|RFC Italy: The European selection of the Rainforest Challenge - Italian Job.|
The checklist: 27 off-road teams from Austria, Slovenia and Italy. 20 Special Stages (SS) venues. Registration and scrutineering at "tiro al piattello" in Gradisca. Organizing committee from GFI Alpe Adria S Andrea. RFC party night venue at Bar Il Maialotto. RFC dinner and photographic record book and DVD launch at Hotel Due Leoni.
SS battle stations in the land of di Gradisca D’Isonzo (GO), Comune di Farra D’Isonzo (GO), Comune di Villesse (GO), Comune di Ramons D’Isonzo (GO), Comune di Gorizia,. Awards ceremony at Borgo Conventi. "All systems go", smiled Ales Plesnicar, the Event Director to Patrick Silvestri (both RFC Italian representatives).
The cold wintry chill that blanketed most of Europe up to early March was all quickly forgotten. By 30 March, spring has arrived, the temperature is no more below freezing it was a cool 20 degree C. The banks along the Isonzo river in North East Italy have been meticulously designed with 20 SS for extreme 4x4 driving and recovery.
The final battle lines have been drawn. For the competitor teams, logistic crew and supporters, the good weather was most welcome. It also attracted hundreds of spectators who came down on day trips, which delighted the hospitality outlet owners. Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region facing the borders with Austria (north) and Slovenia (east) is a region renowned for some of Italy’s finest wine vineyards as well as gastronomy.
When the action started off on the first day of "Battlefield RFC,’ there was no disappointment from both the teams and the spectator crowds as the teams shake, rattle and roll their machines through water, steep river beds, V gullies, tight twisting and turning, undulating and very muddy terrain.
This is a game of brawn, brains and skills played out strategically throughout the 3 days, there was no let up in the passion to finish the SS from all teams, the enthusiasm and off-roading spirit was superbly played out even though some suffered mechanical skills and bruised egos for making tactical errors.
The second and final days proved to be very taxing on both man and machine as they tackled the more difficult and technical SS of the event. The tempo, momentum and tension to do well picked up with greater vigour than ever. The more difficult the SS, the more determined the teams pushed forward to complete the SS.
Some did well, others not so well but the leading teams made steady progress. Without exception, all drove their passion to maximum, camaraderie was an all time high, so were true grit and sporting spirit, cheered on by the hundreds of enthusiastic spectators each day.
However, it’s not only about 4x4 action this time around. The organizing committee was also in a jubilant mood because this is the 15th anniversary year for RFC itself. The mother event in Malaysia will be in celebrating its Big Bang edition this coming Dec (1-10). "We are the first in the world to celebrate this special occasion," smiled Patrick during the RFC night on 30 Mar. "So, it’s TEMPO DI FESTA," roared the 4x4 warriors.
That was not all, the Italians have another special reason to celebrate, both Paolo Baraldi and Giulia Maroni, passionate photo-journalists are also first in the world to compile a special photographic record book covering four countries where the RFC were held in 2011 (Italy, China, Sri Lanka and Malaysia). They also produced a DVD version. "It is a fitting tribute for RFC’s special year, an honour for us in the big RFC family," said Paolo.
The spring weekend was a series of hard fought exhausting 4x4 battles, fast paced but filled with camaraderie in the spirit of the RFC. From the participants to the organizing committee to hospitality owners, everyone’s a winner for a successfully completing yet another RFC event. And, of course, needless to say, the Italians really know how to party for a special occasion. It was a fitting start of the year for RFC’s 15th anniversary year. Grazie.
Top Winners (Modified Class)
01) Andrea Alfano - Roberto Munitello - Italia
02° Alessio Marchiori - Riccardo Nascardi - Italia
03° Augusto Grandi - Riccardo Merlo - Italia
04° Marco Zanuttini - Ivaldi Calligaris - Italia
Top Winners in Proto Type (Special Class)
01° Mlakar Alberto - Francesco Sibinovich - Italia
02° Sandi Blazevic - Sebastjan Razman - Slovenia
03° Petean Walmi - Simone Medeot - Italia
04° Giuseppe Massa - Gabriele Palazzo - Italia
Team Spirit Award Winner
Ramingo 4x4 - 4 Zampe Off Road - Italia.
2012/04/17 | 20:11 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/WEE