Manila plays host to a major racing event forty-three years after the 'First Manila Grand Prix' was held in July 26, 1970. This time, the sound of roaring engines from modern GT3 supercars like Aston Martin, Audi, Ferrari, Lamborgini, and Porsche will blast through the streets of Manila.
Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, and Malaysian Prince Tunku Khairul Zaim headed the official announcement of the event. Prince Kairul expressed his excitement about the event, which they are touting as a motorsport festival with various activities as well.
"I think Manila will be a really good venue to host the race considering its rich history and the Filipino people are avid car enthusiasts as well. We are very excited to bring GT racing to the Philippines for the first time," said Prince Khairul.
The 2.7-kilometer long street circuit runs from Parade Avenue (Quirino Grandstand) down through Padre Burgos Street, Mario Orosa Street turning into TM Kalaw Street, then into a hairpin on Roxas Boulevard in front of the historic Rizal Monument to South Drive and back into Parade Avenue.
Organizers are expecting to field 15 cars on the grid with drivers coming from Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka for the exhibition race. They are also hoping to have Filipino driver JP Tuason to join the grid for local fans to cheer on as well.
Veteran International race engineer Rolly Relanes has been tasked as the technical consultant for the event. Relanes has confirmed that the route has passed their initial check and some surfaces will need new asphalt.
"Safety barriers and fences will be placed on the whole track and extra barriers strategically placed in high speed corners to make sure nobody enters the racetrack," said Relanes.
Relanes also shared that the Automobile Association of the Philippines, the country’s official motorsport body sanctioned by the FIA will be tasked to officiate the race and make sure it conforms to international motorsport safety standards.
2010 GT3 Asia Champion Dilantha Malagamuwa from Sri Lanka, one of the participants of the GT3 Manila Race was also present to promote the event. Malagamuwa expressed his excitement to drive his Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 on the very streets of Manila for the first time.
Support events like vintage car races, touring cars and kart races are also expected to join the roster of the weekend event.
Mayor Lim on his part pledged his city’s full support for the event and was quoted saying "Everything will be taken care of". The Metro Manila Development Authority had also put their support for the event represented by Assistant General Manager for Operation Atty. Emerson Carlos.