BY Deriq T. Bernard
BORNEO Safari Philippine Qualifier (BSPHQ) champions Edison Dungca and Bomvet Santos, and the first all-female team of lady racers Karen Pagquil and Jezza Mae Lim on car #199 completed the team that participated in the country’s first-ever participation at this year’s Borneo Safari.
Through the support of many sponsors, including Maxxis Tires, 199 OffroadHouse, Racetech Suspensions, TeamPH joined thousands of other participants in front of the Sabah Tourism Ministry in downtown Kota Kinabalu for the flag-off of the region’s biggest 4×4 pilgrimage.
Dungca, a two-time National Association of Filipino Off-roaders (NAsFOR) champion, and Santos, a seasoned off-road racer from Nueva Ecija, rode TeamPH car #110. The duo encountered mechanical issues during the early stages of the competition, placing 18th in a pool of 23 teams after six special stages (SS), but rallied during the latter part of the competition to finish 14th overall taking second in the International Category.
“We feel honored to have been able to represent the Philippines in one the most exciting 4×4 events in the region. It was a thrill to compete against seasoned veterans from Malaysia and Russia. This was TeamPH #110’s first time in the Borneo Safari so this was definitely a memorable and proud moment for us,” Frederick Corro, Borneo Safari PH Event Director said.
Pagquil and Lim held on to the 19th spot until the final day of the competition, succumbing in the last SS to finish 21st in the 23-competitor pool.
Other sponsors to the Sabah Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA-organized event include Aleson Shipping, FCC Trading, the local government of Bataan, JGL Brokerage, JGL Travel and Tours, Carl Ronnow, Uniship, Filtra Lumber, Cerdas Group, Powergine, TRE Lockers, SR Performance Offroad PH, Come Up Winch, Berrima Diesel, ES Printmedia, AEG Powertools, Romate, Air Asia, Pan Hotel and FyrLyt.
Launched in 1990, the Borneo Safari is the biggest and oldest and most-anticipated extreme 4×4 competition in the region.