Is your heart strong enough for the Rainforest Challenge?

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Does your adrenaline kick in when you challenge the wild?

The Rainforest Challenge (RFC) is one of the most widely known off-road races in the world. It is specifically conducted in during monsoon to make the race extra difficult and challenging. The first race of RFC was held in 1997 in Malaysia. Now, the RFC has driven the bumpy road up its way to the top 10 toughest races in the world.

The race is now a worldwide event where man and machine challenge the elements in an exhilarating off-roading experience. It has been conducted in countries like Sri Lanka, Italy, Australia, India, England, South Korea, China, West Russia, and Vietnam.The RFC is not just about speed, it’s also about adapting. It is the dream of adventure lovers to take on a jungle with all the hardships, extremities, and difficulties.

Cougar Motorsport acted as the representative and franchisee of India for the RFC. The first Rainforest challenge race in India was conducted in 2014 and it witnessed a convoy consisting of all the off-road motor heads in the country head to a single destination.

“This race tests your ability to endure nature and it is dependant on the relation and sync between the driver, the navigator and the build of the vehicle,” says Dr Chaitanya Challa who was the runner-up in the 2000-3000 cc segment. The car that took them to victory was a custom Gypsy, a Maruti Suzuki-make, fitted with a beastly 2.6L Isuzu engine. Chaitanya says: “The car was retrofitted with unbreakable titanium axles which helped them survive the terrain of the untamed.”

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Chaitanya Challa, runner up of rain forest challenge


The vehicles in the race are expected to have certain prerequisite fittings like fan belts, radiator hoses oil, wheel bearings, 6 point roll cage, full harness, 4 point seat belt, spare winch cable, mud type tread tires, mechanical battery isolation switch and many more which make the vehicle off-road worthy.

This challenge is one which pushes you to limits you’ve never experienced. It takes you closer to nature and makes you fall in love with the hurdles you stumble upon. The experiences you take along with you at the end of it will leave you mesmerized. These are the feelings that will make you wait till the next season. The wait would be tough, and full of aching and longing, but when the time comes, the roar of your engine will be an extension of who you are.

Where is it conducted next?

Though the venue has not be released yet, the organisers have broadcasted on their official website that the RFC 2016 would be held from July 22 to July 29.

What is the procedure to take part in it ?
The application to participate as a Touring Adventurer or Competitor can be downloaded from

What is the eligibility criterion?

This event is open to all vehicles with 4-wheel drives, provided the vehicle currently or previously has been sold to the general public by the manufacturer. The vehicle should have been in the public domain. Concept cars, prototypes and models are not allowed.

Is it ticketed? If so, how much?

The prize of the ticket can be found on the organisers’ page.

How long the race lasts? Is it for just a few hours or days or weeks or months?

The last season of RFC India lasted seven days. This year is has been announced that it would be for eight days.

What are the arrangements for the participants’ stay?

The participants will have to make their own arrangements to stay, and in the true spirit of RFC, it is always suggested that the participants stay in the camp areas along with their vehicles.rain forest

What does a participant need to carry along ? (Tents, drinking water, food for how many days?)

Participants have to make their own arrangements for boarding & lodging at hotels and for their food, tents and shelters at the campsites for all eight days.

What are the safety aspects that need to be taken care of?

For safety of the participants, the vehicles should be fitted with 6-point internal roll cage starting at the “A” pillar. They must also be equipped with a full harnesses (4 point), and must be fitted for all occupants, the minimum being a Four (4) Point Seat Belt Harness, and must comply with recognized European, American, Australian or FIA Standards. The full harness must not be frayed, torn or damaged in any way

How much fuel should a participant carry separately in jerry ?

The participants are required to carry additional 20 litres of fuel in Jerry apart from the regular storage capacity of the vehicle. The additional fuel should be mounted on the sides of the vehicles in metal or approved plastics containers.

Usually, how many teams (vehicles) participate ?

The entries are kept open until the organiser is unable to accept anymore due to logistical constraints.

Does the event organiser accompany the racers along at vantage points?

The organiser would be accompanying the participants, in case any of the participants need any assistance en route.

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In case of medical emergency, what is the arrangement?

The participants are asked to get a wide lists of medicines for themselves, so as to medicate themselves for minor issues as they would be living in unnatural habitats for days. However, there would be a medical team who are always available to help the participants in case of medical emergency.

Vimal Mohan

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