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Dakar Rally 2015: The real Odyssey before - or how to be at the Start in time. | 29.08.2014


Defender Challenge: Rd 5 of the series by Bowler takes place this weekend. | 29.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Honda HRC riders finished first part of the marathon stage. | 29.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Top 10 cars mixed after hardest stage - Spinelli still leader. | 28.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Impressions from the Marathonrally in Brazil (77). | 28.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Two X-Rally NWM Ford Ranger in good 2nd and 4th position. | 28.08.2014


Baja Poland: Poland to welcome 112 competitors in Baja Poland this weekend. | 28.08.2014













































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Rainforest Challenge Italy: Euro Selections - where the Tough gets going






Back in the days of the Romans, the bulky bridge on the Isonzo river was a strategic link to the eastern territories (present day Slovenia). It was on this vital bridge that the Goths, Ostrogoths, Lombards, Avari, Huns & Turks crossed over to invade the empire. Many great battles were fought between the centurions and the invaders in this Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region in the province of Gorizia in those bygone days.

Fast forward to present day, another battle of the 4x4 extreme kind was fought along the gullies, soggy/muddy inner banks of the same river at Farra d’Isonzo, Gorizia & Gradisca d’Isonzo.

This time it was the invasion of 4x4 warriors & their fellow supporters from Belgium, Austria, Slovenia & home country Italy, bringing with them the economic spill-over effects of sports tourism from Rainforest Challenge (RFC) Euro Selections 2013, the first event in the calendar of "RFC Global Series".

Weeks before, the stage was already set for 4x4 extreme battles by Mother Nature; the cold wintry chill that blanketed most of Europe laid the foundations for the soggy/watery terrain as the snow melted; and as Spring approached, it brought in more than the usual showers which swelled the Isonzo above normal level.

The 15 Special Stages (SS) set along the undulating soft river banks and water bogged marshes, amidst a surreal forest filled with gullies reminisced that of the Twilight Zone (TZ) of Malaysia, the home of the legendary mother event RFC.

D-Day commenced with a night Prologue Special Stage (SS), fast and furious as the 26 off-road teams zoomed off into the darkness from Tenuta Borgo Conventi in Farra d’Isonzo, a vineyard mansion.

Adrenalin was pumping high for all the teams as this was also the first day of action, the Prologue SS. There was a touch human drama in the countryside on that cold night too; from the first time nervous teams to the seasoned campaigners, however, everyone finished the night stage in high spirits, in anticipation for the second day’s action.

As expected, the next day was a full blown non-stop action (Saturday) along the undulating terrain filled with gullies and the soggy/watery banks.

Tough 7 SS which required winching from the left, right and centre as well as technical driving and recovery skills against the steep gradients, water bogged river banks and punishing water crossing for the two classes: Modified category (RFC specifications) and the Special category (proto-type buggies).

The tight sections also required careful technical maneuvering at the steering wheel and driver/co-driver coordination to get out of tricky situations.

The weekend also brought logistics crew, supporters and hundreds of spectators to town savouring the hospitality and culinary delights of this region renowned for its fine wines and gastronomy apart from witnessing fast paced 4x4 action.

“We use the undulating terrain here with some soggy and muddy grounds which are similar in difficulties that we have experienced in Malaysia,” commented Ales Plesnicar, the Event Director with combat experience in the legendary TZ of mother event RFC.

“Every team here must learn how to tackle the SS with off-road skills and a corresponding mindset to match and sporting spirit to withstand the punishment, otherwise, they are not prepared for the grand finale,” he added.

The winners here get a chance to be selected for the Rainforest Challenge 2013 to take place in Malaysia this Dec. So, this is a very serious warming up time, a test of skills and a test of nerves to finish all the 15 SS meticulously planned for the weekend.

The final day (Sunday) saw more thrills and spills as the teams twisted and turned the machines in the river, steep banks, V-gullies with more mud and water splashing. It was a test to their limits and beyond, even for the more experienced teams.

For the proto-type buggies, they faced even harsher tests due to their machine specifications advantage. Anyway, whichever route the teams in the two categories went, there was really no escape from the extreme winching exercises, after all, this is following the format of the RFC, listed as one of the ten toughest motor races in the world.

Since the race for top positions was intense, tight and tough as each teams pushed themselves to the limits and beyond, errors can be very costly. The punishing water stages have many hidden “traps” which could sink any well crafted 4x4 which it did.

The SS took its toll even among the top teams. However, for all the participating teams, they are all winners in their own rights for going through the tough paces with superb willpower, machine-power, winch power and a great sporting spirit to go through the SS.

