Event Reports - Archives
Event Report: AHRA :: Omni Aviation Complex
Sunday, 18 March 2001 08:00
Event Report: AHRA
Omni Aviation Complex
The Angeles Hotrodding Association (AHRA) can really put on a show. Their home track is located on the runway at Omni Aviation Complex, in Clark.

First of all, the place is perfect (well, almost) for this type of event. There's an open field with lots of parking for spectators and participants alike. Despite the heat during the day, a breeze was always present to cool things off.

The track is located down the main runway in the facility. Unfortunately, its a tad short. The braking area right after the finish line runs out VERY quickly! Faster cars (ie; 12 seconds or quicker) tend to run off in to the grass in their efforts to slow their machines. As a matter of fact, even the local hero, Ken Kepner, whose Camaro SS can easily run in the lower range of 11 seconds, has to back off so much just to slow his car down enough to avoid running out of the track!

March 18 was a day that other organizers can learn from. AHRA was prepared to run up to 60 cars that day, with the knowledge that P.A.D. encouraged its membership to attend. Unfortunately, the turn out wasn't as expected. Only 23 non-member cars raced along side 10 member cars.

Time trials were held on a "run as much as you want or can" basis. Yours truly got to run 16 times!

During the driver's meeting, we were informed about some rule changes. AHRA no longer requires scatter shields for modern cars. Another change was that you no longer had to submit a "dial-in" form. Just like it is done in other countries, all you needed to do was to write the number on your side windows, using white shoe polish. This enabled the participants to change their dial-in times when ever they pleased with ease. Plus, the officials could easily input the proper times in to the timing system.

Elliminations ran pretty smoothly. So smoothly in fact that the whole event ended in 2 hours and 27 minutes! Talk about efficiency! Now that's how a drag race is supposed to be run.

In the PRO Class, Mato Tan of Matonetics (yes, he did it again!) garnered the top position. Jesse Go of Racing Zone/Start Motorsports, was at the top Sportsman Class. Dondi Montecillo of Redlight... I mean, Redline Racing took 1st runner up in the same class.

After the race, an "Exhibition" grudge match was run between Mato Tan and his turbocharged Honda Civic, versus John Rizya and his trusty steed, "Thunder" (a 350+ cubic inch Camaro).

In the first round, due to excitable nerves, Mato inadvertently let off his "two-step" switch, allowing the revs to climb too high at take off. This left the door open for Mr. Rizya to take the win.

After a short cool off session, they went at it again. This time Mato was more focused at the job at hand, not only got the hole shot, but also went on to win the second leg.That run may have also hurt Thunder. Midway through the run, it sounded like John let off the throttle. After the session, John approached Mato to concede on the third round. Oh well, the two drivers and cars were very well matched. It would have been nice to see what would've happened if they got to run one more time.

It turns out that Omni is a regular hang out for "street racers". AHRA made arrangements with the management of Omni to allow the boulevard pugilists to take their Sunday night activities to the runway. It was very refreshing seeing these people in a "safer" environment, where there are no stray pedestrians or parked cars to hit when things go wrong. Unfortunately, participation in the "after hours" are STILL greater than the organized day time events. At least in Clark, street racing is held in a more comfortable and safe environment.

All in all, I think that we "city folks" can learn a lesson or two from our counterparts up North. They seem to have a handle on how to do things. If you ever have the time, it's worth the hour and a half drive to Clark. The competition is fierce, the track is nicely located and easy to get to, plus, the AHRA really knows how to run an event.

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

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!
PDRF, Inc. Event
Saturday, 24 February 2001 08:00
PDRF, Inc. Event
Manila Harbour Centre
Records were meant to be broken. The PDRF event at the Manila Harbour Centre this last Saturday was probably the fastest drag race event in its history.

To make things a bit interesting, there was a head wind, more prominent than usual. But, this was not to deter the combatants of this events from showing off their mettle.

First, there was the Silver Bullet of AutoPlus, running time trials DEEP in the 11 second range. All this, without the help of "laughing gas"!

Then there was Matonetics, whose "Just Two" Civic hatchback was running in the low 11's as well.

Redline Racing showed with the familiar Lancer EVO IV, piloted by Dondi Montecillo and their ALL MOTOR terror, a black EG driven by Marvin Montecillo. They also brought down a red Civic Hatchback, powered by a turbocharged B18C, which unfortunately ran in to engine problems. The EVO IV also met with an untimely engine failure, ending its day early, during time trials.

JAC Racing's Vic Cruz was also present with his "old school" Toyota Starlet.

P.A.D. represented sporting a "new" sticker design!

The event started later than usual, due to the late arrival of the participants. As a matter of fact, DRP arrived quite late also, due to the "Clunky Junker" (but that's another story).

Tuned by Matonetics, a Nissan Skyline was present to delight the crowd. It's Motec fuel injection system was still being tuned by master HP guru, Mato Tan. Despite that, and the fact it was still running 14.7psi (1 bar) boost, the all-wheel drive Skyline still managed a 12.4 sec. ET.

In the Final round of the Quick 8, Mato Tan of Matonetics squared off to Raymond Go of AutoPlus. Go had lane choice and positioned his Civic in the right lane, due to its better bite characteristics (when compared to the left lane). With both cars staged, the lights came on and they were off! Launching with such ferocity, like no front wheel drive car has a right to do, AutoPlus quickly got the advantage. Alas, a redlight on the right lane, meant that the Mato had the win. His SECOND Quick 8 title, in a row!

