There are 2 ways to get to Mazda Motor Corporation’s Museum in Hiroshima. You can either go to the Mukainada Station by train or hire a chartered bus. But that’s IF you’re in Japan. If not, you can aways go the cheaper route and visit it using Google Street View.
Although not as extensive as the Honda Collection Hall or McLaren Technology Centre, this 20-year-old facility houses some of Mazda’s most historic machines on 2 levels. The short list includes the Cosmo Sport (110S) from the ’60s, RX-7s from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, the original MX-5 roaster, and of course, the legendary 1991 Le Mans 24 Hour winner, the 787B.
The display even has a dedicated section for what is Mazda’s greatest technological achievement, the Rotary Engine.
Likewise, it showcases the company’s newest “SKYACTIV” technology, which can be found in the newest generation of Mazdas.
This 360 deg. virtual tour gives anyone with a smart device or computer (and a decent web connection) access to the museum’s 5 areas in incredible detail. So much so that the high res images are clear enough to read through the museum’s literature.
While all the other teams in Philippine GT compete in Hondas, Yllana-GTR Racing went with a Genesis Coupe in GT 300. These guys are such fanboys of the Korean brand that they decided to build another Hyundai race car for 2015, this time based on an Accent.
But this is no ordinary Accent. This is a current-gen 1.6L CRDi hatchback, making it the only diesel-powered machine on the Philippine GT grid.
Yllana-GTR Racing driver and team owner Jomari Yllana (yes, the actor) explains to us that this is a long-term project for the squad. The project began in 2014 where Jomari raced in the Accent One Make Race in South Korea to learn more about the car. They then used the experience to build a similar race car here at Team GTR’s workshop in Parañaque City for Philippine GT.
Although team president John Kim didn’t want to get into the details of what they’ve done to it (aside from the required safety equipment such as a racing seat, roll cage, and harness), he did say that they’re still testing some aftermarket parts to make it a more potent GT car.
Obvious upgrades, however, include a coil over suspension, larger and wider rims, and some added cooling ducts on the front bumper. If the engine remained stock, it should have 126 hp and 260 Nm of torque at the crank.
But before they take on a full season in the Philippine GT Championship, Yllana-GTR Racing decided to take their Accent CRDi race car out for a ‘test run’ at the final round of the 2014 season last December.
Driven by Kang Jing Sung – a South Korean professional driver – the Accent CRDi race car managed a fastest lap of 1:58.112 around the Batangas Racing Circuit (BRC), which proves that it does have potential. The newly-built machine also performed without a hitch on its very first outing, finishing 3rd in GT 150 for both the Sprint and GT Race.
Not bad, right?
Well, not quite. The rules for GT 150 not only limits horsepower at 150 measured at the wheels, but also torque at 203 Nm. While it passed the hp cap, it exceeded the the allowable maximum torque, thus disqualifying it from the final standings.
Still, the team was able to gather valuable data that should help them tune the Accent CRDi race car for the 2015 season.
The team is now searching for a talented driver who can compete under their apprenticeship. Obviously, Yllana-GTR Racing is also trying to get the attention of Hyundai’s Philippine distributor, Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI) and score some sort of sponsorship deal.
Remember, nothing proves a car brand’s performance and quality better than motorsports, even more so when it can beat a Civic on track.
EcoBoost. It’s the new-ish engine technology that powers some of the Fords we have today, such as the Fiesta, Explorer, and soon-to-arrive 2015 Mustang. But do you really understand how this complicated piece of kit works? If not, maybe this GIF could help.
In a nutshell, EcoBoost technology is simply direct fuel injection and turbocharging combined. What this does is it takes the best trait of each system to offer a unique combination of fuel economy (‘Eco’) and performance (‘Boost’). As a result, EcoBoost engines achieve 20% better fuel economy and 15% less greenhouse emissions, while offering power that’s equal to a much larger engine.
