Travel restrictions sees Asian Le Mans and F3 Asian C’ship move races to the UAE

While most of South East Asia remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Asian Le Mans Series and F3 Asian Championship has found a new destination for their 2021 seasons. Somewhere with less travel restrictions. Somewhere like the UAE.

Their grand plan is to keep everyone in one place, over a short time period, thus minimizing the need to move people around and put up with the related quarantine requirements. The Asian Le Mans Series plans to run the full championship in its entirety at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. All four events will be squeezed within the month February with two double header weekends. The races will still be four hours long, run on two different layouts of the track, alternating between day and night.

On the other hand, the F3 Asian Championship is proposing to run five back-to-back races alternating between the Yas Marina Circuit and Dubai Autodrome. Their 2021 calendar will start on January 22/23 and conclude on February 19/20 with three races per weekend. This way the Top 9 finishers in the championship gets to earn FIA Super License points, that’s if they’re able to run a second configuration of the Yas Marina Circuit.

As it stands, the schedules will also likely see the Asian Le Mans Series share the track with the F3 Asian Championship on both occasions.

Although their respective motorsport governing bodies seem to have no issues with the proposed schedules, do note that their race calendars are not yet final. The main factor still being the COVID-19 pandemic and what its impact will be come the new year.

Mitsubishi ‘finally’ gets a brand-new website in the Philippines

0

A big congratulations to our friends at Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) for moving to a new home online. Not only does their new website load faster and offer a better user experience, but also has a much nicer URL that can be accessed though www.mitsubishi-motors.com.ph.

The most obvious change is the all-new design that’s now optimized for both mobile and desktop users. Images and videos are also sharper, cleaner, and clearer as they should for a brand’s official homepage, plus an added Dynamic 360° Exterior and Interior Viewer to help customers see and appreciate each Mitsubishi model in detail inside and out.

There’s a new Car Configurator that lets visitors select a Mitsubishi model in the color, variant, and specification that they prefer. Compare Variants and download Brochures can also all be done online, while the Dealer Locator can then help customers find the showroom nearest to their location.

What’s even more impressive is how customers can now conveniently send bookings and quotation requests on the go. And we’re quite confident that all customers will receive a timely reply from a Mitsubishi sales or service agent as this functionality is powered by SirQo’s lead management system who happens to be the same people behind AutoDeal.com.ph.

“MMPC encourages the public to visit the new MMPC website and experience its improved and enhanced user interface that embraces the “New Normal,” shares Mutsuhiro Oshikiri, MMPC President & CEO. “We value the time of every visitor to our website. Through these improvements, we hope to give our customers a welcoming online user experience and offer them convenience and ease with every visit.”

Before the year ends, the MMPC website will also have a Chat Bot functionality that will allow customers to interact with brand representatives.

IAME Series Asia confirms that the 2020 season is no longer happening

A bit sad news from the people behind the IAME Series Asia. With less than 2 months left in the year, they’ve now decided to cancel the 2020 championship once and for all. As expected, they were forced to do so due to the COVID-19 pandemic, putting the health and safety of all participants at top priority. On top of that, travel bans implemented by various countries is making it near impossible to stage any races in this part of the world.

There were 6 rounds originally scheduled in this year’s championship. Although they did manage to squeeze the season opener in Indonesia back in February, the subsequent events in Thailand and Malaysia were postponed indefinitely.

In a statement, the organizes expressed that: “IAME Series Asia is a race that is close to our heart and we were all very much looking forward to yet another extraordinary and exciting weekend of kart racing.

“The COVID-19 has been extremely challenging on all fronts. In these challenging times that are changing every day, we have to look out for each other and stand together to overcome this pandemic. Ultimately, the health and safety of our drivers, teams, contractors, partners, crew, and those who are closest to us – which includes you, our community, is our number one priority and we’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their unwavering support thus far.”

We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the series will push through in 2021. However, they did admit that they’re still monitoring the situation for a possible return.

Miguel Quiñones takes next step with Formula V1 and Vios OMR test

Ever since last year, karter Miguel Quiñones has been searching for that ‘next step’ up the motorsports ladder. His early options included the likes of Formula 4 SEA and Radical SR1 Cup Philippines, both of which he’s tested on track. But as the 2021 season looms closer, it appears that the has narrowed down his choices down to Formula V1 and the Vios One-Make-Race (Vios OMR).

The 17-year-old recently joined a 2-day test at the Clark International Speedway (CIS) to drive both machinery, under the supervision of driver coach John Dizon and Obengers Racing.

