ProSpeed: "Quarter Mile 2001" 1st Event 03/03/2001 Manila Harbour Centre
Saturday, 03 March 2001 08:00

ProSpeed: "Quarter Mile 2001"
1st Event
Manila Harbour Centre

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Timing Tent
The first event of the year for ProSpeed was filled with frustration and just all around "BAD LUCK".

Like the clouds that loomed over the event that day, gloom filled the hearts of the organizers. In an effort to deliver a first class event, ProSpeed decided to rent the timing system of the PhilSwiss group based in Angeles. The usual timer used at these events belong to the PMA, which at the time, had faulty Pre-stage sensors. Instead of having participants do battle with a timing system lacking in features, ProSpeed called upon the Angeles organizers' equipment.

Alas, that was the beginning of a string of unfortunate incidents. The PhilSwiss timer had problems since its was setup at the venue, the Manila Harbour Centre. After interviewing the owner, DRP found out that the wires connecting the sensors were inadvertently stretched to its limits, leading to a faulty connection. The PhilSwiss crew worked their hearts out trying to correct the problem, so the racers may proceed with their time trials. Unfortunately, it was not be.

After it was deemed hopeless, ProSpeed then called upon the PMA for their timing system services. A 3 hour delay then followed to the dismay of the 50+  participants.

As soon as the timing system was ready, time trials began.

Things were going smoothly, until a racer from Angeles, for no apparent reason, veered sharply to the right and held his course prior to crossing the finish line. This incident led to the demise of a MPH sensor and damaged the finish line sensor (thankfully repairable), in the right lane.

A couple of hours later, after the PMA thrashed to "make do" with just finish line sensors, the event went underway.

Just when you think nothing else can go wrong, the unthinkable happens. After running eliminations, racers noticed that the right lane (the lane with the repaired sensor), was delivering erroneous time slips. With the help of PAD chairman, Dondi Montecillo and his son, Marvin, Team Redline Racing proceeded to make passes in both lanes to compare ET's. It turns out that the right lane was reading .4 to .5 of a second FAST! No wonder break-outs were common in that lane. There was even a run where Marvin Montecillo and the Redline ALL MOTOR EG broke the current All Motor Honda record! (which understandably, will not stand)

Mato Tan claimed the victory in the PRO A category. Due to pressure from PAD, ProSpeed agreed to re-run the remaining categories at a later date.

It was disheartening to witness all that happened that day. ProSpeed, an organizer known for its first class display of facilities (sound system, porta-lets, sponsor banners, food concession, computers, uniforms, ID tags, etc.) had run in to an unbelievable string of unfortunate circumstances, none of which were in their control.

The mood in the pit area was one of frustration. Most people were pointing fingers in the direction of ProSpeed. Seemingly logical, but inaccurate, in this instance. They had no control over the fact that the crew of PhilSwiss damaged their own timing system upon installation. They had no hand in the "accident" involving the Angeles based racer and the sensors. And, they have no say in the fact that the PMA didn't have spare sensors for their timing system.

In retrospect, maybe they should have cancelled the event when they realized that the PhilSwiss system was damaged. It was early enough to have called it quits. But, then again, 50+ racers wanted to race! In an effort to make things happen, they pushed on.

During the "run over the sensors" fiasco, maybe ProSpeed should have said " it's time to end this..." Then again, there was still hope as the PMA was able to make do with the remaining sensors. Plus, the racers were still there waiting.

Could they have done things differently? Sure. But, they would have to be psychic! No one knew that things were going to turn out that way.

All in all, the first event of the year from ProSpeed was as far from ideal as it could have ever been. The clouds loomed overhead all day long. It turns out that those clouds signified more than just impending rain...

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Driver's Meeting
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AutoPlus' "Joe" Asalaniz
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PMA Marshalls
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The Manila Harbour Centre
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Shell-Citibank Mastercard
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Burn-out Area
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The Long Wait (time trials)
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The Aroma of MHC!