Think of it as what VTEC did for Honda in the ’90s, but this time it’s applicable for both small and large displacements.
If all that jargon confuses you, that’s exactly why Ford commissioned Jacob O’ Neal (the same guy who made the ‘How A Car Engine Works’ GIF) to make this animated infographic to explain how all the EcoBoost magic works.
News about an Evo X-powered Mirage rally car is nothing new. Ralliart Sweden developed one last year, which you can now buy if you want to compete in WRC 2. But unlike the Swedes, who spent months in RnD, Dytko Sport from Poland built theirs in just under 2 weeks.
As far as the story goes, Paul Dytko was set to compete in the 50th Barbórka Rally in Warsaw, Poland last December 2014 with another prototype. But as luck would have it, his Peugeot 208 rally car failed to make it in time for the rally. So, Paul did what any mad tuner would do, build a brand new one from scratch and go racing.
What you see here is the lovechild of an Evo X and a Mirage (otherwise known as a ‘Space Star’ in Poland), put together by Paul and his talented team of technicians in a matter of 1.5 weeks.
The 4B11 engine, suspension, and 4WD drivetrain were all borrowed from a Group N Mitsubishi Evolution X rally car. The Mirage’s chassis was then modified to fit the new drive unit, while a safety cage kept everything secured where they’re supposed to be. The 5-speed sequential box came from Samsonas, sport dampers from Reiger, clutch and exhaust from Ralliart, and brakes are from Brembo.
And the result of all their hard work is a purpose-built Mirage rally car that just weights 1,250 kg, goes from 0 to 100 km/h in around 3.7 seconds, and gets to a top speed of 215 km/h.
Unlike the Ralliart Sweden Mirage R5, this so-called ‘Space Star Proto’ from Dytko Sport isn’t homologated by the FIA… or at least not yet. That means you can’t race it in official WRC events. But no one is stopping you from competing in other rallies that would otherwise allow you to run a 2.0L turbocharged 4WD supermini.
If you want one, Dytko Sport is now selling this mad little rally car for €39,000 (or about P2.097 million), which comes out cheaper than a brand new Evo X. Do note however that it takes them between 6 to 7 weeks to put it together from scratch on a regular timeframe. But we’re sure they can meet a 1.5 week deadline if you need your rally car ASAP.
[Photo courtesy of Dytko Sport by Niechwiadowicz Photography]
Watch Dytko Sport’s Evo X-powered Mirage rally car on its shakedown video below.
To commemorate the ‘Stang’s 50th anniversary, which first saw the light of day in 1964, Ford decided to build just 1,964 examples of the ‘Mustang 50 Years Limited Edition’ models – 64 of which will find their way to the Philippines. And this is the very first one on home soil.
Yes, Ford’s all-new 6th generation Mustang is here.
This special Steed comes with limited edition parts that pays homage to the original ‘Stang, which Ford promises to never offer again… EVER. That means you won’t be able to buy these items as a dealer option. The list includes a retro 50 Year grille, a faux 50 Year gas cap badge on the trunk, and an exclusive 50 Year badge on the instrument panel.
The special 19-inch aluminum wheels are likewise meant to mimic the chromed steelies from the original, as is with the chrome tail lamp surrounds.
While stocks are not expected to arrive until Q1 of 2015, all anniversary edition ponies will be flexing a 5.0L V8 Ti-VCT muscle under the hood, one that punches out 435 hp and 542 Nm of torque. All will also be packaged (sadly)with a 6-speed SelectShift automatic transmission.
No, the 6-speed manual version will not be made available locally. *sniff sniff*
As we understand it, all 50 Years Limited Editions should be equipped with the GT Performance Pack. But that doesn’t seem to be the case with the local units… or at least that’s what we think. The package lists items such as a strut-tower brace, oil pressure and vacuum gauge pack, and Brembo 6-piston front brake calipers – all of which we did not see on the model on display.
