Racing on concrete in Bacolod

Jerome NeriAtty. Jerome G. Neri
The Scrutineer

A COUPLE of weeks ago I was in Bacolod for the fourth and last leg of the Karera sa Bacolod Drag Race Series organized by Bacolod Motorsport. This time the race was held in a reclaimed port area called BREDCO. And because this place was lighted, the race was continuous all the way till the wee hours of the morning. The event actually finished at about 3 a.m.

Racing in a new track for the first time is very challenging in getting the settings of the car right. We were used to racing in asphalt at the old airport, but in BREDCO, the surface was cement. Grip levels were very different. The BREDCO track had very low levels of grip that it was difficult to set a good elapsed time. During qualifying the best elapsed time was only 12.1 seconds posted by Paolo Rojas in a Subaru STI that I tuned. In the previous race this car clocked an 11.2 elapsed time. With the improvements that we made to the car we should have been in the 10s.

The track was that challenging. In fact, the Honda Integra of Mark Yanson that won in the previous race with a 10.7 elapsed time could only manage 13.0 seconds in this track.

F1 IN MEXICO. Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, from Germany, celebrates as he crosses the finish line during the Formula One Mexico Grand Prix auto race at the Hermanos Rodriguez racetrack in Mexico City. Nico Rosberg won the first Mexican Grand Prix since 1992 on Sunday, Nov. 1, for his fourth victory this season, denying Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in his bid to tie the Formula One record of 13 victories in a season. Hamilton came second. (AP PHOTO)
F1 IN MEXICO. Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, from Germany, celebrates as he crosses the finish line during the Formula One Mexico Grand Prix auto race at the Hermanos Rodriguez racetrack in Mexico City. Nico Rosberg won the first Mexican Grand Prix since 1992 on Sunday, Nov. 1, for his fourth victory this season, denying Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in his bid to tie the Formula One record of 13 victories in a season. Hamilton came second. (AP PHOTO)

I went to Bacolod with some goals in mind for certain cars that I tuned. The goal for the GC8 of Paolo Rojas from Bacolod was to be in the 10s, the GRB STI of Trunks Adarna of Cebu and the GVF STI of Mathew Lopez of Bacolod to be in the 11s and the all new 2015 VA STI of Miguel Araneta of Cagayan de Oro to be in the 12s. Except for Miguel’s car, which posted a 12.9, I missed my other goals by a hair. The GC8 Posted an 11.1, the GRB STI posted a 12.1 while the GVF STI posted a 12.5

Despite not being able to reach the targets I set out for the cars that I tuned, the results were very positive and satisfying. The 11.1 pass of Paolo in the GC8 STI is the quickest quarter mile pass on Philippine soil by a Subaru. The 12.1 pass of Trunx likewise is the quickest quarter mile pass of a complete street car/daily driver Subaru, while Miguel’s 12.9 pass was the quickest and first 12 second pass of the latest STI. The cars that I tuned have set records. Going into the 10s will have to wait till next season, where I am hoping that the track conditions will be a lot better than what we saw.

The race had participants from Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, Dumagete and, of course, Bacolod. From the first leg of this series to the last race, the cars have just been getting quicker and quicker. In the first leg in February the elapsed time of the champion, Trunks Adarna, was 12.2 seconds, In the second leg, the elapsed time of the champion was 11.7 seconds, posted by Ricky dela Rama of Bacolod, and in the third leg it was 10.7 seconds posted by Mark Yanson.

The first three legs were held in the Old Bacolod Airport, which was a track that had much better grip than the last leg in BREDCO port. In the last race, there were a number of cars capable of being in the 10s had the track been better. Definitely, the cars were quicker. Next season would be very interesting as there is a long break before the first leg, which means more time to prepare the race cars. Motorsports is just getting better and better in the Visayas and we owe it all to Bacolod Motorsports for investing in a timing system that now guarantees the sustainability of racing in the Visayas.

WINNERS. Congratulations to the winners of the race. Class D: Champion Ian Yap, 2nd place Brent Egida, and 3rd place Dondon Rodriguez. Class C: Champion EJ Malibiran, 2nd place Martin Posadas, and 3rd place Junjie Genoves. Class B: Champion Jed Yulo, 2nd Place Jesus Tanpinco, and 3rd place Miguel Araneta. Class A: Champion Trunx Adarna, 2nd place Steve Maramba. Quick 8 Naturally Aspirated: Champion Steve Maramba. Quick 8 Forced Induction: Champion Paolo Rojas. Overall Champion Paolo Rojas.

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