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This is the single-news section of the news "Offroad & Motorsports". To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

Rainforest Challenge: Team Russia and New Zealand back in RFC 2009.

"Last year was an appetiser for us," said the Russian Andrey Kurdakov from Vladisvostok, "we are coming again." Russian presence in the event has been in the touring adventurer category in the past; it was only last year that Kurdakov made the record by shipping two 4x4s (Toyota LC and Nissan Patrol). This year, he and his team will be back to relive another jungle adventure with the rest of the world, for a record second time.

The Russian Far East is an extreme region where the toughest of the tough comes from. And fitting this image is none other than Andrey Kurdakov, the President of Off Road Xtrack and his teamates. They have gone off-roading in the bogs, swamps, forests and in frozen Siberia under all kinds of conditions. Last year, they added the humid tropical jungle to their off-road experience, and loved every minute if it.

"It’s a totally new game for us where we can off-road and get wet all day and night but without getting frozen stiff," chuckled Andrey. "So many natural obstacles within such a short distance, and not forgetting moving 2 kms in 4 hours," added Yuri, his co-driver.

With their first-year experience, they are even more prepared this time around in hardware and human software. Why are you back? "Because this is a unique 4x4 event, the ever changing route conditions, the rain, the adventure, the problems and happy times to be with so many different 4x4 people - we really enjoy ourselves - that‘s why we are back," summarised Andrey. "We set a record for Russia by bringing the first two 4x4s to RFC, it creates a lot of excitement at home."

News also from New Zealand. "The unfinished route last year did not deter us from coming back," said Geoff Gregory from New Zealand. While they, like the rest, did not go through all the way into the Twilight Zone and face-off with the Terminator in 2008, "Peter and I throughly enjoyed the four-wheeling and made lots of friends in the event," he added.

Both Geoff Gregory and Peter Skilton of Team 101 were also surprised how well their Isuzu Bighorn survived and that they didn’t need any of the spares that they had taken! They were also among the few competition vehicles that drove all the way from Kuala Lumpur to the Opening Ceremony / Prologue SS area and back to Kuala Lumpur after the event, a distance of some 700 kms round trip! That goes to show how well they had maintained their vehicle throughout the rough and tumble in RFC 2008. When it came to a choice of easy or hard tracks, they did the tough option - afterall, that’s what they were here for.

Coming from the "The Lords of the Ring" country, where adventure is the word, it comes as no surprise that they are ready to take on anything. This year’s By the Rivers of Babylon? "Well, bring it on - another round of surviving what Mother Nature can throw at us," quipped Geoff.

2009/07/14 | 16:21 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Luis J.A.Wee

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