Ginebra San Miguel and Asian Formula Three (AF3) joined forces to kick off the new AF3 season with a recent street drive at the Rajah Sulayman Park along Roxas Boulevard in Manila.
The street drive was a cornucopia of all things circuit racing and motorcycles, as super bikes, underboners, go-karts, touring cars, exotic cars and F3 racecars held onlookers and media agog.
A highlight of the event was multiple five-lap street drives of the participating motorcycles and racecars around the Rajah Sulayman park and on portions of Roxas Boulevard. AF3 drivers Tyson Sy, Dado Pena, Pepon Marave, John O'Hara, Ali Jackson, JP Tuason and first-ever AF3 lady driver Gaby dela Merced took first crack at thrilling the crowd with an impressive spectacle of AF3 open-wheel racecars. They were later joined by Manila Sports Council chairman Ali Atienza in an open wheel racecar.
In the touring car department, Tuason led the TRS Ford Focus touring car squad, joined by PTCC (Philippine Touring Car Championship) contenders Nico Montinola and JP Carino in their respective Honda Civic racing mules. Karters from Birel Philippines, Manila Speedzone and City Kart also showcased their skills across the makeshift course and even provided onlookers with a full, unadulterated view of a go-kart's chassis.
Not to be left out in the four-wheel section were the Porsche Club of the Philippines and the Super Cars club. The former brought out some nice vehicles such as a Porsche Cayenne, a Porsche Boxster, and a (circa 1980s) Porsche 911. On the other hand, the latter brought to Rajah Sulayman Park three known versions of a well-known symbol of cult Americana - the Chevrolet Corvette. Present were a 1960s 327 Corvette, a 1970s 327 Corvette and a blue 1960s Corvette Stingray convertible. Even AF3 racer Tyson Sy got into the exotic car display and street drive with his sunlit copper Nissan 350Z.
In the two-wheeled department, Suzuki Philippines countered with the Suzuki Stunt Team, who performed their first documented bike stunts in the Metro Manila. The stunts included (but were not limited to) burnouts, wheelies (both front wheel and rear wheel) and kickflips reminiscent of flatland bicycle stunts at the ESPN X-Games competitions.
Manila Tourism OIC (officer-in charge) Arles Jimenez, San Miguel Corporation marketing manager Jem Chua and AF3 Corporation chair Eddie Pena presided over the opening ceremonies.
The Ginebra San Miguel Street Drive ushers in this year's AF3 Grand Prix 2006 series. The opening leg will be held on May 6-7, 2006 at the Batangas Racing Circuit in Rosario, Batangas and will be aired LIVE on Studio 23 on May 7.