LIPIS: The off-road motorcycle racing challenge that took place at the muddy, hilly, dusty and laterite racing track in Tasik Burung Mandi, Kampung Kemahang Hilir, drew several hundred enthusiasts to the Piala Tengku Amir-45 Enduro Challange 2014.
Over 300 participants from across the country, including Singapore, Thailand, Australia, Germany and Cambodia showed growing interest in the enduro motorcycle sports.
The participants enjoyed their ride on the redesigned 4.7km racing track making it the most challenging and exciting motor-cross race track in this region.
It is normal for participants to hit dirt, riding through muddy, dusty and undulating track. However, flying across a two-metre wide stream was an unforgettable experience and challenge to the riders.
In fact, not all the riders were brave enough to “fly past” the stream as some chose to pass through the wooden planks as an alternative to cross the stream.
The track also included a 70-feet steep hill slope considered to be the first of its kind in this region.
The endurance and motor-cross race track that runs within the heart of a tropical rainforest was specially designed and structured by Tengku Mahkota Pahang Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and Tengku Amir Nasser Ibrahim Tengku Abdullah, the patron of the Burung Mandi Motor Sports Club.
The “Piala TA-45 Enduro Challenge 2014” and the annual challenge trophy is dedicated to him.
Tengku Amir said the improved enduro and motorcross race track had undoubtedly given the riders and spectators a better experience and a wider publicity for the sponsors.
While promoting the quiet village of Kampung Kemahang Hilir and its Tasik Burung Mandi, Tengku Amir said the Enduro motor racing sport will eventually give individuals and teams across the world the opportunity to participate throughout the year in this village.
He said efforts had been put to make the Piala TA-45 Enduro Challenge the premier annual event in Malaysia if not in this region.
“The participants and foreign guests also took time off to enjoy the fascinating sights and sounds of Kuala Lipis and experience the gracious hospitality of the villagers,” he said.
Meanwhile, State Youth and Sports Committee chairman Datuk Mohd Johari Hussain said the challenge had allowed amateur riders to push their boundaries during the two-day event.
Mohd Johari said the establishment of this event as a premier showcase in Malaysia has brought a worldwide attention and in the coming years, could serve as a stage where both professionals and amateurs could meet.
“On the Government’s part, our concern is on developing this sport event that would benefit our youths.
As the event had elements of a tourism attraction to the state, Pahang Tourism and Culture Committee chairman Datuk Mohd Sharkar Shamsuddin said the motorcross enduro challenge was indeed timely in keeping with the state government’s emphasis on developing sports tourism.
The event was organised in conjunction with Visit Malaysia 2014 and had five categories - Open, Novice, Veteran, Pahang-closed and Enduro Cup.
Tengku Abdullah said he was touched by the seriousness shown by the participants especially the locals who camped overnight with their families to enjoy the race.
“It was just like a family day event, by bringing their children, relatives and friends to witness the event.
”Personally, I was impressed by their interest and commitment to make this event a success,” he said.
In the Open category, Muhammad Khairi Zakaria from Johor, was champion followed by runner-up James Robinson from New Zealand, while Kanabodee Chanada from Thailand clinched third place.
In the Novice category, Mohammad Khuzaimi Mahmooh, Muhammad Faheem Sirah and Muhammad Rizuan finished first, second and third respectively.
While in the Veteran category, Brett Machamara came in first, followed by Chang Sze Piang with Looi Soong Kim finishing third.
In the Pahang Closed category, Zulkifli Abd Mutalib, Dzul Iskandar and Shahrirman Awang Ludin were the top three winners and in the Enduro Cup category, Mohd Khuzaini Mahmood triumphed followed by Mohd Faizul Aziz and Mohd Nashazrul Aziz.