It's official: the speed limit along Skyway Stage 3 is fixed at 60 km/h. Perhaps predictably, some found it a tad too slow for the highway. There were those saying what's the point of calling it an expressway if it's capped at 60 km/h.
There are a variety of valid reasons for this, as mentioned by San Miguel Corporation president, Ramon Ang. That's because Skyway Stage 3 will have what is called a variable direction lane scheme. As a result, parts of the tollway will not have a center divider. Instead, Stage 3 will have movable lane dividers that will change during different parts of the day, depending on traffic. Should an errant driver drift towards oncoming traffic, you wouldn't want to slam into it at 80, or even 100 km/h. Of course, the reasonable explanation wasn't enough for those who want to go faster. So, of course, Ang hit back at the critics.
"Alam mo, may mga gusto mag speeding sa Skyway, nilalagay pa sa YouTube. Maglalagay ng camera tapos ipapakita yun speed nila na 300 kilometers per hour. Alam mo, hindi nila naiintindihan, di naman tayo madamot na ayaw natin sila magpatakbo ng sobrang bilis.
(You know, those who like to speed on Skyway, even uploading their videos on YouTube; they'll put an in-car camera and show off their 300km/h speed runs. They don't understand, it's not that we are depriving them of driving very fast.)
"But the Skyway is an elevated city tollway that needs to be changed zipper according to the traffic volume of the day. It's a city tollway, but these people don't respect that. They want to show off that their Ferrari is so fast, they have to put it on YouTube, show it to everybody, invite everybody to go speeding," said Ang in a virtual gathering with the motoring media.
He called out those who blast down the Skyway and boast about their top speeds on social media. Ang added that, if supercar owners want to go fast, they should take it to the race track. After that, he issued a challenge:
“If you're really fast, let me know. I will go with you to Clark. I'll bring a simple car”. But this is Ramon Ang we're talking about. His “simple car” is actually rather special. “I'll bring my TVR Griffith 200,” said San Miguel's top boss. The TVR Griffith 200 isn't exactly a car many might know about, but it can school new sports cars.
The TVR Griffith 200 is a classic British roadster. At just 3.5 meters long, it makes the first-generation Mini look like a bus. It's very light, too, tipping the scales just under 900 kilograms. But how exactly can this minuscule drop-top give sports and supercars a scare? Ang's Griffith 200 isn't the standard model. That's because it's the one fitted with a 289 cubic-inch (4.7-liter) V8. Not only that, the TVR packs 275 PS under its glass fiber body.
275 PS may not sound like a lot, but it powers a car less than 900 kilograms. There are claims that the car can do the 0 to 100 km/h sprint within the four-second range. With modern tires, that number seems believable. You also have to remember that the Griffith 200 came out in the '60s, so it has no assists such as anti-lock brakes, traction control, and stability control. Sure, modern supercars are quicker, but we reckon Ramon Ang can tame this beastly little roadster better than some exotic car owners.
Of course, Ang's challenge is in jest, but we'd like to see him organize a track day once the current crisis is over. Besides, this man is a certified car nut with Blaze coursing through his veins. We'd also love to see him drive his “simple” car around Clark International Speedway alongside our humble cars.
That will be enough for us.