Race Report: The Rise and Fall of a Race Car (Slalom 7th, 9th and 10th legs)


Image credit: RACE Motorsports Club

Race 1:  2012 Shell Slalom Series 7th Leg
Date: September 16, 2012
Location: Riverbanks Mall, Marikina City

Race 2:  2012 Shell Slalom Series 9th Leg
Date: October 7,2012
Location: Robinsons Nova Market, Novaliches, Quezon City

Race 3:  2012 Shell Slalom Series 10th Leg
Date: October 21,2012
Location: SM Sucat, Paranaque City

Vehicle used: 1998 Hyundai Elantra (kuhol.net’s Project Elantra)

Since we have used a multitude of Hyundai cars at the races over the past year, people have the mistaken impression that we are owners of a Hyundai dealership or something. The reality is, we just happen to have some, and are recalcitrant to dispose of old but still serviceable cars. Having the garage space to stash them all helps, too.

Or maybe they think we’re sponsored by Hyundai? Of course not. We aren’t artistas, proprietors of automotive aesthetic enhancement centers, or driving Genesis Coupes. We’re just silly people with silly dreams of racing silly shipmaker’s cars.

Borrowing the Getz for racing in the interim, we used the time to fix the issues plaguing Project Elantra. We upgraded the external wastegate bolts to high-tensile fasteners to avoid the item to fly off the car. We also refitted a regular lead-acid battery to the engine bay of the car, the solution to the car’s hard-starting problem. And God knows what else we did.

Regardless, we got the car running for its first slalom races for the year. These were what happened.  Read them after the jump.

Image credit: RACE Motorsports Club

Race One

It was a dreary day at the Riverbanks Mall in Marikina City, made even more dreary upon hearing of the death of Jeff Menguito, a slalom regular and Starlet specialist, due to a road accident. It was a stark reminder to all those present that the streets are more dangerous than the confines of motorsport events. His absence was heavy among the participants, and his final “slalom” around the course in a caro was met with thunderous applause and redlining motors.

And as if the heavens are mourning with the slalom community, the rain was pouring heavily, drowning sorrows and raising fears. Vision and traction impairment aside, the race after all was literally held by the riverbank, so flash flooding was a lingering yet irrational cause of anxiety.

It wasn’t an ideal time to debut a freshly tuned and debugged Project Elantra, but we wanted to kick-effin-ass see whether our efforts were enough to be competitive with the top FWDs of the two Bautistas. However, given that the windshield fogging on the inside, the loosening manifold-to-turbo bolts, busted front shocks, and our hamfisted efforts in wheeling a car that had more power than we had talent, we were close but no cigar.

People who were there have commented that the car was surprisingly fast and was able to corner on three wheels. They were impressed with the “water show” caused by our venting of wastegate exhaust through the hood, heating up the rain to create an interesting phenomenon. We’ll sop up any compliment – keep ’em coming.

Image credit: RACE Motorsports Club

Race Two

Two weeks after, Project Elantra was once again wheeled to the races, which was held in the usual Rob Nova parking lot. The driver noted that the car was loosing power because of a massive exhaust leak between the turbo and the manifold. Closer inspection revealed the loss of two of the four fasteners bolting the turbo to the manifold.

Sans repair crew, the driver was forced to seek help from nearby muffler shops but, due to the very tight packaging of the components, no one was able to help. The car was still run, even down on power and with the eminent risk of the turbo falling out.

At the seventh of ten runs, the car suddenly started to sputter and miss. Ignoring the hiccough, the driver pressed on only for the engine to finally quit near the end of the run, with smoke starting to plume from the engine bay. The electrics were shut down with the kill switch, and the car was done for the day.

The issue was later traced to a short where the positive wire had a bare patch and was rubbing against the left fender. Thank God for the kill switch, because the car would have been Korean car-beque without it.

We left the venue on-board the helpful and ever-reliable AAP towing service, which brought the car and driver back to the kuhol.net Garage. For the itinerant motorsports participant, nothing beats an AAP membership to bail you out of a shunting or a breakdown and get you home.

Image credit: RACE Motorsports Club

Race Three

In the two weeks between the ninth and tenth Slalom legs, we were furiously working on the car’s faux pas and getting it running well for the next race. It was important to have a relatively good showing in SM Sucat as we treat any race held there as a home race.

The short was repaired in a jiffy, the easier fix. The harder repair was the replacement of the turbo/manifold fasteners from ordinary bolts to high-tensile studs. Tight packaging entailed the dis-assembly of various engine bay components to clear the room for the turbo and manifold to be extricated. After a bit of bodging, the car was running and ready for Sucat.

We had some work and personal friends watch us in the races and we are thankful for their presence. Some friends even recorded footage of our race, which was quite nice of them. Our major sponsor, Prima Water Works was also present, and they provided well for our hydration needs. Thanks for the support, Prima Water Works!

Next Races

Capping the end of our 2012 racing season, the last two legs of the National Slalom Series were in Robinsons Nova. Stay tuned for our notes on these two races. Keep it slow!


kuhol.net Automotive Racing Team Results


Shell Slalom Series 7th Leg

Front Wheel Modified Novice: 2nd

Front Wheel Modified: 2nd

Open C: 2nd

Group 5B: 3rd

Front Wheel Injected Novice: 3rd



Shell Slalom Series 9th Leg


Novice Modified C: 2nd

Front Wheel Injected Novice: 3rd

Front Wheel Modified Novice: 3rd

Open C: 3rd

Group 5B: 6th


Shell Slalom Series 10th Leg

Novice Modified C: 2nd

Front Wheel Modified Novice: 2nd

Open C: 2nd

Front Wheel Injected Novice: 3rd

Group 5B: 4th


kuhol.net Automobile Racing Team is supported by Prima Water Works, Achilles Radial Tire Philippines, Haltech Philippines, and Cruven Suspension Specialist – Fairview (EVSI-IBA). For more motorsports exploits and other motoring articles and features, check out http://www.kuhol.net. Like us on Facebook (facebook.com/kuhol.net). Follow us on Twitter (@kuholnet).

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