Miguel Quiñones

As this was Miguel’s first outing with a manual transmission, admittedly was a little nervous during the early sessions. His exploratory laps behind the wheel of a Vios OMR were spent learning how to effectively heel-and-toe on downshifts and learn the racing line around the 4.189 km track. But once he grew accustomed to driving with gears and a clutch, he was able to pick up the pace naturally.

His experience in the Formula V1 was a bit more eye-opening. Miguel spun on 2 occasions on the opening lap, once at the first corner and then again at the chicane, as he was still unaware of the limits of this single seater. Nevertheless, things gradually improved as he logged more seat time during the private test.

Miguel would complete 4x 30-minute sessions in the Vios OMR and another 2x 30-minute sessions in the Formula V1 in total over the course of 2 days. Although he hasn’t fully acquainted himself to driving with a stick just yet, it’s worth noting that neither did John Dizon nor Alex Brown when they first switched to cars. Both karters would later go on to become the Vios Cup Sporting Class Champion in 2018 and Formula V1 Am Class Runner-up in 2019 respectively for Obengers Racing, which Miguel hopes to emulate next year.

Miguel Quiñones

While the 2021 race calendar has yet to be confirmed for both the Formula V1 Challenge and Vios Racing Festival, Miguel is expected to take part in several more tests with the team before making his decision before the upcoming season.

Pao Agregado, Obengers Racing Team Manager: “This 2-day session has been an invaluable learning experience for Miguel. Switching from go karts to cars is the right step towards his motorsports career. I’m sure as long as he puts in the time, effort, and dedication he will be a future asset for the upcoming season.”

Here’s the Phoenix Pulse-FV1 Virtual Cup 2020 driver standings after Race 2

0

There were new faces on the top spot of the podium when the Phoenix Pulse-Formula V1 Virtual Cup returned the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza on the 17th of October. While drivers Andre Varquez, Luis Moreno, and Daryl Brady once again landed in the Top 3 of their respective categories, Julian Colvin would take 1st place in AM and Alexis Clapano in PRO.

Colvin managed to grab the lead on the very first lap in the AM Class after a reverse grid start. The Obengers Racing Team driver never looked back from that point on to secure a lights-to-flag victory with a commanding 4.896 secs margin. Race 1 winner Andre Varquez couldn’t quite match the pace of Colvin and had to settle for 2nd place, while privateer Real Lerpido was in a comfortable 3rd.

Varquez may still leads the AM Class championship with 38 points, followed by Colvin with 24, and Lerpido with 22 points.

Formula V1 Virtual Cup

Meanwhile in the PRO Class, Alexis Clapano bounced back from a disappointing Race 1 to win Race 2 by a mile. The Sim Racing Ph x Alexis16 Racing driver battled against Estefano Rivera and Terence Lallave in the opening stages, but later found himself alone in the lead to cross the line in 1st place 3.773 secs ahead of Luis Moreno in 3rd. Daryl Brady scored another 3rd place with his consistent performance.

Moreno further extends his PRO Class championship lead with 37 points, while Iñigo Anton is behind with 25 and Daryl Brady with 24 points.

The Phoenix-Pulse Formula V1 Virtual Cup will be back in action on November 14 at Laguna Seca. After 2 races so far, this is how the championship stacks up.

Formula V1 Virtual Cup

The Phoenix Pulse-Formula V1 Virtual Cup 2020 is backed by LG Philippines, BlueChem, Bendix, Family Mart, PC Express, Don Papa, Top Lift, Seven Garage, Ribbon Arc, Sim Racing PH, and Automobile Association Philippines, with media partners C! Magazine, Inquirer Mobility, Autocar Philippines, Wheels Philippines, Time Attack Manila, and AutoDeal.

Sim racers, a $15,000 prize is up for grabs in the new E1 Championship

0

In case you haven’t noticed, eRacing GP SEA has gone AWOL since their American Championship concluded in September. Well, now we know why. The people behind the series, Axle Sports, has apparently teamed up with eGG Network to come up with a new online racing tournament for the Asia Pacific region they call the E1 Championship. And this time, there’s a cash prize at stake.

The 8-round tournament will see the best drivers from the region face off on RaceRoom in a calendar that stretches from November 2020 until January 2021. Included in the schedule are renowned circuits such as the Dubai Autodrome, Spa-Francorchamps, and Mount Panorama.

Each event can accommodate up to 24 entries with an addition 6 slots reserved for invites and leaderboard frontrunners. This brings the total number to 30 cars all running on the same grid.

