Race Report: 2012 Shell Slalom Series 2nd Leg

Image Credit: Race Motorsports Club

The second leg of the 2012 Shell Slalom Series was held last March 4, in SM Sucat, at the usually vacant parking lot behind Building A. Compared to the first leg in Robinsons Nova Market, there were a reduced number of participants. We were expecting the likes of Tomagi Racing, with their Ford Escort driven by Gino Castro, to join. It was their team principal, Mr. Regie Castro who, after seeing us haplessly negotiate around a slalom course in a diesel Getz many moons ago, advised us to continue developing the Elantra for slalom instead of the shorter-wheelbase Getz. Maybe it was something to do with the rear suspension design of the Getz, but we don’t remember for sure.

However, the other regulars were present for battle with their usual steeds. The weather was partly cloudy and the wind was a mostly welcome presence. The breeze did serve to keep both racers and spectators cool, but it was so strong it blew dust in our eyes and broke our umbrella.

SM Sucat race course diagram

The track was very familiar for us, since we have raced here for three consecutive times last season. Comparing it with Nova, it is a smaller, triangle-shaped racing area, probably a mental challenge to arrange cones at for track designer and race director Oski Nuke. And SM Sucat is near the kuhol.net Garage, an aspect we value most of all.

The kuhol.net Automotive Racing Team was finally able to bring Project Elantra out to play. The other racers were more familiar with our white Elantra, given that we raced that vehicle for four consecutive legs. But we couldn’t help but be amused by some of other racers thinking we have painted our race car black. We are even more amused at looking at their incredulous faces when we told them that we actually have two Elantras, and that this is the actual one prepped for racing.

Our engine tuner, Art Rodriguez of Haltech Philippines, was able to put out all the stops to at least get the car running for the race. Due to certain complications, we were only able to start the car the night before the race. Our recent modifications could only be tested at the race course. Hopes of kicking Japanese car butt from the get-go were remote.

Having removed Project Elantra’s ABS, and doing other stuff to the braking system, we didn’t know what to expect from the middle pedal. We knew during the course of the event that we were going to lock the brakes, but we didn’t expect at our practice run to almost hit a wall while trying to brake at 100kph. Despite the near-write-off of the car, we found the brake pedal feel to be stiffer and more communicative than stock. We were able to modulate pedal effort to effect as much force as we desired. The current handbrake solution was much to be desired and we will update the car with improvements in that area. What those updates would be are still a mystery. Any suggestions? As far as the engine is concerned, our driver was complaining of a lack of power at high revs. After the event, the issue was traced to a loose charge pipe. Beyond those mentioned we have much to address before the next race. Our best time with Project Elantra was a 59.32, achieved with a passenger riding shotgun, but done at the very last run, after getting some idea on how to drive the car.

In the end, the Racing Doctor, Dr. Peewee Mendiola, managed to eke out the fastest time of the day with a 51.98 second run, narrowly edging Noel Rivera at the runoff. The runoff is where the five fastest drivers are given one more run for a shot at grabbing the lowest time elapsed at the event. When Rivera did a 52.12, he looked to be the shoo-in for the title until the Doc posted his winning time. Estefano Rivera was the fastest Novice driver with a 55.08. How to improve our skills to shave four seconds off our runs…

Image credit: Race Motorsports Club

kuhol.net Automotive Racing Team Results

Front Wheel Modified Novice: 2nd

Novice Modified C: 2nd

Open Unlimited B: 2nd

Front Wheel Pro Stock C: 3rd

Open C: 3rd

Group 5B: 4th

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