You can call it David vs Goliath, Underdog vs Champion, or Filipinos Got Talent. No matter what you call it, our just concluded History Convention-MP Turbo Race of Champions is now the talk of the town and have surprised many with the results, including myself!
How ROC started
From the time that the most popular female, world rally driver champion, Michelle Mouton, got a bunch of World Rally Champions together to see who was the best of the best amongst them, the Race of Champions was born! That was back in 1988 and the ROC was exclusive to rally drivers then. Soon, the multi-disciplined motor sports champions were allowed to join them in 2001.
In 2004, F1 champion Michael Schumacher won against World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb in a special World Champions Challenge. Since I was a huge Michael Schumy fan and I love rally as well, this spectacle made such an impact on my life and I was hooked forever! I wanted to do the same thing locally and try to give credit where it is due for all the hard efforts of race drivers to excel in the sport.
There were great efforts to organize ROCs here and I had been fortunate to be invited to participate in them. It is really the best way to see the stars race each other in the same stage and I knew that the fans loved it too. However, not all events were good and sad to say, it really killed my spirit in joining them.
The ROC deserved a great organizer and more sponsors to make it the best event ever. I also wanted the new and upcoming racing enthusiasts be given a chance to battle it out against the champions in even machinery.
Thus, when the opportunity to organize the 4-day Motoring event came up, I knew this would be the best venue to launch our ROC and show a teaser of what others may expect in the future. The HISCON-MP TURBO Driving & Riding Experience event was born and this exciting sport was a huge success during the convention.
We used the front parking lot of HISCON at the World Trade Center and shared it with other bike makers. We also wanted to promote Karting and tied up with Apex Karting Team of Jerry Choi and Kart Plaza to make it happen. We got a lot of interest from new karters and gave an introductory clinic around the short track. I even got to wear my old 90’s karting suit while leading the kids and it still fits!
With our reigning 2016 Asian Gymkhana Champions Milo Rivera and multi-titled, MP Turbo’s best Carlos Anton heading off to Korea to compete for the 2nd round of the 2017 Asian Gymkhana race this August 19-20, 2017, the Race of Champions will be vital for them to practice. It was also our premiere event on Saturday and would see if we had the right formula for making another dream come true.
However, it wasn’t easy as it sounds! It all started when our team decided to take the offer barely 1 month before the start of HISCON. This short preparation time led to many sleepless nights as we also ran our Nissan Team Juke and Navara Philippines TSD Fun Run 2 weeks before the HISCON. The hardest part was chasing sponsors to make it all happen!
Finally, after attempts to come up with the ROC Official Vehicle came to naught, we chanced upon Kia’s President Ginia Domingo in the new Picanto launch and told her of our predicament. Ginia told us that she would support the event and held racing in high regard with the goodwill it can give to KIA. Thus, we got the new Kia 1.4 liter gasoline Rio GT and the 1.6 liter turbocharged diesel Soul as our official cars. God’s blessing came at the last minute to save the event!
Petron also came in as our Official Fuel and Lubes, with Michelin providing the new Pilot Sport Tires for the 2 vehicles. These were all mounted on ROTA Wheels and they instantly transformed the Rio into a mean looking machine!
We had UNIBALL Writing Instruments as our Official Writing & Drawing Sponsor and we even had a drawing contest where kart drivers showed their hidden talents. Our Official Service Truck provider was TATA Motors that lent much needed behind the scenes support for the event.
Next week, we will show how a unknown, 18-year old slalom driver from San Jose, Nueva Ecija, Adriel Pacis, managed to upset the established stars of the Motorsprots and propel himself into the limelight with our unique ROC format. Till then, Godspeed!