Race Report: 2012 Philippine Autocross Championship Series 4th Luzon Round

Location: SM City Fairview

Date: July 29, 2012

The fourth leg of the Philippine Autocross Championship Series (PACS) was held last July 29 in SM City Fairview.  Despite the blustering weather, there was an impressive turnout of competitors from around the Novaliches, QC area and beyond. We were in attendance to see what Autocross was actually about, and to root for Christian Farinas, our motorsports friend from the north.

Familiar faces were trying out their freshly built speed machines out for a shakedown. Some old faces from slalom were itching to strut their stuff with their ancient Starlets. Notable drifters came fresh from the Lateral Drift event, held the day before at the Quirino Grandstand, to play, too. We didn’t bring Project Elantra with us, as it was back in the kuhol.net Garage in the middle of a power steering system repair.

As you may already know, our recent motorsports background is on slalom racing. Autocross, as per the PACS formula, differs from slalom, as two racers are able to race head-to-head. In other venues, that is done by laying out two separate tracks, one for each car. Given the lack of space allotted to this event, however, a “race of champions” or WRC stadium stage style was adopted. What we mean by this is that there is only one track, with a figure-eight layout, where cars are staged on the opposite sides of the start-finish straight. The drivers will then drive on their respective sectors of the course, hopefully not hitting each other at the cross-over point, and finish at the side in which they started. Pity that the PACS organisers had to resort to this setup, as SM City Fairview’s back parking lot is a huuuggee tract of land, and mall management probably only allotted them this short stretch of access road.

Aside from the figure-eight, head-to-head track layout, the track design also integrates a more intense “slalom” section. Meaning to say, there is a section where cars have to sashay left and right for about four or five times. There is a lack of the 180- and 360-degree turns that serve as a thrilling highlight for spectators of the other parking lot motorsport. We will not make assertions of preference here, as Slalom and Autocross have their own distinct flavors and upsides. We will try to find out how the driving is like when Autocross comes nearer to the kuhol.net Garage later this month.

We were supporting our friend Christian Farinas in this event. An avid toy collector and trader, Christian started racing  in slalom back in the late 90’s.  Some of his contemporaries during his time are now known racers in other disciplines and even have become celebrities and endorsers in their own right. After a decade of hiatus, 2012 is his comeback year in amateur motorsport. We met Christian at the 5th leg of the 2012 Shell Slalom Series. In a sea of yabang competitors, we were glad to have met a person in Christian that was friendly and accommodating, a true gentleman’s racer. We are proud to document a part of his comeback here in this website, and we would like to thank Prima Water Works for their consideration in this regard.

Christian Farinas with his Mazda 323 race car

The event was well-attended, with the line of participants as long as a lecture from Ben Stein. As of press time, however, we were unable to get official results from the organizer’s Facebook page. Check out our picture gallery of the event below.

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