As much as car aficionados love to rave about the latest supercars and their dream garage, talking about cars is just half of the experience of being a car enthusiast. The rest, is about firing your engine, getting it in gear and going for a drive.
Last year, we joined our friends from Aurizn EVOMalaysia on an epic 2,000 km round trip from Kuala Lumpur to Phuket, Thailand. Over 45 cars participated in the inaugural EVO Enduro that celebrated the ultimate challenge in the automotive world, endurance races.
Enthusiasts from all ends of the spectrum (and era) gathered with their prized wheels and it turned out to be quite a sight. Modern classics like the Mazda MX-5 (NA), Porsche 964 cabriolet, W126 Mercedes-Benz S-Class together with modern machines like the Maserati GranTurismo, Lotus Evora, Mercedes-AMG GT S in an organised convoy was just a sight to behold.
Flagging off from Kuala Lumpur at the break of dawn, our spirits were high, and our minds focused on getting to Phuket the very same day – exactly 1,000 km away. Hustling our way up north to the border was an uneventful one until Tapah where a civilian car kissed the barrier on slippery roads. That only served as a grave reminder to all of us on the Enduro to exercise extra caution on the road.
The AutoBuzz.my contingent had the privilege to pilot a Mercedes-AMG C43 4MATIC Coupe courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Malaysia. Although not the most practical choice to ferry three grown adults with luggage and camera equipment, its 3.0-litre bi-turbo V6 with 367 hp and 520 Nm of torque and 9-speed G-Tronic transmission combo was an absolute joy on the highway and the twisty B-roads of Thailand.
We were making good progress and arrived at the Bukit Kayu Hitam border by noon after a delicious brunch stop at Nasi Lemak Ong in Alor Setar. We also made sure to refuel on Malaysian soil (pump prices of RON95 in Thailand was RM4.40!) before queuing at the customs checkpoint, saving a pretty penny in the process.
The drive got a little more exciting as we rolled into Thai soil as the organisers (in collaboration with Tourism Authority of Thailand) arranged a police escort to our lunch destination. The officers in their Toyota Corolla Altis who were clearly much more familiar with the routes did make it a little tricky to keep up for some – goes to show course knowledge sometimes can triumph power and driving skills.
It’s been 12 hours since we began our journey and we were finally on our final leg of the 1,000 km journey. Some decided to break away from the main convoy and go on a little excursion, by the end of the night all we had were wide smiles and fond driving memories to go to bed with.
The following day was all about soaking in the Phuket sun and getting to know the popular destination in the comfort of our own cars – no need to haggle for taxis heh. Later in the afternoon we gathered at Bang Wad Dam for a (few) pictures and took the opportunity to mingle with everyone on the drive, sharing our experience so far and immerse ourselves in all things automotive. We ended our last night in Phuket with a scrumptious dinner and an award giving ceremony for social media challenge winners.
After that, everyone was free to part their own ways, some choose to stay on for another night, others formed a group themselves for the return leg to Kuala Lumpur. We, on the other hand, broke up the return leg to two parts, putting a night in Hat Yai before cracking on to Kuala Lumpur.
There will be three options for EVO Enduro 2018 – return to Kuala Lumpur after breakfast at Sg. Petani or option two, spend a night in Hat Yat before continuing to Hua Hin. For the truly hardcore bunch, you can opt to drive straight to Hua Hin on the same day. Here’s a breakdown of the itinerary for your reference.
To participate, follow the steps listed on the official website and be sure to be very clear with the terms and conditions. Submission ends on 15 July 2018 and will be limited to 50 cars only. See you guys there at the EVO Enduro 2018.
EVO Enduro 2017