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The resilience of Cebu Motorsports

STANDING START - Lord Seno (The Freeman) - May 17, 2021 - 12:00am

In 2020, the pandemic hit us in the jaw with a strong uppercut. It caused global widespread economic meltdown in the motoring industry, with motoring events being postponed or cancelled, including auto shows and car launches, motorsports events, and other gatherings that were regularly scheduled for the summer.

Already, we've seen the automotive market sales crawl to turtle pace and fuel prices fluctuate. A year after and we are still suffering from the effects of the pandemic and the economic slowdown. Yet, in Cebu, motorsports gained ground in early 2021 with the introduction of new and re-invented kind of grassroots racing. These forms of motorsports became a hit to the weekend racers and enthusiasts alike. Here are the two events that are defying the odds of the pandemic.

Battle Cross Circuit (BXC)

The BXC or Battle Cross Circuit is a Cebuano born event that was tailored after Autocross but with a twist. Instead of a racecar singly running in the track for a time-based run, we now see three cars simultaneously. These cars start at designated starting lines and end at their assigned finish lines. All these cars travel the same distance on the makeshift track with obstacles, mostly cones. The first to finish in his designated finish line wins. The idea is still the same though, to make the quickest laptime.

But what sets it apart from Autocross is the element of sharing the track with two other racers. The idea is, if you are on pole (ahead), you have to pull away as far as you can. If you’re not in the lead, you have to be as close as you can to the leading car. No overtaking is allowed in this sport. But if you stay really close to the leading car, chances are, you’re going to cross your finish line ahead.

I’d have to say, ex-karterRei Aleman, the founder of this event, didn’t have the slightest idea that this event would click, given the hardships of Covid restrictions. But the Cebuano racers embraced the idea with open arms. Why? Because of the fun factor that it brings.

Cebu Rallycross

Before the pandemic struck, Cebu was already in the developing stages of re-introducing Rally with the help of the Automobile Association of the Philippines (AAP) and its Motorsports Drivers Program (MSDP) under the able hands of 9-time National Rally Champion VipIsada.  The event was held in a purpose built track in Consolacion. But the pandemic soon made it difficult to transverse.So the Cebu Rally Club (CRC), a group of ever willing racing enthusiasts, decided to make a Rallycross track in Kartzone, the go kart track that is conveniently located in Cebu City. The Club held a private event just lately to cater to rally enthusiast in the metro.

Rallycross is a form of grassroots automobile racing, held on a closed mixed-surface racing circuit like gravel, soil and asphalt. Drivers use modified production or specially built rally cars, similar to the World Rally Cars. The runs are done singly with the winner getting the quickest time of the day.

All these events are all held in Kartzone in Panagdait with the strictest safety protocols.  With its early success, these events are now in the forefront of the resurgence of Cebu Motorsports.  The resilience has made me believe that maybe someday, the glory days of Cebuano Karting will make a comeback.

Stay tuned for more updates.

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