WHY AUTOCROSS?

Photos by Errol Panganiban

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Come to think of it, in the 4 years that Custom Pinoy Rides has been bringing you some of the greatest automotive coverage for you guys to feast your eyes upon, we’ve never really covered any event that had to do with the Philippine Autocross Championship Series. Why? I have to be honest, that’s a question that really baffles me.

But anyway, whatever the case, better to start now than never.

However, since everyone else (print and other media publications) in their respective race coverage segments nowadays just go straight to talking about what went on and who won, with barely any photos of the action, we don’t want to show you another rendition of what is probably the same thing talking about what happened where these photos in today’s feature were taken, last September 1st at SM Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

So since this is our maiden post regarding Philippine Autocross, instead of this being a “race report” like everyone else does, we’ll go back to basics to talk about what Autocross is all about and why you should consider participating, if you haven’t.


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What is Autocross?

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Basically this is a form of motorsport that emphasizes driving skill of one’s automobile of choice, more than anything else.

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There are several different vehicle classes which would allow you to compete with just about every car you have in your garage – from old-schoolers…

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…to stock daily drivers…

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…to modified economy cars…

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…to all-out racing cars.

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Modified Front-Wheel-Drive…

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…or drift-spec Rear-Wheel-Drive?

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No problem! just about every car is welcome here.

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Sometimes even cars which were meant to be economical people movers…

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…and those which were supposedly meant by the factory to be under the soft-roader category. No pun intended though to this Honda CRV, as we really think it has been modified rather beautifully!

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Anyway, moving on, as a spectator and car enthusiast, it is also one of the greatest places to see some of the most epic battles between makes and models. And if they have similar modifications and comparable power, you can compare how they fare up against each other on the timesheets. You can check out some old-schoolers such as this Toyota Starlet…

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…and see how it compares to a Honda Civic EF Hatchback.

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Or how about how an older-generation Honda Civic compares to the newer one?

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Or maybe even an EVO…

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…vs. Impreza battle? Whatever the case, you’ll be able to see the performance comparisons based on actual timesheets.

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Autocross is also one of the safest forms of motorsports as the races are usually held…

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…within the confines of a closed parking lot…

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…the course usually marked with the use of cones…

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…and with only one car tackling the course at a time…

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…just man and machine racing against the clock.

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The objective of Autocross is to drive through the course as quick as you can…

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…without hitting any cones or missing any gates. Time penalties are given for hitting or moving cones, so car control is key.

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Due to the small size of the track…

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…speeds are lower as compared to circuit racing.

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But because of the technical nature of the course…

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…the number of driver inputs per second is comparable to Formula One.

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So again, this emphasizes driver skill and car handling over outright speed and power.

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Many racers can progress from Autocross into more competitive and sometimes more expensive forms of racing such as wheel-to-wheel circuit racing, rallying, or what have you.

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But Autocross will always be one of the most fundamental foundations…

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…where one can learn and hone their skills on car control.

How about you? Do you join Autocross events? Why? Share your experiences in the comments below!

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