This anniversary model is also said to be offered in only 2 colors in the US: Wimbeldon White (the same color of the very first Mustang) and Kona Blue, but we get more choices here in the Philippines. The options here are Oxford White, Race Red, Black, Triple Yellow, Competition Orange, and Magnetic Metallic.
If you want one of the 50 Years Limited Edition all-new Mustang, be prepared to cough up P3.099 million for one of these bad boys… that’s if the all 64 local units are not yet spoken for.
But you’re willing to wait, Ford Philippines should have the EcoBoost 2.3L and standard 5.0L V8 versions later in 2015 without a limited run.
Although racing is our life, the last thing we want to do is spend Christmas on track. Thankfully we didn’t have to. Because after all the delays, the Yokohama Philippine GT Championship was finally able to wrap up the 2014 season before the holidays.
Yes, we were back at the Batangas Racing Circuit (BRC) last December 14 for what was the 6th and final round of the year.
Would you believe, the cast of GT 300 drivers was complete for the very first time this season. The list included Taysan Mayor Don Don Portugal, Jomari Yllana, Veli-Matti Kaikkonen, Jody Coseteng, and Willie Torres. Kaikkonen’s race weekend, however, ended even before he had the chance to put in some competitive laps due to a blown turbo. GT 200 driver Carlos Anton also watched his championship hopes disappear after blowing an engine during Saturday practice.
Still, that left us with 12 cars on the grid, one of which was a brand spanking new GT 150 Hyundai Accent CRDi built by Team GTR-Yllana Racing. Although its South Korean Driver Kang Jing Sung only showed up for a shakedown, do watch out when this diesel races a full season next year.
As the 2013 GT 300 champion, there’s really not much left to prove for Jody Coseteng. That gives him the freedom to show up only when he wants to. But when he does, like in Round 3, expect him to finish no less than 1st place.
With a 1:45.902 lap, the veteran was easily a full second quicker than anyone else during qualifying, including Don Don Portugal who started 2nd on the grid. And as expected, Coseteng led the morning’s 10-lap Sprint Race from start to finish without even breaking a sweat. Sure, Portugal might only have been 0.426 seconds behind when they crossed the chequered flag, but we could all see that Coseteng wasn’t even trying.
As for GT 200, Ethanworkx R33’s Paolo Mantolino pretty much had the class title handed to him when his closest and only rival, Joey Pery blew a tire during the race. This allowed him to him enough points to secure the GT 200 championship with the afternoon race to spare.
Meanwhile, Richmon Dela Rosa was once again winning in GT 150 with his Honda Civic Del Sol, followed by Joel Portugal in 2nd. Although Bong Perez and Kang Jing Sung did finish the race, both were later DQ’d after failing the dyno test.
Ivan Diaz then claimed 1st place in GT 100 with Edwin Rodriguez in the Mazda 2 finishing 2nd in class.
Then, it poured. Although Don Don Portugal was able to take an early lead in the afternoon’s 17-lap GT Race, it only took Coseteng a few laps to snatch away 1st place and build a 19.753 second advantage IN THE RAIN.
What a show off. *grins*
Jomari Yllana in the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, on the other hand, went home with a well-earned 3rd place in both races for GT 300, while Willie Torres managed to finish 4th twice.
Things were even made easier for Paolo Mantolino when his lone GT 200 rival Joey Pery failed to start the race. Still, he pushed hard to finish on the same lap as the leaders. Joel Portugal went on to win in GT 150, followed by Richmon Dela Rosa in 2nd and Bong Perez in 3rd. And as for that GTR-Yllana Racing Accent, it got DQ’d again for having too much torque.
Lastly, Edwin Rodriguez was simply untouchable in the rain and finished 2 laps ahead of Ivan Diaz in GT 100.
After 6 gruelling rounds, the 2014 Yokohama Philippine GT Championship has finally come to and end. Don Don Portugal fought hard to win the GT 300 title as well as the 2014 Driver of the Year Award. Paolo Mantolino is now the GT 200 champ, Richmon Dela Rosa for GT 150, and Edwin Rodriguez for GT 100.
