Race Report: 2012 Shell Slalom Series 1st Leg

Image Credit: Race Motorsports CLub

Location: Robinsons Nova Market

Date: February 19, 2011

Vehicle used: 2000 Hyundai Elantra 1.6L MT (stock)

The first leg of the 2011 Shell Slalom Series was held at Robinsons Nova Market in Novaliches, Quezon City last February 19. Both familiar faces and well-heeled newcomers from Cebu came to battle in the great big open parking lot graciously allotted to Race Motorsports Club by the Robinsons Nova management. Sunshine was beating down on the participants for most of the day, with cloudy skies and light drizzle only coming to play at around 4:30PM. The smell of rubber was permeating, the engine noise of the four-banger powerplants abound.

The same old Starlets from our previous slalom jaunts were present. It was evident that the owners of these dated machines were continuously updating their rides, as some had exhaust fumes smelling like soused sailors in a dockyard bar, obviously swilling E85, the environmental race fuel of the future. Perhaps the noted Toyota tuner Fil Gulfin of Gulfspeed had a hand with this eco-power trend? Also, Dax Santiano’s red EF Civic hatch even donned a special E85 badge on its rear.

The DGL Racing Team from Cebu was a force to be reckoned with, with three experienced drivers with seemingly no fear nor mechanical empathy, and with an army of mechanics and helpers to deal with mishaps and tuning changes. They brought with them a very quick Honda CRX and a top-down Mazda Miata that we thought can give the Starlets a run for their money.

On our end, it was the first time for the Kuhol Automotive Race Team (which for this skirmish was made up of yours truly and no one else) to ever step foot in this Gokongwei-owned mall in Novaliches. The parking lot was one of the biggest we have seen used during slalom. The rough concrete surface is  nothing new, but the lay of the land featured a decent amount of gradient –  something we don’t see in our “home tracks” (home malls?), which for this racing season are SM Sucat and SM Southmall.

We once again brought the spare race car, a bone stock 2000 Hyundai Elantra, as Project Elantra was still under repair and tuning. Without giving too much away, we’ll update you in future installments of the Project Elantra series. Driving solo to and from Novaliches, we were merely poised to make a showing, scoring some points for the national novice championship. And, not crashing the car.

In preparation for motorsports use, we fitted the stock Elantra with brand-spanking-new Federal 595EVOs in 195/55 R15 to the same old Rota Slipstreams. And that’s it. Though the car almost did not make it to the race due to a downed ignition coil. A trip to the nearest Hyundai casa pinpointed and resolved the issue, and we found ourselves high-tailing to Novaliches the day after. Nevertheless, the car is as slow as always.

Don't you agree?

The lead driver was also decked in a custom racing suit, courtesy of the management of Prima Water Works. The twill/chambray combo of the one-piece blue suit was fashionable enough to pass visual inspection from the Race Motorsports Club stewards, while  being cool and breezy due to its 100% cotton content. The suit will be pimped out with sponsor patches for the next race.

We scored our best times in our earlier runs due to driver dehydration and fatigue, an ill-advised handbrake adjustment, and mistaking severe understeer as the proper method of tacking the course’s unique fast 360-degree corner at the third sector of the lap. Our best time with the stock Elantra was 68.06, which is slow when compared to the day’s fastest time set by Doc Peewee Mendiola, but respectable considering we were the fourth-fastest Novice category racer in the event. Again, the car is stock. Maybe we’ll kick ass when Project Elantra comes on-line.

The DGL Miata

A mid-afternoon crash on the parking lot bollards put the DGL Racing Team’s CRX out of commission, thus their Miata was seemingly shared by all of the DGL drivers at the end of the day. Last year when we saw them in SM Sucat, they decimated the competition, generating quite a stir with the slalom establishment. Here’s hoping they’ll join more legs.

We also watched the racing couple of Peque and Jhack Alacbay of Team Uno run. Having not raced in slalom for some time, Peque showed shades of his true prowess as he garnered the fifth fastest overall time and fourth fastest production rear-wheel time. Among the Starlet racers, we root for his success as we are their customers at Iikdo Car Parts And Accesories, buying several parts for Project Elantra and as a bonus, not getting raised eyebrows for modifying an Elantra.

Fastest time of the day went to the Racing Doctor, Peewee Mendiola of the Big Chill Racing Team, the only person breaking the sub 60-second barrier with a 59.36 run with his Starlet.

We hope to see you at the second leg of the Shell Slalom Series in March 4 at SM Sucat Building A parking lot. Maybe we’ll finally use Project Elantra then.

Image Credit: Race Motorsports Club

kuhol.net Automotive Racing Team Results

Front Wheel Injected: 2nd

Group 2B: 2nd

Novice Modified A: 3rd

Front Wheel Injected Novice: 4th

Novice Overall Best Time: 5th

Open C: 6th

Group 5B: 8th


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