What makes the E1 Championship unique is its variable race format. The organizer can opt to run it with 2x 20 minute sprint races, a 1x 45 minute main, or a 1x 50 minute reverse grid race (positions based on championship standings), announced a day before the event. They can also decide whether to use DTM 2020 or Prototypes per round.

E1 Championship 2020/21 Race Calendar Round 1 | November 18 (Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia) Round 2 | November 25 (Shanghai International Circuit, China) Round 3 | December 2 (Dubai Autodrome, UAE) Round 4 | December 9 (Imola, Italy) Round 5 | December 16 (Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium) Round 6 | December 23 (Silverstone Circuit, UK) Round 7 | January 6 (Road America, USA) Round 8 | January 13 (Mount Panorama Circuit, Australia)

E1 Championship

“As part of the passionate sim-racing community, I am truly excited to work with eGG Network to launch E1 Championship. With a US$15,000 prize pool and top-notch production quality, we aim to attract the most talented drivers and racing teams to compete, making every race a showcase of how thrilling motorsports can be,” said Alex Yoong, Founder of Axle Sports.

“We are thrilled to be working with Malaysian race driver, Alex Yoong to launch the E1 Championship, the first home-grown sim-racing IP. There’s growing interest in e-motorsports, with close to 500K Malaysian fans tuning in to watch the eRacing GP SEA on eGG Network. Our channel, which is available in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Australia has a potential reach of 18 million to esports fans. We look forward to racing talents in Asia Pacific region joining the E1 Championship so fans can support their local drivers,” said CK Lee, Head of Sports, Astro Malaysia.

As for the all-important cash prize, the E1 Championship will award US$5,000 to the overall champion at the end of the 8-round season. Whoever finishes 2nd overall in the standings will get US$4,000, 3rd overall receives US$3,000, 4th picks up US$2,000, and 5th takes home US$1,000.

However, do note that there is an entry fee in order to secure a slot for the season. Teams and drivers can now register and view tournament details at www.e1championship.com.

Mazda’s service campaign affects 1,838 units in the Philippines

0

To anyone driving a Mazda produced between the years 2017 and 2019, listen up. Mazda Philippines wants you to let you know that they’ve issued a Preventive Service Campaign due a faulty fuel pump, which will require a quick visit to your nearest dealership to replace.

This covers some 1,838 units sold in the Philippines, comprised of the Mazda 2 (DJ/DL), Mazda 3 (BN), Mazda 6 (GJ), MX-5 (ND), CX-5 (KF), and CX-9 (TC). The procedure involves the replacement of the fuel pump motor that is a component of the Fuel Delivery Module (FDM). Although not mentioned in the local memo, we discovered that if said fuel pump were to fail, it could result in the loss of engine power or the vehicle stalling. The issue, however, isn’t specific to Mazda. It’s apparently caused by a component manufactured by Denso that’s also used by the likes of Toyota and Honda. And yes, expect those brands to issue a similar bulletin as well.

Mazda Philippines tells us that they’ve begun sending notifications to owners of affected vehicles as of October in order to schedule them for a service appointment. The procedure should take around 2.5 HRS to complete and is FREE OF CHARGE to all customers.

Rest assured, the replacement parts have already been distributed across all Mazda dealerships and should have no issues when it comes to stock availability.

“Preventive Service Campaigns are undertaken when necessary to ensure the optimum operation of every Mazda vehicle sold in the country,” sayid Ramil De Vera, General Manager of Customer Service Operation of Mazda Philippines. “We must always be transparent with our customers whenever their vehicles require such special attention. Their safety is our top priority, and that is why we are always quick to implement technical and performance requirements of Mazda Japan.”

If you suspect that your Mazda vehicle is included in this campaign, better give your nearest or preferred Mazda dealership a call and provide them with your VIN or chassis number.

Asian Endurance Series launches online c’ship with Cash Prizes at stake

We guess it’s safe to say that the Asian Endurance Series was the biggest event of its kind in the region when they started back in 2019. They attracted karters from Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau, China, and even Australia over the course of a 5-round season. But due to the pandemic, their plans of an even bigger season in 2020 were all put on hold.

One positive outcome of this, however, is that they’re now moving their races to the virtual world with their new Asian e-Endurance Series (AeES).

These guys have opted to host it on the RaceRoom platform using the latest WTCR machinery. A maximum of 30 entries are allotted per round, which will be selected via online registration a week prior to the race. Once the season gets going this November, it’ll visit renowned circuits in Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, and China until the finale at Macau. But unlike other sim racing championships that run on consecutive weekends, the people behind AeES decided to stretch their 2020/21 calendar over 5 months to give both racers and spectators enough breathing room in between events.

