With less than three months to go, the annual International Borneo Safari 4x4 Challenge looks set to attract more foreign participants and journalists to be part of the extreme 7-day hardcore off-road expedition this year.
Not only foreign participants and print and electronic journalists have shown interests to be in the fray and to make coverage on the event, sponsors too are already trying to enquire to be among the several regular sponsors who have pledged to come in.
Kinabalu Four Wheel Drive Club (KFWDC) president James Wong said this yesterday, they have already received several confirmations from some interested participants from Holland, United States, UK, Australia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia.
A few of them have enquired to take part as competitors while others will come in as observers and participants in the convoy, where they have requested KFWDC to make certain arrangements for them to hire four wheel drives from Sabah.
James added, KFWDC will be setting up its event secretariat early next month at the Hi-Tech Electronic Workshop along Jalan Tuaran, where staff will be busy attending to enquiries as well as giving interested foreign participants all the feedbacks and information they need about the event.
The secretariat will be equipped with telephone hotline, fax machine and computer for website correspondent, where questions and answers will be promptly relayed to interested participants without delay.
He also wish to thank the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) for responding to KFWDC's request through its Media Coordinating committee to assist them in taking care of the various media organization representatives' airfares and accommodation.
A team of foreign print and electronic media from the International Press Reports (IPR) have already confirmed sending four off-road international motoring media, who are veterans of the Malaysian Rainforest Challenge.
The group represents various international media (electronic, print, TV and radio, motor magazine, travel guides) around 21 countries in the world , where together they will form the media coverage that will readily distributed to all IPR's partners.
A team of Japanese journalists and 4x4 magazine writers under the leadership of veteran writer Toshi Urabe, who has been a regular to the Borneo Safari.
On the local front, a team of six television crew from RTM in Angkasapuri, journalists from print media and travel writers from Peninsular Malaysia too are expected to cover the event.
Meanwhile, James reminded local participants to prepare their vehicles early so as to avoid last minute rush for the scrutinizing process scheduled for Oct 4-5, Oct 11-12 and the final checks on Oct 224-25.
Inorder to trim down the number of vehicles in the convoy this year, he said they have decided to be strict and advised participants to adhere with the deadline, that is set on Oct 12.
The flag-off is scheduled for Oct 26 at the STB Headquarters along Jalan Gaya, which is expected to be officiated by Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Masidi Manjun.
The recce team led by Lee Yun Sung @ Shantung Lee has more or less finalise the event track, which will take the convoy on tough hardcore off road route along Lingan Baru, Kimanis, Bambanagan, Binsuluk, Beaufort and Kuala Penyu. Prizes for this year also promises attractive cash prizes and take aways. For further infomation: Fred Leong email [email protected] (MySinchew)