Manila, Philippines, December 16, 2015: BYD Philippines in partnership with Blanco Race Engineering (BRE) took home 4 prestigious motoring sports awards namely, the 2015 PEC Champion Manufacturers Cup, 2015 PEC FM2 Class Champion, 2015 PEC FM1 1st Runner Up, and 2015 PEC 1st runner up Team Championship, in the recently concluded Philippine Endurance Challenge held on December 6 at the Batangas Racing Circuit.
The Philippine Endurance Challenge (PEC), organized by Flat Out Race Series (FORS), a proponent of motoring sports in the Philippines, is dubbed as the “biggest and longest endurance race” in the country. Competing in this first ever eight-hour long endurance race were 17 cars and 75 drivers. The objective of the race is for the cars to log as many laps around the track at the end of eight hours. Each car may have up to four drivers and they are allowed to take turns behind the wheel. Honors in the following categories were up for grabs, namely: The Manufacturers Cup, FM1, FM2, RP, Team and Overall.
“Joining the grueling 8-hour Philippine Endurance Challenge with partner BRE was a strategic move to showcase BYD’s excellent engineering, the quality of its cars and technical expertise,” revealed Mark Andrew Tieng, managing director of Solar Transport & Automotive Resources Corporation (STAR Corp), exclusive distributor of BYD in the Philippines.
“For this race, we entered the BYD F0 race car, prepped from last year’s Circuit Showdown, and the BYD F3 Taxi, which was all stock with no modifications; all we did was change the seats. And against cars with bigger displacements and more experienced teams, both our cars and our team were not only able to finish the race, we were able to win several awards as well,” continued Tieng.
The BYD F3 Taxi driven by former Formula 3 driver Gabby de la Merced and motoring journalist Angel Rivero was victorious in the Manufacturer Cup, while the BYD F0 driven by professional race drivers Boobie Camus, Ron Catindig, Paul Lawrence Tan and Renan Morales ruled the field in the FM2 class for cars rated below 152 ps and placed second in the FM1 class for cars above 152 ps. The combined efforts of both cars pushed the BYD/BRE team to second place in the Team category.
De la Merced and Rivero, who made up the only all-women team in the Challenge, had nothing but praise for the F3.
“It’s a very consistent car and it ran so smoothly that we were able to conserve the tires,” de la Merced shared. “We ran it stock, meaning, nothing was changed, so I expected extreme. I was surprised that it pointed where you wanted it to go and sticks there, which is amazing,” she added.
Rivero, meanwhile, said: “We actually drove a full-fledged taxi, which even had the taxi arc on top and signs painted all over it. It was my first time ever to do an endurance race. I had done circuit races in the past but this is the first time I drove in an eight-hour event. Throughout the race, the BYD F3 felt amazing.”
Speaking about the BRE-BYD partnership, Pacho Blanco, founder and chief engineer of BRE Blanco Race Engineering said: “Actually, after several test drives of the BYD cars, I saw that the brand had huge potential and we could do something really great! Our objective is to get everybody excited and confident about this brand, as we are. Imagine, in the first 2.5 hours of the race alone, the F0 had already completed 77 laps and the F3 75 laps. And we were the only team that had not pit in. Other cars had already made pit stops, some once, the others twice, either for breakdowns or refueling. So, that alone proves the reliability and the awesome fuel economy of BYD cars.”
Camus, who took the first stint in the BYD F0 racecar said, “I was really impressed with the way the car handled. It was very consistent throughout my stint which was around 77 laps in 2.5 hours. I really didn’t have to push the car very hard and it performed well throughout the course, no problem.”
Catindig was equally impressed. He said, “The ambient and track temperatures were very hot but the car felt great. Power was consistent even though it had a three-cylinder engine. Braking was also consistent even though the temperature of the track was high.”