Our participation in racing events has been sporadic this year. We did join the first Slalom race of 2017 in Robinsons Nova Market, fielding our Project Elantra racecar with its new aero appendages. The car still needs a hell of a debugging before we bring it out again.
Out of a whim, we decided to try the Gymkhana organized by the Automobile Association Philippines. Held last July 21, 2017 at Megatent Events Venue, Libis, Quezon City, it was an affair to hone skills learnt from the AAP’s Motorsport Development Program. We came to blow out cobwebs, leaning on the team of expert instructors lead by Coach Vip Isada in sharpening our race craft further.
We brought with us Project B-car, a bone stock Elantra we’ve played with in many a race over the years. We’ve slalomed it many times – took it rallycrossing once, too. We’re planning to remove it from being a “missile car” soon as its replacement comes online. We’ll talk about that car soon.
Coach Vip advised us previously to bring a stock standard car out as it would provide learning opportunities that the more powerful yet cantankerous racecar won’t. And so the car was bone stock, except for the LPG kit. It was a pleasure to drive to and from the venue with cooking gas as fuel spend was very small.
There was a chance to fit bucket seats and wider tires but thought it prudent to just run what ‘er brung, like back when we took a bone stock Getz CRDi out to the now-defunct Subic International Raceway. We just finagled with the tire pressures on the old, hard china tires in the standard factory size.
We registered in two classes, the competitive 1501-1800 class and the 1801-2000 class. We knew that our best shot at any sort of glory was at the latter class, as the former was packed with other participants. And with pre-race practice restricted to track walks and one group tour around the course, the plan was to learn the track with the two runs in the lower class and keep our noses clean on the higher bracket.
We went with the plan and found ourselves taking 2nd in the 1801-2000 class. Which isn’t bad for a slow, stock Elantra and a rusty, crusty, and fat-ish driver. Finishing 4th out of 7 racers in the 1501-1800 class isn’t so bad considering the mistakes we did during those runs.
It was a pleasure sharing the podium with Boodie Dabasol, a legendary drifter and Team GMW honcho, and Ryan Ablang, a regular and crazy quick slalom competitor.
Much appreciation and thanks should be extended to AAP for organizing a gymkhana event in tandem with their Motorsport Development Program. More power to Coach Vip Isada and his team of expert instructors.
Team Kuhol Garage
Event: 2017 AAP-MSDP Gymkhana, Manila 2nd Leg
Date: July 21, 2017
Vehicle: 1998 Hyundai Elantra 1.6 (the B-car)
Driver: Jahan Kalam
1801-2000 – 2nd
1501-1800 – 4th
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