It was a tough 12 months for local 4×4 racers given the numerous competitions held this year – from invitational races held in different provinces, to an international qualifier held in the province La Union.
Then there’s the National Association of Filipino Off-roaders (NASFOR) Extreme 4×4 Challenge 2023, the country’s premiere 4×4 competition held annually in different provinces of the country.
The 12-leg competition begins in January and formally ends with the Philippine Tough Truck Challenge, held every first weekend of December. This year, the event was held in Pili, Camarines Sur from Dec. 1 to 3 and was hosted by the provincial government of Camarines Sur in association with the Bicol Off-road Club and the Peyra Bros. 4×4 Racing Team.
Since its formation in 1999, the NASFOR Extreme 4×4 Challenge has become the country’s most sought after 4×4 competition, with the overall winner crowned as the Golden Wheel Driver of the Year.
This year saw the coveted honor go to its youngest-ever recipient – 22 yr. old Christian “CJ” Doyon of Ormoc City. After winning the Zamboanga, Dipolog, Davao, and Digos legs of the competition, CJ went on to claim the 1st runner up spot of the Philippine Tough Truck Challenge 2023 which was enough to give him the Driver of the Year award. A 7x podium finisher, his consistent performance further cemented his cred as this year’s top 4×4 racer.
CJ may be young but he’s no stranger to 4×4 competitions, having participated in his first competition when he was just 13 years old. He’s no stranger to winning, too, having won multiple awards through the years including the 2015 – 2017 Visayas NASFOR – Golden Wheel Driver of the Year Award, the 2018 EcoTrail 4×4 Challenge, the 2019 Sinulog 4×4 Challenge, and the 2019 NASFOR Digos City Challenge.
After spending most of the pandemic years onboard his MTB, CJ decided to go back to 4×4 racing earlier this year. Riding a new race rig built by FCC Trading and 199 OffroadHouse, CJ showed no signs of rustiness, winning the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th legs of the 2023 edition of the NASFOR Extreme 4×4 Challenge in convincing fashion. After only finishing 3rd in his hometown of Ormoc, CJ went on to claim the top spot once again in 6th leg in Digos City.
With momentum on his side, CJ hopes to continue his winning streak as he prepares for the 2024 season of the NASFOR Extreme 4×4 Challenge.
“Despite the ups and downs, I’m very thankful to God that I still managed to bag the 2023 Driver of the Year Award,” confides CJ. “It has been a difficult year but I’m just glad everything turned out OK. I just want to acknowledge my mom, dad, and sister as well as my 4×4 friends – Frederick Corro, Brenn Joaquin, Jez Lim, and Alexis Lumbatan, and my co-drivers Jojo Solano and Charly Payen. We did it! Thank you so much and I share this honor with all of you!”