111.jpgIt’s a rare occasion seeing a super car on Metro Manila’s streets, and an even rarer feat to have an entire stream of 500hp-and-up cars lined up in one long lane, one after another.


I’m one of many car enthusiasts who flocked to BGC for the much-celebrated Lotus F1 car driven by Marlon Stockinger. But I was there also for the experience of speed! It’s that precious commodity that we crave in this traffic-saturated megacity of ours.


Imagine a parade of classic Porsches, new Lambos, and Ferraris followed closely by well-maintained Benzes and awesome BMWs. That’s what Globe Slipstream 2.0, just gave us on that priceless racing day last Saturday. One can almost see torque numbers rolling like a gas pump meter. I can barely keep count of all the super trump car card specs.

 

And Globe, Marlon and the Pinoy car clubs did not disappoint. I saw speed. I smelled it, felt it, and I tasted it that entire afternoon.


And so, in celebration of those manly revved up moments, here’s a quick high 5 hot list the best times of that day for any car enthusiast.

 

1. The chorus of super car engines roaring like a mechanical orchestra


The ensemble is just immaculate.  There were moments when you can swear the drivers of the Porsches were just feeling some rev-envy on those Ferraris.  So they played that broad roar and loudly announce their presence if only to say, their engines can sing, too. Even the Ducati’s had some tunes to play.


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There’s also a black Ferrari 540 Testarossa that brought back some very obscure 80s Miami Vice episode (Yes, there was one episode where there’s a black car!) Its lines depict the visual cues that mean speed. It had its moments with a few relaxed RPM hisses but undoubtedly, the tenor and main soloist that day is clearly the Lotus F1.

 

If machines will sing, it will be in a major scale, and it’s in the key of F.

 

2. The sight of kids barely 3 feet tall karting their way round BGC
in full race garb

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I’d toast to the father of those kids. It looked to me like they’re brothers, one barely 3 feet tall, and another way smaller, donning a full race kit and speeding on their little Go-Karts. I saw one of the kids enter the Lotus Exige in admiration.  You can tell he was very happy.


That’s probably the day; we’ve created a future Marlon Stockinger. Good for Globe.  You’ve just made a new hero right there.  But beyond that, there are countless kids around the barriers, towed and disciplined by their moms and dads. I’ve seen several families, some even possibly onlookers who have never owned a car before from office workers to security guards, to constructions workers. Even myself.

 

We were like that kid that day.


3. The sound of an F1 car cruising by you? It just breaks your heart

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Granted it’s “just” a V8 engine, and not the old 3.0 liter V10s of F1 decades ago but it’s a Renault engine that could possibly accelerate to 100kph in a little over 1 second. It’s a snap of air sucked out of your mouth; not even time enough for a collective gasp. The sound just cruised past you but echoed well between BGC’s buildings.

 

It’s probably the sound a breaking heart. I love to believe it’s punctuated by an adrenaline-induced smile that made me scream, but deep inside I know it is a sound I will not own. It is a sound that I will not hear until the next F1 experience.

 

4. Doughnuts everywhere, doughnuts for everyone

 

Marlon Stockinger jubilantly played his part as a car hero - spinning his car mere inches from the barrier just before he leapt out the vehicle on his third run. But even before that, he was nice to have indulged so many fans with his trick many times over the course of his laps. You can see the skid marks on Rizal Drive, and 5th Avenue, even in the minor streets. Car control at its finest.

 

5. Marlon Stockinger driving a Jeepney


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Most of all, I’m happy to see that the organizers of the #BilisNgPinoy movement showcased the racing roots in the Filipino Jeepney.  “Harurot” as we say in local parlance is when the Jeepney driver speeds past everyone in his path just to be first to grab a passenger.

The creativity to have an F1 driver that’s so used to fast-shifting technology drive a local diesel-powered 4BC1 engine that probably would luckily deliver only a fart of a rev, is a pioneering thing. It made the whole project less elitist - that it is only for the moneyed car-owning folk.  The dream to have the Philippine Flag fly in an F1 race begins right there.

 

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Globe and Lotus F1 deserves to be congratulated for bringing this experience to the Philippines.  Sure it’s advertising, and they were blatant with it --- pretty much plastering every corner of High Street with their logo as F1 teams abroad do.

This added layer of driving for the Filipino, for rallying for a future hero is what sets it apart from other brands in the European circuit. That analogue to a driving tradition that sustains the ambition of a people for a fine race day?

 

I’ll drink to that every single time.