Prior to the Shoot-Out's, AutoPlus decided to try for the record during the time trials. I remember walking towards the PDRF tent when as the Silver Bullet lauched from the line. Going through the gears like a true PRO, Raymond Go looked like a man on a mission. As he crossed the line, all eyes went to the printer. The time was announced, "10.86 sec.@135mph!!!" The AutoPlus crew jumped up for joy, high-five'n and hollering in celebration.

Their day wasn't over yet. AutoPlus still had to back up their run. According to PDRF rules,  Raymond would have to make another run that would at least beat the existing record of 11.057 sec.

Back at the line, the Silver Bullet didn't even do a burnout (probably due to the better bite of the taller tires). Lined up agaisnt their own team mate, Vincent Peña (in an EVO V), Raymond was poised to go. Another great looking run... "10.86 sec.!!!" Dondi and Mato's eyes shut while their heads turned south upon hearing the news. The record now belongs to Raymond... The Fastest Car in the Philippines! (fastest Honda, too)

Record breaking performance continued in to the ALL HONDA Shoot-Out. Marvin Montecillo of Redline Racing ran a 12.78sec pass, surpassing his previous record of 12.817 seconds. Unfortunately for Marvin, he was unable to back up his record setting run. Making two passes more at 12.82 and 12.83 seconds, his old record stood.

All in all, Feb.24 was a truly historic event. Low 11 second passes from Honda Civics, all motor performance in the 12 second range and the Philippine's FIRST 10 second run all happened on the same day! As the President of the PDRF (Nonoy Jarlego) said "Only at the PDRF..." So far, he's right!

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PhilSwiss Event :: Cope Thunder Raceway, Angeles
Sunday, 28 January 2001 08:00
PhilSwiss Event
Cope Thunder Raceway, Angeles

The DRP crew drove an hour and a half to get to the Cope Thunder Raceway in Angeles. The organizers, PhilSwiss had invited us to witness the kind of music show they put on... roaring engine music, that is...

And we weren't disappointed. As we entered the gates, we were greeted with the sight of V-8 muscle cars as well as familiar 4 cylinder Rice burners.

The air was filled with the fumes of race gas and the roar of V-8 engines run uncorked! Ah, heavenly music indeed.

Due to the long drive from Manila, only a few participants signed up to do battle down the 1320 feet of smooth asphalt. 17 participants to be exact.

Time trials were run while waiting for more racers. It was during this time that we saw the quickest run of the day from John Rizya driving "Thunder", a 69 Camaro. His time was 11.58@123Mph! John had been struggling with suspension problems all day, but was able to keep it straight long enough to post the fastest and quickest time of the day.

There was also a very quick Jeepster that ran in the low 13's with a best ET of 13.00 seconds flat! Not bad at all.

The Japanese powered warriors battled the mighty American muscle cars pretty well. Well enough in fact that one by one, each of the V-8 powered machines got elliminated. Except for one, Ken Kepner's 69 Camaro. Hondas and Toyotas ran for all they were worth and emerged the victor almost every time.

It was very nice to see that Filipinos have learned to run against the tree very well. This proves that the system of bracket racing does work! We saw a lot of great hole shots from the "Pinoy" drag racers!

Then, when all was said and done, fun runs were allowed after the race. Darkness had covered the once sunny venue, and the racers sat back to down some beer and steak.

All in all, the event at Cope Thunder was really fun. It brought back memories of being in the US, hearing all those thundering engines and didn't lack the fierce competition on the black top despite the small number of racers.

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The Quickest Car and Driver in the Philippines
Saturday, 20 January 2001 08:00
The Quickest Car and Driver in the Philippines
by: Chuck Montecillo

What makes a National record, a National Record? Well, in today's rule structure, you need to be entered in a PMA sanctioned event. If you run a record setting ET (elapsed time), unless the event is run by an organizer that is recognized by the PMA, guess what? You're outta luck.

Such is the story of Ken Kepner. Ken is currently a member of AHRA, the Angeles Hot Rodding Association. He drives a '69 Chevy Camaro SS, powered by a 377ci, nitrous injected engine. Sometime in the year 2000, he ran an 11.04 in the quarter mile... twice! But, because AHRA isn't endorsed by the PMA, the national sanctioning body of motorsports in the Philippines, Ken's runs were not considered a National record.

The holder of the National record of the Quickest Car in the country is Dondi Montecillo, my brother. He did this driving Redline Racing's Lancer Evolution IV. He ran 11.057 seconds in the 1320. This record has stood as the time to beat since March 28, 1999.

Teams all over the Philippines have tried but have not been able to beat that time. The closest was Mato Tan of Matonetics who posted an 11.075! Talk about close! But what about Ken Kepner? Didn't he run an 11.04?

Exactly! What about Ken? His run was recorded by an electronic timing system, his car passed the safety inspections of the organizer and was posted during eliminations. But why isn't it a National record? Because the event happened to be run by a NON-PMA sanctioned organizer.

AHRA has been taking the steps neccessary to get sanctioned by the PMA. As of this writing, the paper work is already being submitted.

So, what is the purpose of this? Simple. Our job is to report the happenings in Drag Racing in the Philippines... regardless of sanctioning. We would like to give credit, where credit is due. DragRacingPinoy.com would just like to acknowledge that the Quickest car in the Philippines, today, is a 1969 Chevy Camaro SS and that the quickest driver in the Philippines IS Ken Kepner.

See, in our books, to be a record holder, all you need is to be entered in an official event, make the run during qualifying or eliminations, timed by an electronic timing system and be able to back up the run within 1%. That's it! I'm not saying that Dondi's record has been broken. That still stands. According to the PMA and the PDRF, he is the Quickest in the country, officially.

The question now is, WHO WILL BE THE NEXT record holder? You can be sure that DragRacingPinoy.com will be there to report it to you.
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