Team Mazda Philippines is the overall winner of the 2021 Petron Kalayaan Cup 12 Hour Endurance Challenge, having completed 274 laps in a dominant fashion over 12 hours of non-stop racing. The team drove at Clark International Speedway on June 12th with a Mazda MX-5 Miata Spec Series car that was almost out of the showroom and won six trophies along with victories in the Class 1 and Open A categories for the 4-hour race. Win the races of the Kagitingan Cup and the 12-hour Makabayan Cup.
The Mazda MX-5 2021 was driven by long-distance veterans Allan Uy, Marc Soong and Aaron Guevarra as well as by Gaby dela Merced, the girl’s sensation, and sped flawlessly through the 12-hour race. It only took 6 pit stops to finish the race in front of 16 other participants. With its fastest lap time of 2: 21.186, the MX-5 Miata Spec finally finished 9 laps ahead of the runner-up.
“We are very proud of this achievement by the team and our Mazda MX-5,” said Steven Tan, President and CEO of Mazda Philippines. “This year’s results show that you need speed, reliability and fuel efficiency to secure victory in this race. With all of these capabilities, the MX-5 allowed our riders to race with confidence and keep a competitive pace throughout the 12 hours. This championship win was certainly made possible with the hard working crew, the great team spirit we showed and our belief that we have the best car in the field to get the best results. ”
The two-day race weekend began with team manager Allan Uy leading the MX-5 Spec Miata in second place on the grid during qualifying on Friday. The race started on Saturday June 12th at 5:30 am. The drivers struggled with early morning fog, which blocked their vision. Uy kept the pressure on the pole-sitter with late braking and the confident handling of the MX-5 while sticking to the team’s target times to ensure it would make it to the finish.
While the tuned race car the team initially competed against had a superior horsepower advantage, the Mazda MX-5 Miata Spec relied on its reliability, along with its light weight, ease of use, and fuel efficiency to cope with dry, cloudy skies racing to be tough.
A premature failure of the leading starter resulted in the MX-5 Miata Spec taking the lead of the race. And the team never looked back because they built a confident gap to the rest of the field. At one point the MX-5 Miata Spec had a 14 lap lead over the runner-up in the final 20 minutes of the race, showing its clear advantage over the competition.
The Mazda MX-5’s famous fuel efficiency allowed drivers long, unimpeded stints, allowing the team to execute their strategy with fewer refills than its competitors. With a cumulative 3.5-hour stint from Marc Soong and a total of 3-hour run from Aaron Guevara, Gaby dela Merced finally took the wheel for the home straight.
The team was set to dwarf the 2019 lap record set with a Mazda MX-5 Global Cup race car, but a late safety car call in the last 10 minutes of the race slowed the field down. In the end, dela Merced was able to muster just the right amount of fuel to complete another lap and cross the finish line after the 12 hour mark marked the end of the grueling race. The final 274 laps this year of the showroom-fresh MX-5 matches the record of the fully tuned Mazda MX-5 Global Cup race car, which won the overall title in the 2019 edition of the Kalayaan Cup.
Considered the country’s ultimate test for man and machine, the annual 12-hour race is making a comeback this year after being sidelined by COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in 2020.
Bermaz Auto Philippines, Inc. (Mazda Philippines) is the exclusive distributor of Mazda vehicles and parts in the Philippines. Mazda Philippines’ exemplary customer service was ranked # 1 in the industry twice – in the JD Power Customer Service Index Study 2016 and 2019. There are 19 Mazda 3S dealerships in the Philippines and in Metro Manila – Mazda Greenhills, Mazda Pasig, Mazda Quezon Avenue, Mazda Makati, Mazda Alabang, Mazda Cavite, Mazda Sta. Rosa, Mazda Pulilan, Mazda Pampanga, Mazda Dagupan, Mazda Cabanatuan, Mazda Tarlac, Mazda Negros, Mazda Cebu, Mazda Iloilo, Mazda Cagayan De Oro, Mazda Davao, Mazda Butuan and Mazda General Santos.