The races are sanctioned by the Automobile Association of the Philippines (AAP), presented by Petronas Energy Philippines, Inc. and sponsored by Yokohama Tires Sales Philippines, Inc., and Speedlab.
The Challenge of Champions (COC) is where all the previous Bracket and Grid champs of Circuit Showdown are pitted against each other for the ultimate super lap battle. And the chosen spec car for 2014 is none other than the BYD F0.
Organized by the newly-formed Flat Out Race Series (FORS), each of the 14 drivers invited to participate in this year’s COC was only given 1 hot lap to set the fastest time in an otherwise unfamiliar car. This evens out the playing field and puts more importance on outright driver skill (rather than mechanical performance) to win the race. But in a world heavily dominated by Hondas, Mitsubishis, and Toyotas, it’s hard to find a potent machine that none of the competitors have ever driven.
That’s where the BYD F0 comes into play.
Earlier this year, BYD Philippines decided to put up their own factory-backed racing team for the Philippine Micro Series (PMS). There, they built a race car based on the F0, tuned the suspension, fitted all the necessary safety hardware, but left the 1.0L 3-cylinder engine mostly stock.
Despite its measly 68 hp, it was still able to consistently finish on the podium at the hands of Keith Bryan Haw. But more importantly, no one else has ever driven the F0 race car except for Keith, which makes it the perfect spec car for the 2014 COC, which was held last December 6 at the Batangas Racing Circuit (BRC).
After all the 14 drivers had a go at the BYD F0 race car, it was 2013 Bracket D Champion Al Jeffrey Lacambra who topped the time sheet with a fastest lap of 2:13.458. This was impressive feat considering that BYD’s own factory driver only ever managed a 2:13.550 during his stint in the Micro Series.
2010 and 2011 Bracket A and Open Class Champion Marc Thomann then took home 2nd place with a time of 2:14.199, while 2014 Bracket E Champion Jem Querimit landed in 3rd with a time of 2:14.440.
Thomann, who is also one of the organizers of FORS, commented: “BYD’s support has been incredible. Imagine providing us with the car for the champions to use – 14 champions using one car and it never really flinched. The performance was really incredible, it never changed. Lap times kept going down, meaning that the car was getting better as it went along. We’re really very thankful that BYD has taken the initiative in helping us.”
Distributed by Solar Transport and Automotive Resources (STAR) Corp., the BYD F0 is available in three variants: GL-AT priced at P628,000, GLX-i MT at P548,000, and the G-i MT at P468,000.
Here’s something to keep an eye on. Our very own Filipino-Swiss racecar driver, the so-called “Prince of Speed” Marlon Stockinger might make the big switch to GP2 in 2015. That’s after he joined the series’ 3-day post-season test in Abu Dhabi.
Unknown to most, the 23-year-old was actually at the Yas Marina Circuit last November for the GP2 Series’ post-season test. There, he spent 3 days with Dutch team MP Motorsport to clock in some valuable kilometers behind their Dallara GP2/11. And more importantly, they needed to see how fast he is against the upcoming roster of drivers for 2015.
The particular No. 21 machine Marlon borrowed for the test, for that matter, was used by his ex-2013 Formula Renault 3.5 teammate Marco Sørensen for the 2014 season.
Each team was given 7 sets of medium Pirelli tires, which they could use over the 3 days of testing. They’re then allowed on track twice each day, an afternoon session at 12:00 pm and an evening session at 6:00 pm.
On Day 1, Marlon managed to shave almost a second off his initial lap time during the 2 sessions. But his best lap of 1:51.420 was only good enough for 25th place out of 26 drivers. Thankfully, he would improve significantly on Day 2, clocking in a best of 1:50.040. He then managed to break the 1 minute 50 second barrier with a 1:49.672 lap on Day 3, putting him 18th fastest overall.
