IPOH: The Simex Malaysia Off-Road Challenge 2003 was flagged off to a rousing start as 50 teams made their way on the roads of the city to rougher grounds in Ulu Kinta.
Sending off the participants from Perak, Penang, Pahang, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Johor at Dataran Ipoh yesterday was the Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Nazrin Shah, who was accompanied by state Culture, Tourism and Women's Affairs Committee chairman Datuk Mazidah Zakaria and Datuk Bandar Datuk Sirajuddin Salleh.
The 276km battle will take the teams from Ulu Kinta, where the prologue special stages are held, to the wild rugged terrain of Hulu Perak covering Lasah, Kuala Mu and Gerik, before reaching the “twilight zone” of Kenayat.
For the sixth year running, they would have to prove themselves and the ability of their machines by overcoming steep gradients, crossing swollen rivers, and getting through muddy as well as rough terrain.
The five winning teams from the four-day challenge would go on to compete with international teams in the Simex Rainforest Challenge 2003 in Johor from Dec 7 to 16.
Orange Black Team driver Niumal Weerasena from Kuala Lumpur said the event would be a long and challenging one with 18 stages to get through.
The prize-giving ceremony will be held at Sungai Perak Resort in Kuala Kangsar at 8pm on Sunday.
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