India’s biggest and toughest off-road motorsport event, the Rainforest Challenge (RFC) India is back with some much-awaited adrenalin-filled off-road action. Organized by Delhi-based Cougar Motorsport, the 9th edition of this mega event has commenced in Goa from July 22, 2023.
Twenty one teams, consisting of some of the best off-roaders from across the country, will participate in RFC India 2023. The winners of the competition will be announced on July 23, 2023 and the top Indian driver of RFC India 2023 will win a free entry to the RFC Global Series 2023 Finale to be held in Malaysia at the end of the year.
RFC India was launched by Cougar Motorsport in 2014 as the India Chapter of the Rainforest Challenge of Malaysia, which is ranked No. 3 in the Five Toughest Off-Road Races in the World by Skoda Motorsport (2018) and which has regional chapters in over 30 countries worldwide. Over the years, RFC India has emerged as the most prestigious off-road motorsport competition in India.
Luis J.A. Wee, the Founder and Creator of the Rainforest Challenge, wished the competitors the very best for the challenges that are in store for them over the course of the event. He said, “When the Southwest monsoon blows, it is time for the award-winning Rainforest Challenge India to, once again, take its rightful place among the elite events of the RFC Global Series. It will be quite thrilling when the bravest of the land daredevils converge in Goa to put their off-road driving and recovery skills to test at the India edition of one of the world’s top five toughest off-road races. Congratulations to all the participants for making it to the 9th edition of this mega event.”
Maruti Suzuki has made a comeback in the motorsport space with RFC India 2023. The company has joined hands with Cougar Motorsport as the Co-Sponsor and 4X4 Partner of this mega motorsport event. As part of this partnership, a special Jimny Experience Zone will be created where the participants and visitors of RFC India 2023 will get an opportunity to drive the recently launched Maruti Suzuki Jimny vehicle on curated tracks under the supervision of instructors for 4 days of the event. The Jimny vehicles will also be used by the officials of RFC India 2023.
Regarding their partnership with Maruti Suzuki for this event, Cougar Motorsport’s Founder & Director Ashish Gupta said, “Maruti Suzuki has nurtured motorsport in India since long. It is an honor for us to have them pick RFC India as the first event to partner with on their return to the motorsport arena after a brief hiatus. The Jimny is a full-fledged 4x4 vehicle and RFC India 2023, for which hundreds of off-road enthusiasts from across the country will converge in Goa for a week, is the perfect platform for the brand to showcase the vehicle’s capabilities to their target audience.”
During the next few days, some of the most evolved off-roaders of the country will compete against each other and they will be tested on several parameters such as their driving and vehicle recovery skills, physical and mental resilience as well as their capability to work well as a team under extreme off-road conditions. Each team, consisting of a driver and a co-driver, will undertake 26 challenges, referred to as Special Stages (SS), during the week-long competition in their specially prepared 4-wheel drive vehicles. The team with the maximum points at the end of all the SS of the competition will be announced the RFC India 2023 Champions.
Wishing the contestants well for the upcoming event, Ashish Gupta said, “We have a total of 21 entries this year and all participants and vehicles seem well-prepared for the upcoming week of endless challenges. Every year, we see new talent emerging out during the competition as well as some innovative off-roading techniques. I am looking forward to some great action this year as well.”
The winners of the previous editions of RFC India include Satish Kumar (co-driver Chethan Chengappa) from Karnataka in 2022, Kabir Waraich (co-driver Dushyant Khosla) from Chandigarh in 2021, Gurmeet Virdi (co-driver Chetan Chengappa) from Chandigarh in 2019, Jagat Nanjappa (co-driver Chetan Changappa) from Karnataka in 2018, Gurmeet Virdi (co-driver Kirpal Singh Tung) from Chandigarh in 2017 and 2016 as well as Tan Eng Joo (co-driver Tan Choon Hong) of Malaysia, representing Force Motors, in 2015 and 2014.
Apart from Maruti Suzuki, several other industry leaders have partnered with Cougar Motorsport for the 2023 edition of RFC India. COMEUP Winch is the Associate Sponsor, Manipal Hospitals is the Medical Partner for the event, Taan is the Hydration Partner, Brut Force is the communication partner while Tenet Diagnostics is the Diagnostics Partner. The event is supported by Goa Tourism.
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