For the 12th year in a row, Isuzu has been the Diamond Sponsor for the Borneo Safari International Off-Road Challenge. Organized by Sabah Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA), this year’s was the 28th in the series and Isuzu Malaysia sent 3 units of its D-MAX pick-up to take on the challenges of the 8-day event.

A total of 399 vehicles entered with the 1,030 participants in teams from Japan, Indonesia, Ireland, the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and of course, Malaysia. It was also the first time that a team from Russia entered the Borneo Safari since it began.

During the 8 days, the participants covered 400 kms between Kota Kinabalu, Kota Marudu and the Kota Belud regions. This year, the organizer prepared two routes – Super Hardcore and Hardcore – over the 8 days of the event. All 3 units of Isuzu’s highly-capable pick-up traversed the Super Hardcore route and completed it within 5 days.

The three vehicles were modified according to requirements but the 2.5-litre and 3-litre engines were unmodified and similar in output and performance to the pick-ups customers buy. One of the units was a 2013 model and had been driven in the Borneo Safari for 6 years in a row – definitely testament to the superior durability and reliability of the vehicle.

The terrain conditions along the Super Hardcore route consisted of numerous obstacles including a ‘bungee jump’, uphill driving, V-Gulley as well as rough rocky ground. Being the monsoon season, conditions worsened with constant rain, making the tracks not only slippery but also muddy and on steep slopes, it was necessary to use winches for safety reasons.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Isuzu Malaysia’s Light Commercial Vehicle Chief Operating Officer, Masayuki Suzuki. expressed his gratitude for the strong relationship has been built between Isuzu and SFWDA. “Borneo Safari International Off-Road Challenge is the best platform to showcase the toughness and durability of off-road vehicles. Our Isuzu D-MAX has proven to withstand extreme terrains in the past Borneo Safari Challenge,” he said.

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[Chips Yap]

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