As Fast Times celebrates its 8th anniversary, the motoring section of The Manila Times can boast of having a track record of awards and a refreshed look that gives its readers various topics about cars from test drives both local and foreign, travel destinations, industry updates, technology news, foreign news and driving tips, and the inside stories from the world of motorsports.
Fast Times won the Henry Ford Awards for “Best Motoring Section” for five straight years from 2012 to 2016, and was elevated to the awards’ Hall of Fame. The panel of judges of the annual Henry Ford Awards selects the best motoring page of a broadsheet based on content, relevance, consistency, and layout quality.
Fast Times is headed by The Times Executive Editor and Chief Executive Officer Dante “Klink” Ang 2nd who has a passion for cars and everything motoring. His vision for Fast Times has always been to provide the most interesting and informative motoring articles for the Filipino or even foreign motoring enthusiast.
Fast Times got a new editor in Ben Kritz early this year, whose car corporate and motor sports background from the United States makes him one of the most qualified “gear heads” to lead the motoring section of a newspaper. He was part of the teams that finished in the top 10 in the endurance races in Daytona, Sebring, and Le Mans, for the popular 24 Hours of Le Mans, driving for the BMW works team. Being part of the logistics team for the Williams-BMW F1 Team and having years of inside experience with a major automaker further boosts Kritz’s impressive credentials as a motoring page editor.
His “sidekick” is Conrad Carino who started covering the motoring beat from the early 1990s. Up to 2000, he test drove more than 100 vehicles with a minority of those conducted during group media test drives. He also acquired track and rally driving skills from the pioneers of Philippine motor sports. He joined Fast Times in May 2015 as its deputy editor, and is not surprised that the circle of motoring writers has swelled from less than 20 in the early 1990s to over a hundred today.
Today Fast Times continues its tradition of providing a variety of sections that gives its readers many interesting articles to read every Tuesday:
High-end cars – usually featured on pages D1 and E1. The high-end cars are featured in those pages are not limited to luxury or super cars brands but also cover the best that mainstream brands can offer.
Test drives – Kritz and Carino continue the tradition of providing readers expert, hands-on reviews of vehicles sold in the Philippines ranging from affordable sedans to high-end SUVs. Fast Times also boasts of having access to test drives conducted by respected motoring writers in the United States, usually on vehicles that have yet to be introduced in the Philippines.
New car introductions – Fast Times gives its readers a first look the new vehicle introductions both in the Philippines and abroad.
Trucks – Trucks, and we mean those that haul 40-foot container vans and really heavy cargo, are also featured in the page of Fast Times when there is a new introduction in models or technology.
Bikes – A new page coming soon to Fast Times will cater to our friends on two wheels, introducing the newest models, destinations, and tips for safer riding.
Heritage – history on some of the popular cars that set trends, invited controversy or are simply the best in their class.
Technology – car manufacturers have been introducing various technologies in their cars and are into developing more sustainable propulsion technologies like electric and hydrogen. So Fast Times remains committed to giving its readers the latest in technology trends, which usually happens in the manufacturing and research and development facilities of carmakers abroad.
Travel destinations – largely written by intrepid traveler Joseph Bautista, Fast Times gives its readers a virtual trip to the country’s popular and emerging travel destinations.
Foreign news – whether its from the US, Europe or parts of Asia like Japan or India, Fast Times can give the latest trends and news from the foreign automotive scene.
Motorsports – participating in race events has been one of the major activities of car companies not only as part of their advertising and marketing, but also as a test venue for emerging technologies. From Formula One, IndyCar, NASCAR, World Rally Championship and various endurance races in the international scene, and local motor sports events like the Vios Cup and Touge Battle, Fast Times has it covered in-depth.
The other major contributors to Fast Times include: Mechanical whiz Dave Sytangco who in his weekly “Doc Dave” column provides various tips on car maintenance and how to get your hands greasy from tinkering with a vehicle’s engine and systems; Alain Geronimo, a graduate of the University of Santo Tomas, who shares an equal passion for cars like Kritz and Carino; and Juancho Agoncillo, a professional architect who can write car features with a literary twist.
“Lean and mean” can best describe the crew currently manning Fast Times, but they have demonstrated over the past years that they have synergy and passion that’s hard to match. And they keep Fast Times moving at high gear!