TOUGH & TUMBLE AT MEREFA
(Stage III of RFC Ukraine(RFCUKR) 2021 championship for RFC Global Series (RFCGS) in Eastern Europe for the best and toughest Ukrainian off-road racing team to join RFC Grand Final in Malaysia).
Road to Malaysia
In Ukrainian 4x4 jargon, the Road to Malaysia means the best racing teams will be present at the starting line of Rainforest Challenge, held annually at the end Nov to early Dec in Malaysia.
The 4 Stages of RFCUKR 2021
However, all aspirants have to face-off in 4 stages of challenges held in Spring, Summer and Autumn where only the best winning teams will be eligible to join the worlds No.3 of top 5 toughest off-road races.
Most naturally, these tough and ready 4x4 off-roaders will not have it easy in any of the stages, like this 3rd stage held at the outskirts of Merefa (Khakhiv region) in September, some 600km to the north east of Odessa, where Stage II was held in Summer.
Team 112 Shrek Came a-Calling
No guessing who was also here to stake a claim in Stage III, they were also top winner in Stages 1 and II. Yes, its none other than Team 112 Shrek, the RFCUKR champion and 3rd in RFCGF of Malaysia. Here in the Ukrainian championship, Triguba Oleg (driver) and Triguba Gennady (co-driver) raced under the competition number 303 in their R1 (prototype) category.
If not for technical errors and mechanical failures, Team 112 could have claimed the champion of Stage III, but it was not to be this time around. However, in good sporting spirit as true champions, they gave their salute to Volovik Andrey/Palekha Roman (team 301) and Klepus Franz/Kozak Valentin (team 321) as the better teams here in Merefa.
Tough & Tumble
The Special Stages (SS) were of course, very hard and tricky testing both driver and co-driver to their limit of driving and recovery skills, especially for R1 category where the tough and best prepared 4x4 teams come from and where most of the roll-over and extreme winching for recovery were seen.
However, the RFC format also allows for newcomer teams in R2 (modified ) and R3 (standard) to get acquainted the style of the SS and how to race in the RFC and prepared for anything goes which means anything and everything can go wrong in the event and how to make contingency plans.
It was good to see these two categories of 4x4 racers put up a great show of sportsmanship and skills as they struggled through the SS in the event.
Prepare for Finale Stage IV
With the completion of Stage II in Merefa, everyone is looking forward to the finale stage IV in October in the capital city of Ukraine with the appropriate title as Rainforest Challenge Kviv Road to Malaysia. With such zeal for 4x4, the Ukrainians are serious contenders for podium finish in RFC Grand Final aka the mother Rainforest Challenge in Malaysia.