After seven grueling days, the 2018 Isuzu Rainforest Challenge (RFC) India reached its conclusion with the final stage (SS26) held at the Rajiv Gandhi IT Habitat in Dona Paula, Goa. Team V5 Offroaders’ Nanjappa and co-driver Chetan Changappa ultimately clinched the title with a points haul of 2,006 out of a maximum 2,600. As the 2018 champions, Nanjappa and Changappa have won an automatic free entry into the 2018 RFC Global Series finale that will be held in Malaysia at the end of the year.
“This is an incredible feeling. I would like to thank my co-driver, my service team and my buddy – the Jeep – all of whom put up a fantastic performance. We enjoyed every moment of this competition, specially the challenging ones. We were prepared for a tougher and more competitive event this time and we knew that we had to maintain the lead from the very start. The conditions of the competition were highly unpredictable and kept varying from contender to contender. In the end, I think these conditions worked in our favor and piloted us to the victory,” said Nanjappa.
The veteran rallyist finally added the RFC India title to the list of his achievements – which include being a nine-time Indian National Rally Riders Champion, a Great Desert Rally Champion, amongst others – on his third attempt at the off-roading competition.
Team G.O.A. Fairmont’s Mervyn Lim and co-driver Alex Tan finished in second place with 1,849 points, while Gerrari Offroaders’ Gurmeet Virdi and co-driver Kirpal Singh Tung claimed the last podium spot with 1,849 points. Meanwhile, Chow Ujjal Namshum and co-driver Ingpeng Mein won the 'Rookie of the Event’ award – the duo completed the event in sixth place on their debut attempt.
At the prize distribution ceremony, Cougar Motorsport Founder & Director Ashish Gupta confirmed the extension of RFC Internationals' agreement with Cougar Motorsport for another three years. With this extension, four more editions of the event have been confirmed to run until 2022.