Although he didn’t quite manage to get into the Top 10, you have to consider that he was only a few tenths slower than the leaders on his very first GP2 outing. The other drivers were also no rookies, which included F3 European Champion Esteban Ocon, GP2 runner-up Stoffel Vandoorne, and GP3 Series Champion Alex Lynn.
The sport of racing has always been an expensive undertaking. But the relatively new Formula 4 is fast becoming the gateway of choice to the otherwise costly endeavor that is auto racing. And for 2015, there’ll be a new engine supplier from China.
Governed by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), this middle rung between go karting and the rest of the 4-wheeled racing world is seen as a more cost effective option to get into single seaters than say… Formula 3. The space frame chassis is built by RFR, tires are supplied by Yokohama, and the 6-speed paddleshift transmission is from Sadev. The engine, however, can be sourced from several suppliers as Fiat, Ford, Toyota, and the newest addition on the shopping list, Geely.
The Chinese automaker, who by the way now owns Volvo, has been given the go ahead by the FIA to supply engines for upcoming Chinese Formula 4 series, which will begin in 2015. More specifically, they’ll be supplying a naturally aspirated 2.0L 4-cylinder, the 4G20, into the engine bays of Chinese Formula 4 cars – similar to the ones found in their GX7 SUV and Emgrand EC8 sedan.
After its domestic debut, Geely plans to supply their 4G20 engines to other Formula 4 series around the world.
“Geely Auto’s 2.0L engine series is a lightweight, yet powerful solution for motorsports and on-road application. We are more than honored to work with the FIA to see Geely engines being used in motorsports competitions internationally,” said Geely’s Powertrain General Manager Wang Rui Ping.
Sure, there might still be a stigma that comes with Chinese cars, but Geely is using motorsports to prove people wrong. With any luck, they might even be able to go up the ranks of Formula 3, GP3, GP2, and in the wildest of dreams, Formula 1.
Hey, we once thought that Hyundai sucked and they’re now winning rallies in the WRC.
Maybe it’s just us, but we’re really starting to think that Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) is planning for a future motorsports program… or something like it. After all, it’s a brand that’s most synonymous to racing, right?
Well, not quite in here. You see, while Honda is winning races in Super GT, WTCC, and Formula 1, its local counterpart hasn’t done anything fun, let alone anything related to motorsports, in quite a while. That’s because for the past few years, they were too pre-occupied with all the ‘Blue Skies for Our Children’ hoopla; brainwashing us with ideals on cleaner emissions and fuel economy. But HCPI started showing interest in the sport again in 2013.
Despite their push for green technology, Honda decided to give us the CR-Z. Sure, it may be disguised as a hybrid, but there’s no denying that deep within, it’s still a sports coupe. And the natural progression here is, if you have something this fun to drive, you’ll probably end up racing it on track.
With the CR-Z came Honda’s tuning arm Mugen, who began offering parts for models such as the City, Jazz, and Civic through Honda dealerships. Although their catalogue is limited to aesthetic add-ons, it’s still a name that carries Honda’s racing heritage.
But they really dropped the bomb at the 2014 Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS) when they put 2 very exotic machines on display.
The first of which was Team Mugen’s Super Formula. This particular No. 16 FN09 for that matter was very same one Naoki Yamamoto used to win the 2013 championship. And the engine that helped him to that title was supplied by none other than Honda. An HR09E 3.4L V8 producing somewhere in the region 600 hp to be exact.
Sure, it might not be as shiny as some of the other cars at the show (and even bear some battle scars), but this machine had a soul.
Then there was the NSX Concept. Not due to be released until 2015, this is the much-awaited successor to the original NSX. And like the one before it, this too will have its engine mid mounted – a turbo-charged sports hybrid that sends power to all 4 corners.
We couldn’t care less that the doors don’t open on this unit (unlike the one we saw at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show). All that mattered to us was that the NSX was here and we had something to aspire for.
