I could never imagine how I would like the MX-5. Growing up as a teenager and with all the Hondas, Toyotas, and other rally bred cars… a small convertible car just reminded me of a girl’s car. As a teenager, I wondered about the owners driving the MX-5 on the road. How I wish they were girls inside just to satisfy the stereotype I had given. But, aged men were driving the convertible here in my country. I just couldn’t see the appeal of it back then. And it really took time to wonder what it was with the car. I told myself that I’d never find myself liking or driving that car.
Who drives these cars?!
Around 10 years down the road, I now believe the MX-5 are like vegetables. I did not like eating it before. In my opinion, the MX-5 was something of “ugh” to something that finally made sense. The car fed a nutrient to me as a driver, and not to forget that it now had taste to me. While I still find the car a bit impractical, I found it had the right punch of nutrients to feed the driving pleasure. Like I said, I hated salad… but it’s now something I wouldn’t mind having all the time.
Looking brilliant indeed… the cones beside it suggest something exciting.
I now find the new MX-5 to be brilliant. It is brilliant on looks and brilliant on the driving feel. I didn’t even feel girly nor like an aged man driving it (okay, 10 years is a significant number in terms of age). But the MX-5 was refined on all aspects in my perspective. The evolution of the car has the same resemblance as of the original one. This 4th generation roadster made it remind of where it originated from and put it right back on track.
MX-5 engineers taking a break with their creation.
Lucky I was called by one my racing friends, Mikko, who hitched me on the ride to help on the MX-5 track experience. With this opportunity, I worked with the actual designers of the car while telling us how they wanted their cars to driven, and to advise their guests who will be driving the MX-5s. It was quite an experience since I finally got a chance to test the MX-5 and at the same time work with the engineers of the MX-5. Many of car and engineer’s fans would have loved to be in my spot for sure! For me, I finally got to experience this niche kind of driving. While I enjoyed it, I still have to get used to the elements of driving a top down. The driving part wasn’t new, since I do go for spirited drives in an enjoyable and conservative manner. That is how the MX-5 would like to be driven. With the top down, that was something I had to become accustomed to. Just like vegetables, they too were an acquired taste. But hey, now I like vegetables and the MX-5! I’m just not sure if you like how I wrote about the MX-5 being compared to a vegetable.
I haven’t posted anything related to the world of motorsports wherein I haven’t been physically involved in for the longest time. My last post would’ve been about Honda announcing their return to Formula 1 two years ago ( I hope I don’t jinx the Peugeot Team). But forgive me for being too excited to make a post on this! The 4-minute short rally movie was awesome!!! In my books, this just beat the whole Fast and Furious sequel. That’s an answer you would expect from a rally man! Especially when all the actors are real legendary rally drivers with the likes of 2-time world rally champion, aka El Matador, Carlos Sainz; they also have aka Mr. Dakar, Stephane Peterhansel who is an 11-time winner of the Dakar endurance rally; 5-time motorcycle Dakar winner, Cyril Despres; and my all-time favourite 9-time world rally champion, Sebastien Loeb (for without Loeb, this post would have never existed)! No doubt they could be good actors in their own movie. It’s a rally movie for crying out loud. Welcome the D-ream Team! Anyway, that’s enough fan-boying. Just grab some popcorn and start watching!!!
Heard on Thursdays with Raffy Reyes and Hazel interviewing the Motorsport Development Program of the AAP in partnership with the FIA. Along on the interview are the grass-root race series, Flat Out Racing Series.
Get to hear a fun audio interview on the newest project we have been doing for the Automobile Association Philippines motorsports division!
Here we were again just like last time in the Cebu race. We were the usual suspects being serious fun driving around in the safety car. Here was a bit of the action from our seat since we didn’t really get to go mingling around while on duty during the weekend. To be honest, we pretty much sat most of the time inside the car. Not unless, race control said we had to drive around the track. The “fun mode” depended if we had to go flat out and or if we had to do some pacing of cars which was a little bit boring before waiting for the call. Nevertheless, we did enjoy the festivities as much as our side job last race weekend!
Watch the video to see how we roll in our awesome 86 safety car!
