The cold wintry chill that blanketed most of Europe up to early March was all quickly forgotten. By 30 March, spring has arrived, the temperature is no more below freezing, it was a cool 20 degree C. For the competitor teams, logistic crew and supporters, the good weather was most welcome. It also attracted hundreds of spectators who came down on day trips. The banks along the Isonzo river in North East Italy have been meticulously designed with 20 SS for extreme 4×4 driving and recovery. The final battle lines have been drawn.
Story by Luis J.A. Wee
Photos by GP Photo
When the action started off on the first day of ‘Battlefield RFC,’ there was no disappointment from both the teams and the spectator crowds as the teams shake, rattle and roll their machines through water, steep river beds, V gullies, tight twisting and turning, undulating and very muddy terrain. This is a game of brawn, brains and skills played out strategically throughout the 3 days, there was no let up in the passion to finish the SS from all teams, the enthusiasm and off-roading spirit was superbly played out even though some suffered mechanical skills and bruised egos for making tactical errors.
The second and final days proved to be very taxing on both man and machine as they tackled the more difficult and technical SS of the event. The tempo, momentum and tension to do well picked up with greater vigour than ever. The more difficult the SS, the more determined the teams pushed forward to complete the SS. Some did well, others not so well but the leading teams made steady progress. Without exception, all drove their passion to maximum, camaraderie was an all time high, so were true grit and sporting spirit, cheered on by the hundreds of enthusiastic spectators each day.
However, it’s not only about 4×4 action this time around. The organizing committee was also in a jubilant mood because this is the 15th anniversary year for RFC itself. The mother event in Malaysia will be in celebrating its Big Bang edition this coming Dec (1-10). “We are the first in the world to celebrate this special occasion,” smiled Ales Plesnicar Event Director to Patrick Silvestri (both RFC Italian representatives) during the RFC night on 30 March. “So, it’s TEMPO DI FESTA,” roared the 4×4 warriors. That was not all, the Italians have another special reason to celebrate, both Paolo Baraldi and Giulia Maroni, passionate photo-journalists are also first in the world to compile a special photographic record book covering four countries where the RFC were held in 2011 (Italy, China, Sri Lanka and Malaysia). They also produced a DVD version. “It is a fitting tribute for RFC’s special year, an honor for us in the big RFC family,” said Paolo.
The spring weekend was a series of hard fought exhausting 4×4 battles, fast paced but filled with camaraderie in the spirit of the RFC. From the participants to the organizing committee to hospitality owners, everyone’s a winner for a successfully completing yet another RFC event. And, of course, needless to say, the Italians really know how to party for a special occasion. It was a fitting start of the year for RFC’s 15th anniversary year. Grazie.
1. Andrea Alfano – Roberto Munitello (Italy)
2. Alessio Marchiori – Riccardo Nascardi (Italy)
3. Augusto Grandi – Riccardo Merlo (Italy)
1. Mlakar Alberto – Francesco Sibinovich (Italy)
2. Sandi Blazevic – Sebastjan Razman (Slovenia)
3. Petean Walmi – Simone Medeot (Italy)
Team Spirit Award
Ramingo 4×4 – 4 Zampe Off Road (Italy)