KOTA KINABALU (Sept 14): The Borneo Safari International Off-Road Challenge celebrates its 30th anniversary after a two-year hiatus due to the global pandemic Covid-19, exciting all off-road enthusiasts when the expedition flags off next month.
Event director Faez Nordin said that the annual off-road adventure takes its participants through the natural beauties of Sabah. This year will see the expedition venture into the villages and jungles of Kota Belud from October 30 to November 6.
Since its inception in 1991, Borneo Safari, which is organised yearly by the Sabah Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA), has grown in fame and size into an internationally recognised off-road event in Asia.
Faez, who is also SFWDA president, said they are expecting around 400 specially modified four-wheel-drive vehicles and some 1,200 participants from Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia as well as foreign countries taking part this year.
“The previous edition in 2019 saw record numbers with 1,220 participants and around 400 vehicles taking part. However, as we entered 2020, the world was forced into unknown territory with the global pandemic Covid-19.
“Thankfully the world is slowly but surely returning back to normal starting early this year, therefore we at SFWDA decided to bring back Borneo Safari. This journey challenges men and machines to outwit the harsh and jagged abandoned jungle tracks continuously for seven days and six nights.
“Hence, all participants are advised to prepare their vehicles early and conduct field trials for reliability and functional checks as well as ensuring everyone participating are in good health prior to the event,” he said after the Letter of Agreement (LoA) signing ceremony between SFWDA and UMW Grantt International Sdn Bhd (UMWG) at Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, here on Wednesday.
Faez also expressed his appreciation to all sponsors whose contributions create a win-win advantage for both parties in terms of product branding and awareness in tandem with the success of the event at the end of the day.
This year’s main sponsors besides UMWG are the Diamond Sponsor from Isuzu Malaysia Sdn Bhd as well as confirmed Gold Sponsors such as ARB Corporation Malaysia, Borneo 4WD, Pedders Suspension (M) Sdn Bhd, SPC 4×4, TRE 4×4, MANx4, TJM and AmadaXtreme.
During the ceremony on Wednesday, UMWG General Manager, Mohd Asri Jusoh expressed the company’s continuous support towards Borneo Safari where they have been the event’s official lubricant as well as platinum sponsor.
“Firstly, I wanted to congratulate SFWDA for resuming back one of Asia’s biggest off-road events to the joy of many 4×4 enthusiasts after the challenging times faced by everyone the previous two years due to Covid-19.
“This year marks our sixth year to be associated with Borneo Safari which has undoubtedly become one of the world’s most anticipated off-road events and we are delighted to be part of what it has achieved,” he said.
Asri added that UMWG aims to penetrate the ASEAN market where its lubricants meet the highest quality specifications and requirements.
“We are confident that our Grantt Quasar Diesel Engine Oil product line would help to deliver excellent engine performance and protection to ease the tough journey.
Our Grantt Quasar range is no stranger to extreme driving conditions and this off-road challenge will prove their reliability and steadfastness,” he said.
The Borneo Safari 2022 will be flagged off in front of the Sabah Tourism Board headquarters at Gaya Street, here on Oct 30 before proceeding towards the district of Kota Belud and returning back to Kota Kinabalu for the closing ceremony on Nov 6.
Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Noor is expected to officiate the flag-off ceremony alongside Sabah Tourism, Cultural and Environment Minister Datuk Jafry Ariffin and his Assistant Minister Datuk Joniston Bangkuai as well as Sabah Tourism Board Chief Executive Officer Noredah Othman.