Yes, you read that correctly: Intramuros could be the site for the next Formula One grand prix in South East Asia.
At a press conference today April 1, 2022, via Tiktok, a group of serious business executives announced that they are forming a new consortium with a view to host a Formula One race in the country. The consortium, called Formula Operators Overseas League, is fooling -err- pooling together their resources and contacts to secure the rights for a grand prix in the Philippines, and a night race no less.
“We are really excited at the prospect of having a chance to host a race here,” said Michael Dior-Dunn, the newly appointed CEO and spokesperson of FOOL.
The group is currently in talks with the management of the sport. They were able to get an audience with the organizers of F1 through one of the group members who happens to be the godson of a first cousin of one of the majority shareholders.
The plan is simple: like Singapore, the Intramuros Manila Grand Prix will be held on the existing streets around the Walled City. That means that Roxas Boulevard, the roads around Quirino Grandstand, Padre Burgos Avenue, Taft Avenue, and the new Binondo-Intramuros Bridge will form the race track.
“Intramuros is perfect because the walls serve as an ideal vantage point for a majority of the track,” continued Dior-Dunn. “We can just build grandstands on top and build the pit lane across Rizal Monument.”
They will ask the MMDA's help to use some of the concrete barriers on EDSA to line the borders of the track because by then, the buses will have learned to stay in the lane. The group will also ask for the DPWH's help to do concrete reblocking prior to the grand prix so the drivers won't feel the bumps on those roads when they reach speeds in excess of 300 kilometers per hour.
If they also reach an agreement with another group, they could even use a section of the yet-to-be-constructed PAREX and back to Roxas Boulevard. They will fit every race car with RFID and free load so they can go through without any problems.
Asked whether the impact on traffic will be huge, the spokesperson for the group said that wouldn't be a problem. They plan to hold the event during Holy Week, meaning traffic would be light anyway. That also means the race will take place on the evening of Easter Sunday and masses will already be finished by then.
The group also wants to hold a sustainable night race, and their solution is simple: upcycling. They will repurpose LED Christmas lights and decor that would have already been discarded by Holy Week 2025 to construct lights across the length of the race circuit. And at the end of the race, there will be a display of fireworks unlike any other because it will use local fireworks like kwitis and fountains from Bulacan.
“Here's the best part: admission will be free,” added Dior-Dunn. “All you have to do is present your vaccination card.”
And if you read up to here and it's still not clear: Happy April Fool's Day!