When it comes to true off-road performance, only few brands come to mind, but really, Bridgestone's Dueler line of tires is one of the very, very best in the business.
The first round of the Bridgestone Cup saw the participants drive the Toyota 86 and BMW 118d Sport Line with the new Bridgestone Potenza tires on an autocross and a drag race. Now to give members of the media a feel and appreciation for the new Dueler off road tires, Bridgestone's Philippine distributor held the 2nd round of the Bridgestone Cup... this time on the muddied off-road portion of the Clark International Speedway.
Philippine Allied Enterprises Corporation, the Philippine distributor of Bridgestone tires, brought two specific models of from the Dueler for the challenge; one a full-fledged Mud Terrain tire and the other being an All-Terrain model. Event organizers Tuason Racing School had enlisted the expertise of off-road groups to design a track layout that would showcase the abilities of the Bridgestone Dueler Mud Terrain and All Terrain tires
The media participants were divided into teams of two, some already retaining their partners from the 1st leg with the Potenza performance tires at the Batangas Racing Circuit. With the briefing conducted by JP Tuason of TRS and Bridgestone executives, the participants moved on to the off-road section of the Clark International Speedway, where they met two specially designed off-road courses.
The first track is a full off-road course, using specially prepped 4x4 machines with Bridgestone Dueler Mud Terrain, or M/T, tires. The course involved a tricky route through the forested area of Clark Speedway. The challenge involved participants having to navigate through the tricky course, with two challenges along the way: a Buzzwire challenge and a puzzle, testing their skills to think and remain steady on the go.
The challenge would be determined by the total time it takes to navigate the course. However, Bridgestone's organizers also had another trick up their sleeve, as participants not only had to drive and complete challenges, but also to retain as many balls in a basket mounted on the rear of the vehicle. Go too fast or too hard and the balls fly off. Go too slow, and participant will get a slow time. Each ball lost would mean an penalty of 10 seconds added to the total time around the course.
The second course organizers prepared is a faster drive, this time aboard the Isuzu D-MAX 4x2 with Bridgestone Dueler All Terrain, or A/T, tires. The course involved a rally-cross style drive through the mud, with 360 degree turns, fast inclines and slippery mud. After the fast route, the participants will then have to enter a slippery tarmac portion with a chicane, adding to the challenge. Take down one of the course markers or any of the pylons and that's 10 seconds added to the time.
When all the runs were completed and the results tallied, Bridgestone and event organizers awarded the top three teams. We were fortunate enough to have come out on top, emerging as round 2 champions by only 1 point with a total of 12. Win or not, it was truly fun playing in the mud with the Duelers, and gave a unique experience of these tires in their element.
To the next round
With the 2nd out of 3 legs complete, the Bridgestone Cup will be concluded with an eco challenge at the Batangas Racing Circuit and the surrounding areas to showcase the abilities of the new Bridgestone Ecopia tires.