The Suzuki 4x4 Club of the Philippines recently hosted the 2003 Shell Suzuki 4x4 Challenge, held at the Payanig grounds in conjunction with the celebration of the founding day of the city of Pasig. Over 70 competitors participated in the challenging course designed by Beeboy Bargas, who doubled as Chief Scrutineer. Making sure everything was in order was Race Director Robby Consunji. The competition was divided into three categories, Suzuki Class, Open Class and AUV Challenge. The Suzuki Class was exclusive only for Suzuki Club members. Competing in the Open Class were members of various off-road clubs from Luzon and other non-affiliated participants who just wanted to join in the fun.
The youngest competitor in the event was 10-year old Ralph Alberto, son of club president Larry Alberto. The brave young Alberto managed to navigate through the track with a respectable performance finishing 19th overall in the Open Class. Another young competitor was Noel Bartolome Jr., who also made a brave effort garnering 9th overall in the Open Class. Aside from the young boys, two ladies participated in the event, they were Gracia Garcia and Nicky Tengsico. Garcia managed to make it to 16th overall in field of 54 competitors in the Open Class. But the bravest of all was Arthur Ascuna who competed with specially designed controls similar to a motorcycle due to his paralysis waist down, managed to conquer the track for 23rd place overall in the Open Class. This is truly an example that disability is not a liability and with sheer determination, one can achieve anything.
At the end of the day, it was left to brave men who went through the track with calculated and precise techniques resulting in the best time. In the Suzuki Class, Larry Alberto walked away the victor. Joey Millonado came in second, Bob Lee in third, Joel De Leon in fourth and Jun Palicte in fifth. Suzuki Club's very own Larry Alberto again bagged the gold in the Open Class on his Land Cruiser, Angeles 4Wheelers' Dante Dunca followed in second, Rey Dysico finished third, MORI's Joey Millonado in fourth, while Santiago Extreme's Joel Miranda rounded up the top five. Alberto, being able to win both classes was crowned Suzuki 4x4 Challenge driver of the year.