By: JONAS PANERIO November 13,2018 - 08:39 PM

Kenneth Cobonpue (with mic) and Jay Aldeguer answer questions from the media during the press conference for the 5th Tour de Cebu at the Montebello Villa Hotel. CDN PHOTO/LITO TECSON

Participants of the 5th Tour de Cebu are in for the most challenging race in the event’s brief but colorful history when the 1,000-kilometer regularity rally kicks off this weekend in Tubigon, Bohol.

Organized by the Performance and Classic Enthusiasts (PACE) club of Cebu, the most exotic cars in the country will hit the road and traverse never-before-seen routes.

According to the race’s technical head Pepon Marave, the challenge was giving the drivers new challenges in what is already their third year on the same roads.

“I’m happy that I found 40 kilometers of new routes that will surprise the participants. It will be more difficult especially during the first day when they have to go 334 kilometers straight. It’s a big challenge for the driver, the car and the entire team. The car’s reliability and the driver’s stamina will be put to the test,” said Marave during the event’s press launch yesterday at Montebello Garden Hotel, where he was joined at the podium by PACE founder Jay Aldeguer and founding member Kenneth Cobonpue.

Marave also said he has also removed road signs to make things even more interesting for the participants, leaving them to use running notes that will be provided to them.

Cobonpue likened the endurance race to “running a marathon.”

“There is no air conditioning. The brakes are old, the cars are not as well insulated. The whole car shakes when they run at high speeds so you’re really hanging on to dear life. It’s no different to running a marathon in that it requires a lot of skill. It’s you and the machine and the road, that’s the beauty of this experience,” Cobonpue shared.

Car enthusiasts can get a glimpse of the exotic vehicles when they are made accessible tomorrow at 1 p.m. at the parking area of the same venue. The event ends at 4 p.m.

Already in its fifth year, the Tour de Cebu is the country’s only 1,000-kilometer historic sports car rally that is being staged across the Visayas. It takes inspiration from the Mille Miglia — a 1,000-mile open-road endurance race that is held in Italy.

The event heads off to Bohol on November 16 for the three-day regularity rally – which basically means teams make use of their navigation skills to reach checkpoints in a pre-defined time and not in the fastest time possible.

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