General Guide to Competitor Teams (COMPULSORY READING)

For those shipping their vehicles to Rainforest Challenge in Malaysia, either as competitor teams or touring adventurers, it’s very important that you send the following to us to do the necessary paperwork with the authorities and for a smoother clearance of your vehicles at destination port (Port Kelang, Malaysia).


Rainforest Challenge








TEL : + 603 7846 1811 FAX : + 603 7846 1944

EMAIL :, or


Documents required;

  •      A clear photocopy of vehicle registration card
  •      A clear photocopy of passport (driver and co-driver)
  •      A clear photocopy of driving license (driver and co-driver)
  •      Name of the vehicle owner
  •      Engine Number
  •      Chassis Number
  •      Engine Capacity
  •      Vehicle Registration Number
  •      Model/Year/Colour
  •      Winch Type and Model
  •      Tyre Size and Brand


1.   Location, timing and fellowship of different nationalities united in the passion for 4×4. An extraordinary group of adventurers pitting their skills in off-roading and recovery in an extraordinary terrain and in an extraordinary season – the monsoon!!

2.   The route chosen is different year by year. The trails follow existing or disused logging trails that are usually no wider than the vehicles, and the event is at the mercy of Mother Nature. When it rains, it pours! The rivers can rise rapidly (2-3 metres per hour is common), and this in turn leads to major flooding. Such conditions can contribute to altering the schedule and sometimes the route. Changes to the itinerary are, thus, frequent due to such climatic conditions. The sequence of events can happen rapidly. So be prepared for any changes. Even though you may not see or know what’s happening ahead, stay calm and cool under any circumstances. The organizing team will do the necessary rerouting and regrouping to keep the event going. All decisions taken will be for the overall good of the event and for all participants, even though they might not be satisfactory for your team. Remember that it’s one for all and all for one.

3.   The first day’s action – the Prologue Special Stages is usually held on a site chosen near to the flag-off town and attracts crowds of spectators. This can continue into the afternoon of the second day. After that, the convoy will normally depart for a jungle campsite. Depending on the prologue site available to the Course Designer, any natural and sustainable obstacles will be used along with an array of man-mad obstacles to create up to 6 competitive Special Stages (SS). All stages will be run simultaneously by dividing the competitors in to six groups and the starting order will be by raffle draw, and have to start the designated SS number as per the draw.

4.   The competitors’ placing at the end of the prologue May be used as the starting order for the first day’s jungle SS or draws out of the hat are held to give random starting order for the rest of the SS. This will give a fair chance to everyone as the going gets tougher.

5.   Once on route in the jungle, competitive SS are laid out whenever possible. Sometimes the SS laid out during the reconnaissance (recce) would be ‘taken over” by the jungle itself through natural means (erosion, flood and/or landslides). However, every effort is made to choose locations that are sustainable. The number of competitive vehicles and Mother Nature has a major influence on the number of SS. SS are pre planned however the course designer may change the same depending on the ground situation of the day. ASK the SS marshal for any information regarding the particular SS. Report to respective SS on time.

6.   The competition is fluid as it moves on from day to day incorporating SS along the route. The whole convoy will move and camp at different location each night. Occasionally we will have a base camp for two nights. This gives the competition Course Designer a chance to condense as many SS into one area (including some night SS).

7.   There will be some parts of the route that only competition vehicles will use. All other vehicles, including support and press vehicles, will have to take an alternative route. Competitors and their support teams may spend one, two or more nights separated from each other. Hence all teams must be prepared for self-sufficiency in food and camping needs during such times. Certain routes are compulsory for competitor vehicles and may include points to complete them. If your vehicle needs attention and aware of the liability to commit to such route please inform the competition manager that you opt to follow the alternative route. There may be a chance of (welding) workshops along the way.

8.   As the event convoy moves along the jungle trails, the many obstacles will inevitably cause queuing and waiting for everyone. This waiting time can however be used constructively to assist others, sort out winching equipment, checking over mechanical items and even catching up on your meals and sleep. Sometimes the weather can wreck havoc even on “safe” or escape routes, so be prepared for anything. No plans are foolproof, there is no guarantee of a safe passage anywhere; use the waiting time to good use for yourselves.

9.   There will be designated camp areas along the route, usually disused logging sites. Whenever possible, campsites are chosen close to a river or stream (with running water) giving everyone an opportunity to wash off the day’s mud and sweat. BUT, if the weather affects our itinerary, it may be necessary to camp on the tracks. In these circumstances, the Competition Manager, Course Designer or Event Director will make the decision as when and where we make camp.

10.  The competition is tough on the vehicles. Mud and sand gets into everything, clogging up radiators and affecting alternators and starter motors and also deteriorating and destroying the brake pads. So, please check your vehicles at every opportunity you get. Preserve your vehicle to complete the event.

11.  The natural jungle conditions can sap the strength of competitors. Heat, humidity, the ever-present dampness, mosquitoes, sand flies, leeches and the strain of competitive sections will all take their toll!! Be prepared with plenty of drinking water. Energy Drinks and Isotonic Drinks will be of use during humid conditions. Anti Bug repellant spray or lotion will be useful.

12.  To get most of your participation in the event, you must come with the right frame of mind and with a correct attitude. If you are mentally and physically prepared for the worst – you will enjoy the experience. The RFC experience is what you make of it.

Be forewarned, the Rainforest Challenge is not for the faint-hearted. Mother Nature rules supreme; respect the laws of the jungle when living out your “passion” in 4×4.

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