PETRON RALLY OF CHAMPIONS – PRICELESS! (Part 1)
Here’s what I wrote last April in my column about the first round of the ROC in Subic. This is the 1st of a 3 part series and will be a good read on how miracles still happen, especially for our ROC. Hope you like it:
When I got to rest and pondered on what just transpired in the Petron Rally of Champions presented by KIA last weekend, all I can say was, “PRICELESS!”
With more than 40 participants, doing 60 plus entries, last March 24-25, we successfully launched the ROC with its 3 races, namely Arrive and Drive, Super Battle and the Petron Rally of Champions. The venue was also very convenient and safe for all as it was the old Subic Kart Track right along the Main Avenue in front of the Yacht Club.
The best judge is always the social media postings that accompany the event after. I knew we did well after we created quite a stir in Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! It wasn’t only I that was showing a big smile, but my whole, dedicated MP Turbo team and all those that participated as well!
Here are just some of the interesting inside stories of the past 2 days of glorious racing.
PETRON ROC HISTORY
Our Petron Rally of Champions Presented by KIA came about after the successful exploits of our Filipino racing sensations Milo Rivera and Carlos Anton. They got the 2016 Asian Gymkhana title in Taiwan and was the biggest spectacle for that year. Last year, the AGC became a 4 leg series around South East Asia. Our Philippine team had its ups and downs with Rivera-Anton winning one round but couldn’t race in all legs.
We decided to emulate the Asian Gymkhana series and hold our own Rally of Champions series that will to prepare our drivers. Our first run was in last year’s History Convention and it was a very good launch. The overall champion was Rally driver Ivan Isada who had to contend with unknown, 18yo Slalom driver Adriel Pacis from Cabanatuan. It was a perfect story to tell and the ROC format was proclaimed by battle-hardened drivers as the perfect format to have!
With Petron finally coming back to racing, with their support of the F4 South East Asia Championship, we were able to get them to support this newest championship. It will be the Decathlon of Motorsports with 10 rounds of different Motorsports disciplines. This will also answer the need for all kinds of drivers, young or old, with stock or modified cars, to race in their own race during the weekend.
BACK TO SUBIC
After a lot of delays that happened along the way, we finally got our perfect venue and it all brought us back to the Subic Lemans Kart Track! We had a very supportive SBMA Chairman Atty Wilma Eisma and the whole Tourism Department headed by Ms. Mary Jamelle Camba and associates Fritz Manuel and Cezar Alcantara. They made it easier for us to hold it there as they still remember our Subic racing days!
When the Americans left Clark and Subic due to Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption in 1991, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority was formed to take care of the base with Chairman Richard Gordon at the helm. Our Sports Values Inc group of President Pocholo Ramirez, yours truly as Vice President, Treasurer Mandy Eduque, Macky Carapiet and others got the concession for the SIR Track near the airport. SIR was the very first race track of the country and had our first race in 1994!
Our MP Turbo group along with fellow Subic racing enthusiasts Rolen Paulino, Alex Layson and others got the kart track and renamed it the Subic Lemans Kart Track. We had lots of racing champions that started in that small track like the Michelle and Mark Bumgarner, especially having our MP Turbo National Kart Series visiting the place regularly in 1994-1997. JP Tuason, Tyson Sy and a lot more raced and loved that technical track.
The biggest factor that was settled early on was KIA’s support of the Petron ROC. With the great experience we had in the History Convention ROC with their cars, they were our first choice for the event and KIA didn’t hesitate to support us.
Armed with their mighty and nimble, 1000cc Picanto, the very agile and fast, 1500cc Rio and the powerful and best all around handler, 2000cc Forte Coup, we knew our participants would be quite happy in the short, challenging Lemans course. What we didn’t know was if they would withstand the champions’ flat out use and they did!
MICHELIN, MOTOLITE & ROTA
Our best kept secret was that all 3 KIAs were fitted with the high performance Michelin Pilot Sport Tires and this made the champions really love the way they handled! We were lucky that all cars had their tire sizes in stock. This was a huge blessing as this doesn’t happen all the time and someone up there really liked us!
Rota was our Official Wheel supplier and Motolite Batteries as our Official Batteries. Motolite actually saved the day as we had problems with our timing system and with a little tinkering, we were able to make them run on 12 volts DC battery. Whew!
Next week, we will give you the exciting Round 1 race results of the Petron Rally of Champions. There a lot more inside stories and stay tuned. Godspeed and Happy Easter!