Roland, Sajymee win Borneo Safari Challenge

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Roland (centre) lifting the Borneo Safari Challenge champion trophy with Faez, team members and guests.

KOTA KINABALU (Nov 6): Local off-road veteran Roland Liew Sue Khiong and co-driver Sajymee Janish emerged victorious in the recently concluded week-long 31st Borneo Safari International Off Road Challenge 2023 (BS2023).

The pair representing Powergine Enterprise Sdn Bhd accumulated a total of 920 points from 12 Special Stages (SS) during the event which was held around Keningau, Sook and Ranau, and took home the prestigious Borneo Safari Challenge trophy plus RM90,000 worth of prizes.

When met after the prize presentation ceremony held at Hakka Hall, Likas here on Sunday, Roland said they came into BS2023 with a point to prove after losing by the smallest margin to Wong Su Bin and Rudia Yansyah Nge Nre in last year’s Borneo Safari challenge.

“The setback we felt last year lit a fire for us to prove the doubters wrong. We worked hard to develop our competition car over the one year, and thankfully both our teamwork and dedication are rewarded with us taking home the champion’s trophy.

“I want to thank all the team members and sponsors who supported our 2023 Borneo Safari mission as without them, we would not have made this dream a reality,” he said.

Meanwhile, the first runners-up were Chang Ket Kiun and Alexander Chang who accumulated 905 points and claimed RM58,000 worth of prizes alongside a trophy.

The second runners-up were two-time Borneo Safari champion Liew Fui Kong and Yong Yee Lon with 882 points who brought home a trophy and RM37,500 worth of prizes.

In fourth place were William Thien Shian Vun and Ung Heng Hwa after garnering 801 points, bringing home trophies and RM26,000 worth of prizes.

Completing this year’s Borneo Safari top five finishers were Lee Thau Loi and Hellary Soubin who also took home trophies and prizes worth RM12,000.

Finishing sixth to tenth places respectively were the pairs of Lo Fui Min and Jong Jack Koh, Koo Fio Loong and Lesun Lee Sion, Wong Su Bin and Rudia Yansyah, Albin Morondiu and Onassis Onniel Johnny, as well as Ngui Kok Ming and Chai Kuek Leung.

A total of 27 teams had taken part in the 31st edition of the Borneo Safari Challenge, which tested its competitors with 12 specially prepared courses situated along the convoy’s route around the districts of Keningau, Sook and Ranau, where they vied for prizes worth more than RM250,000.

Sabah Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA) president Faez Nordin congratulated all the winners as well as all competitors who took part in the off-road expedition which saw a record breaking 1,500 participants and 530 vehicles.

Faez also thanked Isuzu Malaysia Sdn Bhd for becoming the Diamond Sponsor as well as UMW Grantt International Sdn Bhd for continuing their support as the Platinum Sponsor including both Gold Sponsors and Silver Sponsors.

Also present at the closing ceremony were Istana Seri Kinabalu Secretary for Communication, Datuk Haji Mohd Rashid Dato’ Mohd Tahir; Isuzu Malaysia Sdn Bhd Chief Operation Officer’s representative, Masaki Terashima; UMW Grantt International Sdn Bhd Manufacturing & Engineering Division Group Director, Anas Nasrun Mohd Osman and Sabah Road Transport Department representative, TC Syariman Latif.