For one weekend, the Subic International Airport came alive with the roar of well over a hundred of the country's most exotic supercars and high performance tuner cars, along with the cheers of nearly 2,000 race fans and car enthusiasts with the inaugural AutoIndustriya.com Speedfest.
On the weekend of February 25 to 26, 2012, AutoIndustriya.com reopened the Subic Bay International Airport, letting in hundreds of cars to take part in one of three main events at the Speedfest: the Mile Run, the Quarter Mile Drag or the Gymkhana.
The event was the vision of Brent Co, Editor-in-chief of the country's leading automotive website, AutoIndustriya.com and its parent company, Double B Web Solutions.
"We really wanted to bring together some of the country's wildest machines on four wheels for a weekeend of high octane action," said Co. "So, for this weekend, we opened the Subic Bay International Airport for participants to race down the quarter mile, go sideways for the exhilarating gymkhana and drift exhibition, as well as take on the ultra high speed mile run."
The main terminal building housed all the registration and event facilities, and on the 2nd floor, event organizers set up a viewing area so that VIPs and guests may catch the action as it unfolds on the tarmac outside.
For the two day duration of the event, organizers and David Murphy Feliciano of DMF Drift set up a truly challenging gymkhana course. Designed to test a car's overall performance balance as well as the driver's cornering abilities, the SPEEDFEST Gymkhana truly delivered thrills to participants and spectators alike, with various celebrity drivers and highly experienced race champions.
On Day 1, the Gymkhana was won by Carlos Anton driving the Mark Young Racing CRX, Alfie Concepcion steered his Advan Honda Civic to 2nd place, while Chukri Prieto in his Nissan SR20DET powered Toyota AE86 took 3rd. While on Day 2, it was Chukri Prieto who took the win, Ric "Skeletonman" Wee piloted the AutoIndustriya.com Cefiro to 2nd, and Patrick Steven Rojas in the supercharged Rota Wheels Toyota Yaris rounded up the podium in 3rd.
The main draw of the event, however, was taking place on the 2.7 kilometer runway. On Saturday, over 50 of the country's most exotic supercars were entered by their owners to take part on the SPEEDFEST Mile Run. All speed runs were officially timed and recorded with the WCC/Matonetics Port-A-Tree Timing System.
The rules were simple: achieve the highest top speed over the 1.6 kilometer long runway. The honor roll of supercars included a pair of tuned Ford GT's, a trio of Lamborghini Gallardo's in different variants, another trio of Shelby GT500's, a rare Mercedes-Benz CLK 63 AMG Black Series, several Porsche 911's of varying performance levels and highly tuned Nissan R35 GT-R's.
It was MOTUL-Autoplus that took the overall win in the Unlimited Class as Carlos Gono, behind the wheel of his highly tuned Ford GT, blistered the SPEEDFEST Mile with a top speed of 330.7 km/h. Another car that broke the 200mph barrier was the highly-tuned 1000-horsepower MOTUL-Autoplus Nissan GT-R driven by Manuel Go Jr. that clocked in 321.88km/h for second place. Another 1000-horsepower JCT Racing Nissan GT-R driven by Jonathan Tiu clocked in at 310.6km/h for third place. All top-three cars in the 6-cylinder and up forced induction class broke the 300 km/h speed barrier.
In the 6-cylinder and up, naturally-aspirated class, it was the Lamborghini Gallardo of Maurice Laude that clocked the fastest run at 277.48 km/h. Chris Tajano's Audi R8 V10 took 2nd with a speed of 274.33 km/h. Third place went to Bennett Cua with his Mercedes-Benz CLK 63 AMG Black Series doing a speed of 273.3 km/h.
In the 4-cylinder category, Pepi Santos of H3 Autoworks drove a blistering 272.27 km/h in a highly-tuned 600-plus wheel horsepower turbocharged Honda Civic FD street car of H3's Bong Hilario. The closest 4-cylinder was the car of Mike Patron, a Subaru Impreza STI from HKS-Emperor Motorsports that ran at 237.44 km/h, while Subaru Alabang's STI, driven by Francisco Blanco, took 3rd place with a speed of 223.52 km/h.
The Quarter Mile Drag
The next day, February 26, the runway was the venue for the Speedfest Quarter Mile Drag Shootout. Where on the Mile Run the cars were tuned for top speed, the Quarter Mile demands pure, off the line acceleration. Extremely tuned machines made to take on the 1320 feet of the quarter mile took to the runway, hoping to be champion in the Pro and Hot Street categories. The list contains a who's who of the tuning scene, with a collection of highly modified Honda Civics and compact cars, as well as purpose built drag cars like a Mitsubishi Mirage and a 12-second Chevy Nova.
In the Hot Street Category, Loy Yulas from Olongapo City took the win in his Honda Civic Hatchback through the forty-plus car field which included a supercharged Porsche 911 and a Nissan GT-R, Melvin Alcala of JDM Underground, also in a Honda Civic SiR took second, while Ron Wee of Bataan rounded up the podium aboard his Honda Civic SiR.
In the Pro Category, it was a different story. The two more powerful cars, the 800 horsepower W-Autosports-Vannitec Racing Mitsubishi Cyborg and the Rurex-2 Honda Integra from H3 Autoworks, made early retirements during practice. The Mirage Cyborg broke its transfer case while the Integra broke its transmission.
This left Arvin Jay Millet of Temz Auto Mart, driving his Honda Civic (Domani) and Christopher Sheaves, behind the wheel of a black Chevy Nova, for a best of three battle. Millet took first place while Mr. Christopher Sheaves was a close second in his black Chevy Nova for the Pro category via a “Double Breakout” in their final heat.
A Race to Remember
The AutoIndustriya.com Speedfest was attended by well over 2,000 race and auto enthusiasts during the course of the weekend, and participated by well over 120 entries in the various categories.
"Our first ever AutoIndustriya.com SPEEDFEST was a resounding success," comments Brent Co. "Rest assured, plans are being laid for the next SPEEDFEST, and we know it will be even bigger and better, and even faster."
The AutoIndustriya.com SPEEDFEST was held in partnership with MOTUL, Bridgestone, Rota Wheels, Shell V-Power, The Lighthouse Marina Resort, Remixx Clothing, Mechanix 5, VHT, Gold's Gym, Auto Transporter, Segway Philippines, Wreckless Inc., NRA Timing Systems, 1320 Shoot-Out and DMF Drift, with media partners BusinessMirror and C! Magazine. Special thanks also to the Ulo ng Apo Radio Group, Subic Bay Auto Show, Mothers Wax, Coco Lime Restaurant, Olongapo Travel Lodge, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, and Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation.
*Race on the track, not on the street. Speeding on public highways is not only illegal but dangerous.