Credit to Author: Mike Potenciano| Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2020 14:41:10 +0000
With the first instalment on our best ever MP Turbo Rally of Champions (ROC) held in Clark Global City (CGC) in Pampanga, we recounted how we were able to run two rounds simultaneously in CGC’s huge land development late last year. Having both the Tarmac Gymkhana and Dirt RallyX rounds running together in the same area, that was truly an epic weekend!
CGC President and Vice Chairman Wilfredo Placino and Business Development Manager Simon Tantoco helped secure the very accessible, prime land right along the main DP Macapagal Highway corner Fourth Avenue. All the participants were very happy to find long and technical courses for both asphalted roads and lahar-filled lots to rally on.
Ford Philippines provided support, for the second time in a row, with their fantastic Raptor and Wildtrack. Ensconced in the tough trucks, the ROC racers had a trouble-free ride for two days — round one in Splash Island in Laguna and in the second one in CGC
The BF Goodrich KO2 Tires were also back on the Fords and impressed anew with their longwearing compound and great grip that lasted for two legs.
But not all of our experiences were rosy; we did encounter some problems before the race weekend.
Toyota Balintawak and Quezon Avenue to the rescue
Our two-leg format needed two ROC official vehicles at the same time. With Ford handling the Dirt RallyX, we needed a good car manufacturer to help with the Tarmac Gymkhana round. What we thought would be a walk in the park turned out to be quite a headache!
We tapped several manufacturers for this great event, and we always got the same answer — it was very near the end of the year and most of the cars were already out.
There was also the annual event of test drives that pushed us to delay our event by one weekend. We felt that with the negativity happening near the tarmac event, it would be wise to cancel it.
Luckily, the next best thing happened! We chanced upon Franklin Lim of Toyota Quezon Avenue and Cosco Oben of Toyota Balintawak in Toyota’s Supra launch about three months ago and told them about our ROC series. They promised to support it and have their old-generation Toyota Vios Cup race cars ready for it.
That took a big thorn out of our tarmac problem, and the champions were all happy that they would be speeding in real race cars for the first time in our ROC! So, the race cars from the two teams that topped the Toyota Vios Cup Race 2017 made us all excited.
JAC Motors revelation
Another great support for the tarmac and dirt rounds came from our new friend in the car industry, JAC Motors. After going to Hefei, the capital city of Anhui province in China, for their plant tour, we were amazed at how their research and development was being done right on their 5-kilometer test track. They even let us go flat out in their latest models and electric vehicles around it!
Fortunately, JAC’s local distributor, Triesenberg Motors, part of the LICA Group, signalled their intentions to support the event. JAC Motors head Dan Navarro and Marketing Manager Brian Badilla approved the use of their compact SUVs, S2 and S3 in the Gymkhana and the soon to be released T8 pick-up in the RallyX event.
The JAC vehicles performed magnificently and never showed any problems — except for the expected tire wear. The vehicles were driven in the JAC Arrive and Drive special class.
Next week, we will tackle the event’s exciting inside racing stories and how the results shocked a lot of people! Godspeed and Happy New Year to all!