So the first ever module conducted by the Motorsport Development Program of AAP and FIA is finally up. Now if you are wondering what happened on the Manila leg of Module 1 which is titled “Race Skills”, here is a video that can feed your expectations of what happened during the training.
At a young age, I was lucky to have a supportive father who created an opportunity for me to rise up the ranks of local motorsports. Back then, it would have been a dream for many to compete in motorsports. I could not imagine how this would have been if I were not a second generation rally driver, and if I had to start out in the same way my father did at his time. While there wasn’t much to do during my father’s era of motorsports (before the internet age), opportunities to race were limited. Racing then would also probably have many misconceptions. Information on how to start racing and what motorsports actually is was limited. Motorsports was also known to be very dangerous.
Nowadays, racing is more accessible and safety is always of high concern. There are also a lot of opportunities now to get into motorsports with vast disciplines of motorsports being organised. Many though are still very hesitant of how to get in, and what it really takes to become a race car driver. It is difficult to seek the courage to just join as the preparation and demands of the sport can be very daunting for a novice.
But now here is another opportunity to try it out again for the young ones. The Automobile Association of the Philippines (AAP) have finally come up in their motorsports department, a program to help young drivers learn the means and ways of becoming a champion race car driver. While there is a one chance for a scholarship to participate in the highest form of recognised motorsport in the country, which is the PTCC or Philippine Touring Car Championship; the other young drivers will not be left out to keep dreaming of a race career. In fact, the program enables most of the young drivers to gain the proper knowledge and frame of mind for building their own race careers. May it bring them to the continuous participation of any national level of motorsport is a big boost to the industry. Not to be put aside are some of the benefits of motorsports. Just like the benefit of sports, values such as discipline and sportsmanship are part of the personality development of the future ambassadors in motorsports. A unique quality of these young drivers are their concern and practice of being road safety ambassadors as well. Just like how top motorsports personalities advocate road safety, the young drivers are bound to do just the same for their younger peers. After all they are our successors on the road and race track.
With the kick-off leg launched just over the weekend, we were able to teach several young drivers the basics of race car driving and its theories. The instructors guided and evaluated their driving skills during the practical drills. The accompanied main supporters of the young drivers were also guided as to where their support could be given and shown for the development of these young future race car drivers. Coordination with the young driver, instructors, and supporters went well as each played an important part to the progress of learning for the young drivers on the first day. After all, the first module was targeted for the general driver skill training of the drivers.
After the success of the very first event, the program will be headed to the Visayas Islands to expand the training and search of next future Philippine motorsports champions. From this starting point, the program and the young drivers we develop can only become better for the future of motorsports and its benefits to the motoring industry and society.
Post activities of the Vios Cup would have been parties and hanging in the beach. On the other hand, I had a real car guy experience right after. My rallycross buddy based in Cebu, Paolo, invited me over to their playground. We all enjoyed the activities in the city over the race weekend and Monday morning should have been a get-back-to-work affair. But that definitely was not the case for us.
Paolo arrived in his Subaru together with fellow Group B guy, Jong, that Monday after the Vios Cup weekend. They were to baptise me in their favourite past-time auto activity. While I dreamt everyday of driving in roads without traffic, Paolo and Jong showed me the beauty of living in their province with clear mountain roads. Paolo brought his Subaru GC8 along, while Jong brought a friend’s tuned bug-eye wagon. We drove up the mountains and had dad tag along. As we got to the first stop, we were joined by Jojo in a mean Evo2 and Trunkx in a modern Impreza hatch. The lessons had begun as we gathered. They brought us to their playground with their rad toys. It was then they requested that we show them how to drive their cars. And we did just that. Dad impressed them with his old school four wheel drive rally skills going sideways and showing his car control, while I showed the smooth and clean efficiency of driving their cars. We then switched seats with the owners of the cars and again gave feedback to how they interpreted the driving they observed moments before. It was such an enjoyable time as we shared our techniques and to drive their car. Coming from the stock rally cars we usually driving, their cars really yanked the adrenaline out of us. Everything came fast before our eyes and again we just had to hold ourselves together before their cars got the better of us. I’m looking forward again to meeting these guys again when I get back to Cebu. Probably by that time, I get to truly understand how to control the beasts they let loose on us!