So, how could all this hint of a future motorsports program? Well, how could it not?
Racing is a sport best known for its excitement, passion, and performance, and obviously HCPI wants these traits associated with their products. But they know that selling a hybrid sports coupe or teasing us with a championship-winning Super Formula ain’t gonna cut it. They know that Honda really needs to go racing if they want people to believe that they’re fun again… at least here in the Philippines.
If you think we’re a bit optimistic, bordering on being delusional, thankfully HCPI President and General Manager Toshio Kuwahara got us covered when we asked the great man about the idea.
“I am thinking how we can have some activities in order to raise the brand image of Honda. But most likely, we won’t do what others are doing. We want to do something different,” said Kuwahara.
Whatever it is they’re planning, we can’t wait to see it on track. But there is an off chance that we’re wrong.
I hate to say this but, professional go kart racing could be one of the best kept secrets of Philippine motorsports. It has been so poorly publicized that only the people inside the community know about it. But there are some who are trying to get the word out.
One of these passionate souls happen to be Elson Carpio, better known as ‘Papa Els’ to those who know him.
This seasoned Race Director and Team Principal of Formula E Racing Management paired up with filmmaker Timothy Leung to come up with this short video so that, even for a short while, we can feel what it’s like to be at one of their race weekends. And if they’re successful, it might just be enough to inspire new drivers to take up the sport.
Although go kart racing in the Philippines is still very competitive, the number of competitors have slowly dwindled over the years. Some say it’s because of the escalating running costs, while others simply blame it on too much politics. It also doesn’t help that there’s another karting in Asia that’s robbing us of good international drivers. But whatever the real reason may be, it’s sad to see the grassroots of local motorsports die a slow death.
Hopefully, it’s not too late to do something about it. And it all starts with young talent.
As Papa Els explains it, “It’s all about awareness and taking opportunities to reach out to the young racers and their parents.” This is after all a sport that’s meant to give kids as young as 6 or 7 years old the stepping stone to climb up the motorsports ladder. He also sees karting as a great opportunity for parents to bond with their kids – coaching, instilling discipline, and teaching them the value of hard work.
As a matter of fact, our local program has been so successful that it has produced many good drivers that have moved up to other forms of motorsports such as Formula 3 and Formula Renault. Noteworthy graduates of our Asia Karting Open Championship (AKOC) include Tyson Sy, Matteo Guidicelli, Michele Bumgarner, and Marlon Stockinger just to name a few.
Do watch the video below and see what you’re missing out on. And if you want in on the sport, you can hit up Papa Els at 0917-7912499 and he’ll give you a quick rundown how you can race go karts professionally in the Philippines.
Sometimes we have to make up reasons to justify doing certain things. For our friend, film maker and car nut Jam Jimenez, he gave us one that would keep us up all night though film.
The result is Skychase – a 360 second documentary that’s really more like a Japanese Gravure-idol video for all things Sushi Machine related. It looks as professionally done as can be, but in reality it was filmed guerilla style with zero budget. Consider it a labor of love done by real car guys who wanted to convey in a short film a little bit of what the Sushi lifestyle is like.
“We run at midnight,” said Jam.
“Passion projects are often like children. We try to pour as much of ourselves into them and mold them into this perfect shape that we have in our heads. But the reality is that what they eventually turn out to be is the result of the combined influences of everyone around them, turning them into something more.
“Passion projects, like children, don’t always turn out exactly how you imagine them to be but they make you infinitely proud nonetheless. Skychase was very much a passion project for me and I am very grateful for the people who have helped me and have stood by me as it took shape in the year or so that it took to get from blurry idea to high definition upload.
“It took a while, almost too long but after several months of sneaking in time at the office to work on it, here it is”
Don’t miss the gratuitous, drool worthy shot of the Sushi Machine Celica cruising down the Skyway with the rising sun in the horizon at the very end. As if you needed a reason to do that, other than it being really cool.