14 Jul 2012
"There were two memorable moments in the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport - Media Test Drive event. To be driven by a Dakar Rally living legend and winning its photography competition."
The initial gathering point was in the SCBD area - Jakarta with 9 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport test units being prepared. In the occasion, CarMall.com was also amongst those getting a special honour, as not all media representatives were given the opportunity to get behind the wheel of this locally-assembled Mitsubishi variant. Some of the journalists were given a red wristband, meaning to become passengers only, while we were provided with a black wristband. Long story short, "It's time to drive, dude..."
After a launch procession by Ridwan Alamsyah, Marketing Director of KTB, one by one of the 9 Mitsubishi Outlander test units slowly left the SCBD area.
Our first destination was Al-Bina Mosque in Senayan, where a check point for journalists had been established. At that check point, journalist invitees were also scrambling for the best photo angle, as Mitsubishi held a photography competition during the event, which has a 32-bit 3G iPad for its main prize. (Our experience of driving this SUV will be addressed in another article)
Half an hour passed, we continued our journey to a rest area in Cibubur, for the last check point before ending the experience of riding this Mitsubishi's latest SUV at a facility belonging to the Indonesian Police, in Cikeas, West Java.
Where, the real highlight of the whole event awaited. Three big-name racers in the rally world, which include locals Rifat Sungkar and Subhan Aksa, and a living legend of the Paris-Dakar Rally, Hiroshi Matsuoka. This now 52-year-old man from Japan is one of only four racers in the world to have won the extreme race two years in a row. Matsuoka won it in 2002 and 2003.
So, when the organiser asked, "Which one would you like to drive you?"
Our spontaneous two-word answer was of course, "Matsuoka, please." And indeed, the racing line and his driving technic sent our manual-transmissioned Mitsubishi Outlander Sport seemingly flying on a precision track through the two laps. Matsuoka also commented, "This car is very light, so it's very easy to drive," as I left the front passenger seat when it was over.
We (Adi and Derry), two representatives of CarMall.com, happen to greatly idolise the living legend, so we also took the chance to take some pictures with this old racer who celebrates his birthdays on March 13.
And the memorable moment became even more special when the MC's voice echoing from several speakerphones announced, "The winner of the main prize of the photography competition is..."
"Derry from CarMall.com."
Hmm, what a day...
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