CEBU CITY — The towns and cities in Cebu province and some parts of the Visayas will see a different kind of race when the Tour de Cebu hits the road on Dec. 5 to 7.
The unique race won’t feature bikers or runners but folks on vintage cars.
Though it’s called Tour de Cebu, the event will pass through 42 municipalities and 12 cities all over the Visayas.
The event is organized by the Performance and Classics Enthusiasts (Pace) and the Manila Sports Club and is conceptualized to be “a historic rally across the Visayas.”
It will cover 1,000 kilometers with racers starting from Barangay Lahug here and passing through Toledo City and Santander, Cebu; Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental province, Bacolod City (Negros Occidental) and then back to Toledo City going through San Remigio and ending at Cebu City.
The participants are a virtual who’s who of the business sector, with Bobby Aboitiz riding a 1971 Mercedes Benz and Glen Soco driving a 67 Alfa Romeo.
Other participants are Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III, who will be driving a 1965 Shelby Cobra and actor Matteo Guidicelli, who will be driving a 955 Porsche 550 Spyder.
Twenty-five of the participants are from Pace, while six are from the Manila Sports Car Club and three are guest riders, including actor Guidicelli, who was raised in Cebu.
“Unlike speed races, regularity events must be competed in a pre-defined time and not in the fastest time possible,” the organizers said in a press statement.
Organizer Sophie de los Santos said, “There will be no penalties but we will focus on only finishers. The real important aspect is the passion and camaraderie of all participants all enjoying their historic cars and the scenic spots of the Visayas.”
However, it won’t be purely just a show of vintage cars as the participants hope to raise funds for the construction of a training center for the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation (Eruf).
“Eruf is building a training center in Mandaue. Extra funds generated will be donated to the organization,” said Peter Mancao, one of the participants who will be driving a 1979 Volkswagen.
Mancao said driving a vintage car isn’t as glamorous as it looks.
“When you drive these cars, you are talking of driving with just the bare essentials of motoring. There is no power steering, it’s manual transmission, there is no aircon or power brakes,” he said. “You have to use a little engine brake here and there and the ride is stiff, so you literally feel the road.”
In case of emergencies, Mancao said Eruf will field an ambulance team for the duration of the 1,000-kilometer journey.