Last 12th of May, 11 manufacturers went head to head for the annual STV-ARCC, well this year it’s called the 2018 Phoenix Fuels Pulse Technology Powered by STV-ARCC staged with it’s flag-off at Clark Global City and went through all the way to Harbour Point Mall in Subic and back to Clark.
This year’s participating car companies and manufacturers were Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Isuzu, Lexus, Mazda, Mini, SsangYong, and Volkswagen.
We are proud to announce that Go Flat Out were lucky enough to be apart of this prestigious event and that we were under the Ford Team and loaned us a Ford Ranger 2.2 Wildtrak. I was designated as the driver, Isaac Atienza as the navigator and Gilbert Jose as timer. However we weren’t alone – as TSD races go, we were allowed 2-3 car entries from one manufacturer, and those include Caco Tirona, Dan Pabustan and Allysa Zulueta of AutoDeal driving a Ford Everest 2.2 Titanium. We also have Kevin Fransisco of Gadget Match paired with Alfred Mendoza and Remart De La Zerna of Autobuyers in another Ford Everest 3.2 Titanium.
Now, the ARCC isn’t like the typical Rally Race where speed is key. We had to follow a perfect time basis, so adjusting your speed and following directions. Don’t get me wrong, but we weren’t illegally racing on public roads, we just had to drive and enjoy the scenery and humiliate the competitors. I kid. It was a friendly race between manufacturers and motoring media guys.
This year, we were asked to fill up at Phoenix Mindanao Avenue where they would seal our tanks and calculate our fuel economy. But since we’re idiots, we totally forgot about that and hammered on, completely letting out the Ranger’s quite potent yet subtle 2.2-liter Duratorq diesel engine.
With 160 hp @ 3,200 rpm and 385 Nm of torque from 1,600 to 2,500 rpm, the Ford Ranger’s engine may be small, but since all its torque is located down low in the rev range, it felt very punchy and fast in normal driving situations. It’s only in the highest rev range when the small diesel engine’s power deficient from the bigger 3.2-liter Duratorq engine is felt. Our full review coming in a few days.At race day, we were provided with speed-distance tables, calculators and stopwatches courtesy of the ever generous Ford Philippines Team. We were one of the first teams to arrive at the flag-off at Clark Global City, this being an “On Time All the Time” race. We were also given EasyTrip RFID’s as the NLEX Corporation was one of the sponsors, whose objective is to demonstrate the seamless travel between NLEX and SCTEX and to showcase it’s world class construction that comes equipped with safety features and amenities for additional convenience. We were also given stickers on registration where if you ask me, the hardest part of the race, putting stickers on the cars were pain in the ass.
Anyway, race started and immediately we were boggled. It was our first time in the ARCC, and we were not used to the roadmaps provided. We did get the hang of it after we turned around, restarted and then quickly caught up. Main problem was, our timer was all messed up with the calculations so we had to wing it and push on, looking for checkpoints and regulating our speed along the way. Yes, we were arguing non-stop about where to go and how fast we need to be. Come lunch break, we were told we missed 1 checkpoint and that left us planning our next strategy for the second half of the race.
Quickly and surprisingly, our navigator Gilbert went to work and killed it! Along with Isaac’s prodigious navigating and my awesome driving (wink wink), we were able to get every checkpoint, at nearly perfect times so that, in my book is a total win for us.
As a whole, we were able to adjust and plan accordingly, leading us to perform a lot better during the second round. We did not miss any checkpoints this time around, and we arrived at all the checkpoints not too far off from the perfect time. If you want to see how we performed, please watch the video posted below, which is linked through our YouTube account, or you can also see it on our Facebook account.
Upon re-fuelling at Phoenix Mindanao Avenue with diesel fuel that’s injected with Phoenix’s Pulse Technology, our Ranger’s 2.2-liter Duratorq diesel engine gave a fuel economy of 13.0 km/l upon re-fuelling. This was also confirmed by the folks at Phoenix, and through the car’s trip computer. Not only is the Ford Ranger Wildtrak a great performer, it is also a very fuel efficient truck indeed.
A few things to keep in mind if you would want to join or be lucky enough to participate in similar events:
- Listen and trust your navigator. Get someone you trust with your life and out him in-charge of navigating. Someone once told me, events such as Time-Speed-Distance races, you often end up fighting or not being friends after, but always remember it is never about who’s wrong or right- it’s about the experience.
- Never disobey traffic rules. Yes, this is a rally but mind you, we were still on OPEN public motorways.
- And finally, if you get lost, enjoy the time you have plotting a way to get back. Turn on the radio, hang out with your buddies and let the road take you there.