barriers, often in hellish conditions of torrential rain or blazing heat.

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