Words and photos by Nicolas A. Calanoc
For the 4th PLDT Alpha Track Day, they needed a staging area where there was enough distance for a car to remain at top speed for a good while and enough room to go around and sideways at blistering speeds. To get this much amount of road, an airport was in order. In this case, PLDT Alpha got the chance to do it all over again at the Subic International Airport. Members of PLDT Were grouped in such a way that the collectives were shuffled within the day so that everyone got a chance to try all the different activities of the day. With PLDT Alpha’s goal of providing something better and more unforgettable every year for their customers, it is no wonder that the PLDT Alpha Track Day just gets better every year. With this in mind, together with the variety of cars driven today, people can’t help but wonder: what does next year have to offer?
The Italian Job
It isn’t everyday you get the opportunity to shoot a gun, much less doing so from inside a car. So shooting paintball guns from inside a MINI is at the level of “you don’t see this everyday” indeed. This course involved a small drag strip wherein the MINI would have to accelerate up to a certain speed then cruise in the middle of the strip while the passenger takes 2 shots to the target with a paintball gun.
Sounds simple enough, but if you consider relativity, wind speed, projectile speed and maybe even the Coriolis Effect (the rotation of the earth), then you will find out that shooting out of a moving car isn’t as easy as Hollywood portrays it to be.
Kid Around The Block
The word “Gymkhana” shouldn’t be a mystery to those who either love cars, drifting, or YouTube. But for those who don’t know, Gymkhana is very similar to autocross, with the difference of being able to memorize where to go and knowing what complex moves to do like reversals, spins, parking inside boxes and other advanced moves.
True to definition, that is exactly what the participants of the PLDT Alpha Track Day did. Before the drivers started, they got to see the illustration of the course with instructions on what to do. Then as they entered the vehicle, they were able to see first hand the Gymkhana course as they parked it to the starting point. When given the go signal, it was tire screeching from start to finish. Everyone was in their A-Game to finish the course as fast as possible making the tightest turns, hardest brakes, and fastest runs.
When Left Feels Right
Some say that if you want to check how stable any car is, make it repeatedly go left and right at speed to see where it starts to fail. For the average driver it may sound crazy, but for the ones who know motorsport, it is simply called slalom.
For this exercise, PLDT Alpha members and customers got their chance to do a slalom on Peugeot’s sports coupé, the RCZ. Never did going zigzag look this stylish. With concept car looks and agile handling in a renaissance interior, this is was the stuff to remember.
Undoubtedly one of the biggest automotive entertainments in the world, NASCAR plays a big influence in the need for speed on a car lover’s heart. It may not be as sophisticated as Formula 1, but if there is one thing NASCAR delivers, it’s a raw experience. From the bare bone chassis to the 4-speed stick shift to the rumbling V8 under the hood, it is hard for any car lover not to fall in love with the raw brute on wheels.
Most will experience NASCAR from the outside, which is what billions of people get to do. For PLDT Alpha though, attendees got the chance to go behind the wheel of the beast. After the safety briefing from NASCAR Whelen Euroseries’ driver Enzo Pastor and his team, drivers got a chance to be able to drive the muscle-bound NASCARs in the landing strip of the Subic international Airport. If there was a once in a lifetime thing done on the 4th PLDT Alpha Track Day, it was definitely this one.