Sinulog Off-Road Challenge on Jan. 11

By Mars G. Alison |January 10,2019 - 07:30 PM

Left to right, Mobil Regional Sale Supervisor Grace Lao-Torrejas, Joseph Raygan, secretary of Jeep Owners Club – Cebu, Adrian Ray Gam, JOCC president, and Maxxis Regional Sales Manager Andrew S. Lenizo during the press conference at the Kayu Kitchen and Bar. | Mars G. Alison

Cebu City, Philippines – The Jeep Owners Club Cebu (JOCC) is set to revive the off-roading scene in Cebu with the Sinulog Off-Road Challenge set to roll off Friday, January 11, at the Upland Greens, formerly Ayala Heights Phase 2.

This will be the first race in Cebu that will involve the National Association of Filipino Off-Roaders (NASFOR), said JOCC president Adrian Ray Gam during a press conference on Thursday, January 10, at the Kayu Kitchen and Bar.

“It is going to be a yearly event on a race track, it means we are not moving from one location to another. A racetrack is contained in one location with competitors from different categories,” explained Gam.

Categories are production modified with 33-inch tires, expert class with 35-inch tires, and extreme plus category with 35-inch and above tires.

According to Gam, the engine size will not matter.

Top 5 in each category will be determined by the best time and best score. 

The track will be littered with obstacles which will have corresponding points that will be deducted from the participants. Should a participating vehicle fall on its side, it will get disqualified.

Gam said that they will be limiting the participants to 40. As of Thursday, 20 have already signed up for the event with some coming from Dipolog, Zamboanga, Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro, Tacloban and Ormoc, which is known for off-roading.

“It’s not about the number because we want to perfect this for the next year’s race which will be part of the Sinulog celebration. And, in five years, an  ASEAN tourism event,” Gam said.

Night race

The NASFOR has a year-round race with legs held in various areas in the country and next year’s Sinulog Off-Road will be one of the legs. This event will serve as a teaser and a dry run for next year’s event.

Also, the NASFOR tour will have a national finals, which is planned to be held in Cebu in December.

This will also be the first time that Cebu will be holding an official night race on the first day of the tournament from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. 

Those who want to participate must have fog lamps on their vehicles because visibility will only be 5 to 10 meters ahead, so “it is up to the participants how fast they want to race the track,” said Gam, who added that participants will do a ceremonial walk before it gets dark to familiarize themselves with the track.

Environment, eco-friendly race

The race will be eco-friendly as the racetrack will be a natural terrain, meaning no excavation will be done.

“The race will be on a four hectare property, absolutely sloping and terrain. We made two racetracks for the first two categories and another two for the extreme,” said Gam, who assured that the venue is not part of the watershed area.

This is also in line with the thrust of the race’s sponsors—Mobil and Maxxis.

Mobil Regional Sale Supervisor Grace Lao-Torrejas said that Mobil is the technology leader in the worldwide market for formulated synthetic technology of lubricants which means that it extends the life of oil lubricants.

“We are very positive to really be backing up the idea of being environmental friendly because that is also the drive of Mobil. We can assure that the engine of the off-road vehicles that will be participating will be protected with our lubricants because energy is what we protect and our mantra in mobil is we protect the people who is riding their vehicles, that is why we make sure that lubrication is the key in this event.

As for Maxxis, it will be introducing its eco-friendly tires or what they call “green” tires. 

“We at Maxxis is very excited of supporting this event, this is one way of saying since our owners is from here in Cebu then why not support our local enthusiast. From there we would also like to emphasize the type of tires that we are going to use. We also have eco friendly tires, green tires, we will introduce that in the market, and bring some for the race,” said Maxxis Regional Sales Manager Andrew S. Lenizo. /bjo

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