Nearly 50 vehicles race for the best spot on the wall to get across the Sacobia River.

“ARE YOU TOUGH ENOUGH?” This was the dare all participants tried to defy at the Rainforest Challenge (RFC) 2018 powered by Petron Turbo Diesel and Petron Rev-X, held recently at Mt. Pinatubo in Pampanga. Holding a famous spot in the top 10 most hardcore off-road races in the world, the RFC is open to all 4×4 off-road enthusiasts.

This year, 49 participants from various parts of the country joined the exhilarating yet demanding race. They sported cars from various brands with accessories of different varieties. The winner of the race will proudly represent the country in the global leg of the RFC in Malaysia this November.

The three-day race kicked off with the scrutineering of all 49 vehicles and a meet and greet of 4×4 local aficionados. Participants experienced the power unleashed by their vehicles as they drove up steep climbs using Petron’s premium diesel fuel, Petron Turbo Diesel, which delivered optimal performance through the TriAction Advantage: 1) Better engine protection for longer engine life; 2) Better mileage for longer drives; and 3) Better power. Petron’s premium engine oil Petron Rev-X Fully Synthetic ensured that the high-performance, heavy duty diesel engines of participants were given maximum protection under extreme driving conditions. With its Dynamic Cleaning (DC) Technology, Rev-X promotes cleaner engines which results in better performance and longer engine life.

The RFC 2018 was so tough that at least one participant dropped out at every stage as they battled through mud and steep climbs in rainy weather. Close to noon on the second day, more than half of the participants were already eliminated, not being able to drive through various off-road obstacles like wild river rapids.

Why endure the three-day race at the risk of damaging their expensive cars? Participants mentioned wanting to experience the exhilaration of overcoming the toughest off-road trails. This is especially true for first-time racers, who joined for the thrill and not necessarily to win a title.

When asked about winning this year’s RFC, first place winner and former president of Pampanga Off-Roaders Club, Inc. Mr. Randy Sobrepena raved, “‘I am actually a newbie here and I feel very honored to win. I have very little experience in this kind of hardcore race. I was very fortunate to overcome difficult stages and serious obstacles even during the harsh weather conditions with only two weeks of preparation. I am really honored to represent our country for the Malaysia RFC and I will give my best to make us all proud.”

Merging off-road enthusiasm with discipline, the Philippines’ official representative and organizer of the RFC, Robby Consunji, shares his reason to pursue the grueling sport in the country: “The Philippines has 92% of unpaved roads, explorable by users of 4×4 cars. There are a lot of skills that we can pick up from traversing those kinds of terrain.”

Mr. Consunji said the local scene has quite a number of off-road enthusiasts but most of them are in it purely for the excitement. “We want to instill off-roading skills, to be self-sufficient; proper safety practices; camaraderie; and nationalism and bring Filipino off-roaders to international competitions.”

Petron Turbo Diesel and Petron Rev-X proved they are the best fuel and engine oil partner for the RFC as they powered the vehicles through the grueling driving conditions of the Mt. Pinatubo terrain.