Text: Benj Ngo / Photos: Brent Co | posted May 07, 2002 09:00
Start your engines
The weekend of March 16 and 17 can be considered a monumental weekend for Philippine Motorsports. For the first time ever, a launch event was held to kick off the 2002 Motorsports season. The affair was entitled "Ignition", and what a perfect name it was. The event saw a number of race cars being displayed at Pier 1, the Fort.
Racing machines from the different disciplines of motorsports were there: Slalom, Drag Racing, Touring Car, Formula 3, Rally, Karting, and even down to Slot Car Racing. There was also a number of side events like a fashion show, dB Drag Racing competition, Show and Shine competition, booth displays, etc. Overall it shaped up to be sort of the AutoSport show of the Philippines.
Racecars from Castrol Racing, ATI Racing, Tuason Racing Project, Race Motorsports, Petron-SRA, Havoline Beefeater Racing, Bigshot Racing, M&M Kart Racing, and last but not the least the Asian Formula Three with an Opel Spiess powered Formula 3 racecar.
Sponsor booths lined the Fort Square Plaza. Tomica had an impressive collection of their scale model cars. PLDT myDSL was also on hand to showcase the impressive speed of their internet service. Castrol Philippines was there in full force as they displayed their finest automotive lubricants. There was a display of scooters being sold, including some gargantuan Honda, and Hexagon 600cc cruising scooters and the Qing Qi scooters from Uni-line. Rayban came out to display some of their hottest eyewear, definitely perfect timing for summer.
The 8th National dB Drag Racing Competition was also held at Ignition. Around 29 vehicles came with their booming audio systems, making sure that the set up crew wouldn't fall asleep. dB Drag Racing is basically a car audio competition wherein a sensor is mounted to the windshield of the car; and with all the doors closed, the sound system is played to it's maximum capabilities.
The event was officially opened with the cutting of the ribbon led by Castrol's Product Manager Paul Salapantan and AI's Brent Co. They were flanked by race drivers from circuit, karting, rally and slalom.
The main attraction of the event followed immediately with the introduction of the race cars and their respective motorsports. Hosting the event was James Deakin of C! Magazine along with AutoIndustriya's very own G Dadlani. The two hosts introduced the different cars as well the teams and drivers for those cars. One by one the drivers all went up on stage and gave their thoughts on the particular motorsport that they are involved in.
It was during this time that Angelo Barretto and Kookie Ramirez became impromptu "talk show hosts", interviewing each and every racer that they could find. Some of the racers who were there include the Ramirez family, Michelle Pritchard, Mike Potenciano, Mike Tuason, Elson Carpio, Nilo Pazcoguin, Mike Aguilar, Rikki Dy-Liacco, and Mark Goddard just to name a few.
After racers' talk, James and G excited the crowd with the fashion show. Models from John Robert Powers showcased different "racey" clothes provided by Quick Change and of course, the hottest eyewear provided by Ray Ban. It would be safe to say that the fashion pumped the crowd up indeed. The first day of the event was then finished off by a musical performance from The Crush.
Day two of Ignition featured the Show and Shine competition with wildly and midly setup vehicles which competed against each other for the PLDT myDSL Best in Show award. At the show was a 1985 Porsche 911, set-up Toyotas and Hondas, a classic VW Beetle and many more.
More of the participants came in the afternoon as the scorching heat during the morning towards lunch was simply too hot. It was like being in Malaysia watching Formula 1 at the Sepang Circuit. Judging began as the show cars all came in. Our judges Kookie Ramirez, LJ Chipeco and John Escobar meticulously inspected every detail of each car to determine who really deserves to win.
While the show was going on, raffle prizes courtesy of our sponsors were being given away. Goodies from Castrol, Yehey!, Citibank and many more were given to lucky showgoers.
After a quite a lengthy time, the judging and tabulation of scores came in. The winners were decided and the competitors keenly waited for the announcement of winners. "We really had a hard time judging the cars as all of them were equally very good," said John Escobar one of our three judges.
The event was presented PLDT myDSL, and AutoIndustriya.com, sponsored by Castrol GTX Magnatec, Yehey!, FGS Ventures Incorporated, Ray Ban Sunglasses, Quick Change, and Tomica and also in part by John Robert Powers, Suncon Toys, Bonifacio Global City, Pier One Bar and Grill, Auto Extreme, C!, Auto Review, 105.1 Crossover, Monster Radio RX93.1 and NU 107.5.