• Petron Mabuhay Independence Rally – We are back!

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    MIKE POTENCIANO

    (Part 2)
    After a short history lesson on the advent of the Mabuhay name in rallies last week, we are proud to say that we have successfully brought it back in motor sports after a decade of hibernation. My dream of also running a Mabuhay Rally during our Independence Day celebrations is now scratched out of my bucket list.

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    This week, we now get into the nitty gritty of our Petron Mabuhay Independence Rally and hopefully, get a lot of you to join us in the future. This will be the best time for you and your family to bond together in a true motor sport event that will not cost you much and will not need a racecar to run in it.

    TSD format
    Our Time Speed Distance Run format is based on the tried and true, On-Time, All-The-Time rule which penalizes a participant by 1 demerit for every second that they are either late or early coming to a checkpoint. This means that having a good timer onboard is crucial for team’s success, as he/she will have to calculate the perfect time for every action point in the road book.

    To add more excitement and difficulty, the road book is given about 5-10 minutes before the start. The participants don’t have any clue where to pass until they get it and usually an Amazing Race frenzy is initiated. Therefore, the route navigator is another important member so the team will not get lost along the way.

    Finally, the driver is in charge of bringing the crew to each checkpoint at the proper time and as safe as possible. He/she follows the directions given by the navigator and timer and tries to maintain the average speed indicated in the book.

    This may sound easy but there are a lot of factors that are not controllable like traffic conditions and road incidents along the route. We also advocate safe driving principles so if they are caught by the police for breaking any road rules, they will also be penalized by more demerits in our TSD event.

    Checkpoints galore
    Checkpoints or Time Controls are where the arrival times are recorded by the Marshals and the teams add another minute for their start times in the next stage. Sounds simple right?

    Unfortunately, we aren’t that nice and we want to challenge the entries to the max. We have lined the route with unannounced checkpoints that hopefully will catch teams that either go too fast or delayed because they are lost along the way.

    We also have Do-It-Yourself and Closed Types of TCs that will add more challenges for the participants. We also require Pictures to be taken and Trivia questions to be answered for Bonus points. Mental acuity is therefore rewarded in our events as well.

    More challenges
    As if those were not enough, we throw in another monkey wrench by prohibiting the use of gadgets in the car. This prohibition includes cell phones, Ipads, scientific calculators, other external communication devices, etc.. We only allow the use of stopwatches, simple calculators and time/speed distance tables in the car.

    Digital or DSLR cameras with no Wi-Fi capabilities will be needed to take pictures along the way. This will hopefully prevent any leakage to other team members where the unannounced checkpoints are located. We put all the gadgets in a bag and seal them inside the car and provide emergency numbers to call so we can inform the participants if ever there is a problem that need their attention immediately.

    Road book to heaven
    If you never tried reading a road book before, then you will easily get lost! Just looking at the “tulip” design and the information presented, total/interval distances, average speed and bonus times, you will surely cry if you’re a beginner!

    Remember the timer’s duty mentioned above? With the road books given minutes before the green flag, the timer will have to calculate all the perfect times per action point and is the busiest person inside the car before the start. He/she will have to have a good, stock knowledge of math to calculate the times more efficiently and not rely on the calculator all the time. Believe me, it is not easy if you are under time and peer pressure as I am usually the timer in the team!

    Fortunately, we do pre event briefings for clubs and participants and even organize practice routes before the big run. The participants are encouraged to attend this so they are given enough time to assimilate the basic things needed to participate and have a chance of winning the event. It’s extra work for us the organizers but at least the newbies will benefit from it!

    Next week, we will give you the blow by blow on what transpired in the Petron Mabuhay Independence Rally. I t was a success and truly a blast! Godspeed to all!

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