Asian e-Endurance Series 2020/21 Calendar Round 1 | November 1 (Sepang International Circuit) Round 2 | December 13 (Chang International Circuit) Round 3 | January 10 (Twin Ring Motegi) Round 4 | February 7 (Zhuhai International Circuit) Round 5 | March 7 (Macau GP)

Asian e Endurance Series

What’s ironic though is that, unlike their real-world kart races, the AeES won’t be an enduro. Instead, each event consists of a 10 min Qualifying Session, a 10 min Sprint Race, followed by 2x 30 min Main Races. Their reasoning behind this is to allow for maximum racing action at every round.

The key highlight of the AeES is the prize money on offer. Yes, these guys are giving away CASH! SGD $1 to be exact for every championship scored, reserved for those who accumulate 50 points by the end of the season.

Those who want to sign up, registration is absolutely FREE. Head over to the Asian Endurance Series page on Facebook to register and get a copy of the regulations.

Toyota Ph pegs new top-of-the-line Fortuner 4×4 LTD at P2.4-million

0

Let’s cut to the chase. If you want the latest 2020-spec Fortuner, it HAS to be the the range-topping 2.8 4×4 LTD. Yes, the one with the black 2-tone roof, new aggressive bumpers, and fancy LED headlamps that’s flaunted on the brochure. But be ready to pay a pretty penny because this beauty is pegged at P2.404-million.

That kind of money will get you a set of machine-cut 18” alloy wheels, LED foglamps, sequential signal lamps, and redesigned LED rear lights that are unique to the LTD trim. There are loads of goodies on the inside as well. Leather seats with maroon accents, vents on the front seats, and an impressive 9-speaker sound system from JBL are only a few of the things that sets it apart from the lineup. And being a 4×4, it comes equipped with an auto disconnect differential, differential lock, and downhill assist control in case you want to take it out on the rough stuff.

However, if you have no interest in getting your Fortuner LTD dirty, there’s also a 4×2 version available for P170,000 less at P2.244-million.

Toyota Fortuner Toyota Fortuner

The rest of the Fortuner family likewise gets a set of upgrades for the 2020 refresh. G, V, and Q variants now feature redesigned LED headlamps, foglamps, and rear combination lamps. That bumper has also seen a slight restyle, though not as striking as the one found in the LTD.

On the top-spec’d Fortuner 4×2 Q is equipped with as many fancy bits as the LTD such as Eco + Sport driving modes, 8-way power adjust front seats, and power tailgate. They even share the same 1GD-FTV 2.8L VNT diesel engine that has 201 hp and 500 Nm of torque on tap. Best part is both come with Toyota Safety Sense (TSS), which consists of a Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Alert, and Adaptive Cruise Control, thus making the Fortuner 4×2 Q a steal at P1.998-million.

The mid-range Fortuner 4×2 V is not bad as well for P1.827-million. To think that it also has Smart Entry + Push Start, a wireless charger, plus a Panoramic View Monitor like the ones found in the Q and LTD variants. The only main differences, as far as we’re concerned, are the fabric seats and its slightly less potent 2GD-FTV 2.4L VNT engine with 147 hp and 400 Nm of torque.

Toyota Fortuner Toyota Fortuner

But when you take out all the fancy bits, what you’re left with is the Fortuner 4×2 G AT that’s listed at P1.723-million. The Fortuner 4×2 G MT is even cheaper at P1.633-million if you don’t mind rowing your own gears.

Still, it was nice of Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) to include SRS airbags, ABS with Brake Assist and EBD, Vehicle Stability Control with Traction Control, and Hill-Start Assist across the entire range.

What’s missing though from the lineup is the 2.7L gasoline version that has now been dropped in the latest 2020 refresh.

Toyota Fortuner Toyota Fortuner

Mitsubishi Ph offer big savings on Mirage G4, Xpander, Montero Sport this October

This might be the best time for you to finally own that dream Mitsubishi as its local distributor drops some amazing deals this month. Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) is offering big discounts and light, flexible plans for the Mirage G4, Xpander, and Montero Sport, available for a limited time through their Mitsubishi Octoberbest promo.

The ever-so-practical Mirage G4 comes with offers from both BDO and BPI. BDO’s low monthly plan will let you have it for as low as P13,335 for a 72 month term. Or you can go with BPI’s Step Up Plan that’s pegged as low as P13,491 on the first year of a 60 month payment period.

Meanwhile, the current #1 selling 7-seater MPV in the country is now available with P18K downpayment plans. Owning an Xpander through BDO is as low as P18,288 per month for 72 months. BPI, on the other hand, provides a monthly plan that starts as low as P18,501 for the first year of its 60 month payment period.

