The rally attracted international attention before the pandemic, and its success is supposed to prove that the center can host major auto events
Clint Holton Potistas | September 20 2022
After a three-year hiatus, the Tour de Cebu (TDC) vintage sports car race will be back on the road by the end of September. Despite warnings that it might be the toughest ride since its birth in 2014, the event has already brought together more than 40 vintage car enthusiasts across the country. His job is “to mix the road and make it exciting for the driver – no more ‘spoon feeding’,” says Pepon Marave, TDC Technical Director and former Asian Formula 3 champion.
The TDC 2022 project will start with a small station across the newly opened Cebu Cordova Expressway before moving to Bohol on September 29. The event culminates on October 3 with the announcement of the winners.
Unlike previous rounds, this time riders are expected to drive an average of 300 kilometers per day. Each navigator – the flight time officer who sits next to each driver – is expected to report the exact time and speed.
Now in its seventh year, TDC is organized by the Performance and Classic Enthusiast (PACE) in Cebu along with the Manila Sports Car Club. The touring event is open to sports cars manufactured before 1972 and each car must cover a total distance of 1,000 km in five days. It is a regular march that requires teams to reach checkpoints on a set schedule. Penalties apply to those arriving late or earlier than the scheduled time.
Jay Aldger, founding member of PACE, may have lost his navigator this year. “My kids take turns being my navigator every year,” says Aldeguer, CEO of Islands Souvenirs. “But my daughter Andrea will be joining alone now, and she will be driving my dad’s car, which we recently restored.”
Jay says this is an exciting development in the family’s participation in the rally. “Andrea who wasn’t interested in my old car was ‘forced’ to join me before. In the end, I fell in love with the whole experience. She enjoyed it so much; now she wants to drive her own.”
In 2018, Jay and his son Anton drove a 1959 356A Porsche and were awarded the Roberto Aboitiz Class Award, which is given to the rarest, most prepared and most valuable sports cars dating back to 1966 and above.
“It’s been over three years since my last TDC session, so everyone is excited,” says Jay. “It was difficult for us in Cebu to drive into the mountains as we usually did in the past as it was crowded especially during the pandemic when people started camping in the mountains. This year’s TDC should be fun for both drivers and old cars.”
How different is the trip this year? “For sports car fans, there’s no fun in driving an automatic,” says Jay. “That’s the lure of old-fashioned cars—to get that deep experience where there’s no power steering, no powered brakes. Sometimes, you struggle with shifting; all That makes for a fun and engaging experience. But due to the long downtime, many of our cars are not being driven regularly, so we are conducting a more thorough inspection and restoration to ensure a well-conditioned vehicle for TDC.”
Another first team this year is the All-Women Manila Team. “We are excited about it. I don’t think there is any difference other than that she can be a threat,” says Jay. “Women are more diligent, calculating and quick. After all, the Tour de Cebu is a regular rally where time and accuracy matter, not speed. Also, Tour de Cebu feels like a big family, so everyone is welcome to join. The fact that there have been so many posts this year is a testament to – perhaps because of the pandemic – people now want to live their dreams.”
For the next year, PACE plans to explore new routes and destinations. Members will also extend invitations to international sports car owners. TDC had participants from Spain and Singapore in previous years, but they found it expensive and tedious to ship their cars to the Philippines.
“We need to work with various government agencies to make provision for events like the Tour de Cebu, especially since this event has received a lot of international attention, given that it is the only tropical gathering in the region,” Aldeguer shares. Michael Lloyer, President of PACE, adds that the aim of this event is to highlight the capacity of our country to host international sporting events.
#Tour #Cebu #vintage #cars #road