This Italian spring event was a series of hard fought exhausting 4x4 battles, it has also brought out the best in passion, style and skills from the 4x4 teams in their well crafted machines from Belgium, Austria, Slovenia and host country Italy. For these modern-day warriors, it has been a tough weekend, and just like in the days of old, a place where the tough gets going.

Top Guns in Classifica Preparati (full body 4x4 modified)

01) Marco Zanuttini - Ivaldi Calligaris I Land Rover Defender 90
02) Andrea Alfano - Roberto Munitello I Suzuki Vitara
03) Alessandro Rossi - Filippo Bertolotti I Land Rover Defender 90
04) Luca Valente - Stefano Marsiglia I Toyota Land Cruiser

Top Guns in Clasifica Speciali (proto-type/modified buggy)

01) Francesco Nano - Sebastian Casagrande I Jimmys Buggy
02) Bernhard Feeberger - Heinz Feeberger I Wrangler Jeep
03) Lorenzo Tadini - Tiago Ivan I Prototype Italy
04) Primoz Arcon - Crt Gorjan I Suzuki

2013/04/03 | 13:03 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/WEE/BARALDI











Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS05 on Thursday | 29.08.2014 03:33 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS05 on Thursday | 29.08.2014 03:24 | NEW




Dakar Rally 2015: The real Odyssey before - or how to be at the Start in time. | 29.08.2014 02:40 | NEW




Defender Challenge VIDEO: Impressions of the series by Bowler Rd 4 Wales | 29.08.2014 01:31 | NEW




Defender Challenge: Rd 5 of the series by Bowler takes place this weekend. | 29.08.2014 01:27 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Honda HRC riders finished first part of the marathon stage. | 29.08.2014 00:47 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 17:10 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment rally video of SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 17:08 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Top 10 cars mixed after hardest stage - Spinelli still leader. | 28.08.2014 16:33 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Impressions from the Marathonrally in Brazil (77). | 28.08.2014 04:57 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Two X-Rally NWM Ford Ranger in good 2nd and 4th position. | 28.08.2014 04:48 | NEW




Baja Poland: Poland to welcome 112 competitors in Baja Poland this weekend. | 28.08.2014 02:20 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 01:56 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 00:44 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: KTM’s Marc Coma hangs on to overall lead in dos Sertoes. | 27.08.2014 23:48 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Paulo Gonçalves clinches victory in SS04 - the longest stage. | 27.08.2014 23:32 | NEW




Desafío Inca: German manufacturer battle - X-Raid Mini vs SAM Mercedes CC | 27.08.2014 19:26 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 18:33 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 18:29 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 17:55 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Both Ford Rangers reached top speeds above 175 km/h. | 27.08.2014 17:07 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Onboard with X-Rally Ford Ranger Baumgart / Cincea | 27.08.2014 16:35 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Stagewin for Toyota´s Varela in S3 but Spinelli still leader. | 27.08.2014 16:19 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Goncalves - "Hope to ride hard without making mistakes" | 27.08.2014 16:00 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Marc Coma wins again in Bikes and remains the leadership. | 27.08.2014 15:35 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 19:14 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment rally video of SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 18:57 |




Baja Poland: X-raid with four Mini All4 Racing - chase for World Cup continues. | 26.08.2014 17:21 |




Baja Poland: Overdrive Racing with five Toyota Hilux and Nasser Al Attiyah. | 26.08.2014 16:45 |




Rally dos Sertões: Mitsubishi´s Spinelli / Haddad the new leader in the cars. | 26.08.2014 05:17 |




Rally dos Sertões: Gonçalves wins SS2 in Bikes but Coma still overall leader. | 26.08.2014 05:02 |




Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Nice impressions from the first days in Brazil (79) | 26.08.2014 04:53 |




Baja Poland VIDEO: Official trailer of the Baja Poland FIA CC World Cup 2014 | 26.08.2014 04:32 |




Donaldson CC: Test of character for the teams at South African Vryburg 450 | 26.08.2014 03:49 |




Rallyraid: Kamaz Master legend Ilgizar Mardeev tragically died in an accident. | 26.08.2014 03:09 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 02:30 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 01:59 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Driving onboard with Overdrive Toyota Hilux of Verala | 26.08.2014 01:46 |




Rally dos Sertões: Honda´s Paulo Goncalves wins second stage in the bikes. | 26.08.2014 01:28 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment video of SS01 Sunday (crash) | 26.08.2014 00:56 |




















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