Last but not the leads, the Montero Sport GT 4×4 is being offered with a massive P230,000 discount for cash buyers, or a 0% interest of up to 36 months for financing.

“With the strong support that MMPC received from the market last September, we are more inspired to provide better and more aggressive promotions this October to provide better opportunities for customers to own their preferred Mitsubishi vehicle,” said Mutsuhiro Oshikiri, President and CEO of MMPC.

The Mitsubishi Octoberbest Promo is offered in all Mitsubishi Motors dealerships nationwide. Offers are subject to vary depending on freight and other additional logistical cost that may apply.

To know more about the Octoberbest deal, visit www.mmpc.ph or contact your preferred Mitsubishi Motors dealership.

Phoenix Pulse-Formula V1 Virtual Cup 2020 championship points after Race 1

0

With 52 drivers in total (22 in PRO and 30 in AM), the very first Phoenix Pulse-Formula V1 Virtual Cup was a resounding success. It was held on a very sunny Autodromo Nazionale di Monza on Assetto Corsa, in a race won by Luis Moreno and Andre Varquez.

There was action up and down the AM Class grid as drivers were darting off course left and right. But as this was sim racing, it was fortunate that no one got hurt. Up ahead Jether Miole and Real Lerpido were nose-to-tail throughout the race in the battle for P3. But Miole managed to find a way past on the final lap and take 3rd place across the line. Francis Metrillo, on the other hand, slotted in P2 in the early stages of the race and held position until the very end and finished 2nd. And in control throughout was Andre Varquez of Ribbon Arc x Productivv Motorsports who led from start to finish and won with a 3.331 secs advantage.

Formula V1 Virtual Cup

Things were just as chaotic in the PRO Class with multiple FV1 cars blocking the track at the start. Those who managed to escape the chaos were Russel Reyes, Luis Moreno, Iñigo Anton, and Daryl Brady who battled for the top spot. Reyes held onto the lead until Moreno got past on the penultimate lap. Anton hounded Moreno all the way to the chequered flag but was unsuccessful to get past. Luckily for him, he managed to keep 2nd place despite being handed a 5-secs penalty due to a collision earlier in the race. The same couldn’t be said about Reyes who spun out while running in P3, handing 3rd place to Daryl Brady.

Formula V1 Virtual Cup

Both Varquez and Moreno managed to set the fastest lap in their respective races, earning them 2 extra points towards the AM Class and PRO Class championships.

The Phoenix-Pulse Formula V1 Virtual Cup will resume this October 17 for Race 2 of the 2020 championship. This is the championship stacks up so far.

Formula V1 Virtual Cup

The Phoenix Pulse-Formula V1 Virtual Cup 2020 is backed by LG Philippines, BlueChem, Bendix, Family Mart, PC Express, Don Papa, Top Lift, Seven Garage, Ribbon Arc, Sim Racing PH, and Automobile Association Philippines, with media partners C! Magazine, Inquirer Mobility, Autocar Philippines, Wheels Philippines, Time Attack Manila, and AutoDeal.

Mitsubishi Ph pulls a surprise by tripling sales in September

Big or small, all businesses are fighting for survival amidst this pandemic. So it brings us joy whenever we see a company bounce back. One such example is Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) who managed to record a 205% increase in sales for the month of September 200 as compared to a month back.

Their figures reached 5,384 retail sales for the entire month, which to our best knowledge was even better than what they were able to achieve pre-pandemic exactly one year ago. They attribute this strong performance to their aggressive ‘Mitsubishi Rollback’ promo that slashed prices on some of their most popular models.

As expected, their top-selling unit in September was the Mirage G4. The subcompact sedan sold a total of 1,873 units followed closely by the L300 with 1,698 units to be exact. MMPC was also able to sell 899 examples of the Xpander, 656 of the Strada, and 25 of the Pajero. What’s odd though was how they failed to mention the Montero Sport in the official report which we guesstimate to have reached in the whereabouts of 200 units sold.

“September was a very good month for MMPC. We are truly grateful to our clients who patronized our brand. We would also like to commend our dealer partners who have displayed strong resiliency towards the tough challenge that we are all facing. We are all geared to finish the year in high spirits and will continue to create programs that will provide easy ownership and excellent customer experience,” said by Mutsuhiro Oshikiri, President and CEO of MMPC.

To keep this sales momentum going, MMPC is extending the ‘Mitsubishi Rollback’ until the end of October 2020. This means models such as the Mirage G4 GLX MT can be bought for as low as P528,000 and the L300 at only P698,000. Not bad right?