Six long hours

Six long hours image

Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co | posted August 15, 2004 12:10

1st Manila Speedzone 6-hour enduro

You might say that 6-hours is just a span of time. If just went through the 1st Speedzone 6-hour enduro, you'd beg to disagree more than I. Surely a 6-hour karting endurance race is tiring, but not so tiring when compared to a rained out race.

It all started with clear weather in the afternoon when the qualifying race was conducted to determine grid positions. Fiveteams in the race, each team picked their fastest gun to run the qualifying heat.

The teams were, Bridgestone, Castrol CRD, Castrol GTX, HW Labs, and Speedzone. Six teams composed of novice and expert drivers grouped together which proved to be a fun, exciting and competitive race.

I myself was in the race running with the Castrol CRD team, composed of Mark Goddard, Edgen Dy-Liacco, Pia Boren, Jeff Reyes, Manny Delos Reyes and yours truly. Our sister team Castrol GTX was composed of Angelo Barretto, Art Feliciano, Giboy Salapantan, Paul Salapantan and James Deakin. As the race started off, it was Bridgestone, CRD and GTX (in alphabetical order) dicing it out in front with Chad Diaz, Edgen Dy-Liacco, and Angelo Barretto battling for the lead.

It started to drizzle at about 75 laps as the kart was about to be turned over to me. By the time I was out, the track was wet and slippery which made it really hard considering it was only my third time on the track and my first time in the wet track. And what made it worse was the electronics (remote control throttle adjustment) were experiencing problems as I was running at 1/4 throttle for almost 3 laps trying to figure out the problem. Everyone just passed me as if my kart was parked. Finally when I got into the pits, they found a fix for my problem and I was out on the track again back in full fury, too much fury perhaps which cause me to spin out a couple of times losing more time. This time, the more experienced karters were on the track which made it harder. Imagine trying to fend of Angelo Barretto and Philip Alvendia who were themselves dicing as they were about to pass me. It was a totally different experience.

As I pitted in for a driver change with Mark Goddard, Angelo Barretto was still in the track still runnning. At about 94 laps his gas tank said no more as his kart stalled just about the last hairpin and he valiantly pushed his kart into the pits for a much needed refueling stop. "I really didn't want to go out just yet because I really wanted to beat Chad's (Diaz) time, but alas the fuel tank could'nt take it no more," said Barretto.

Mark Goddard himself experience the problems I had for quite a couple of times and ended up going into the pits twice. Finally, Speedzone officials decided to have the control box removed so it wouldn't cause any more problems. The race was stopped midway though as the rain continued to pour. We had an intermission of about an hour and a half which gave us a much needed break from the rising tensions from the fierce competition inside the track.

The track was really soaked as the race was restarted, but times were getting lower because according to my fellow professional teammates, there was more traction in that condition than on a damp track. As the final drivers continued on, it was team Bridgestone ahead momentarily before they ran into a tear jerking 30 minute breakdown on the pitlane. A spare kart that was supposed to replace their kart was nothing much of a help as it stalled on its way out, so they had to wait for repairs to be made on their kart. GTX drive Art Feliciano took advantage of this and quickly pulled away as he equalled their laps made. Edgen Dy-Liacco, our first and last driver tried to catch up on a few more laps but still short of besting HW Labs' completed laps. He achieved another feat though, which was the fastest lap in the wet clocking in a 1:14. Another ironman though very much to be noted of was Alan Co who was on the track for HW Labs' final 1 hour and 30 minutes, quite remarkable for a novice driver. The all-novice HW Labs team also averaged 1:12 laptimes which is quite remarkable.

And so, the race ended with Castrol GTX in 1st, HW Labs in 2nd, Castrol CRD in 3rd, Bridgestone in 4th and the Speedzone team in 5th.