Manila got a taste of F1 racing excitement over the weekend as the Lotus F1 Team brought over Marlon Stockinger, the only Filipino to win the GT3 in 2012.
The event started with a press conference presided by Lotus F1 principal Eric Boullier, Business Manager Martin Reiss, Marlon's father Tom Stockinger and of course, Marlon himself.
A gala night follows on that same day at the Manila Hotel's Tent City wherein a spectacular cultural dance and Philippine fashion was presented. The F1 car, a Renault 30 was officially unveiled with a lifesize mannequin of Marlon Stockinger in a racesuit. Attended by the Mayor of Manila, Fred Lim, numerous celebrities, captains of different industries and the motoring media, the quiet ambiance that usually characterize the vicinity of the hotel was aroused by the sound of the screeching engine as the crew revs up the mighty racecar.
The following day saw Marlon and NPDC Director Jet Villegas unveiled the Kilometer Zero marker in Rizal Park, the marker is the official point where all distances in the country are respectively measured. After a short ceremony, Marlon, at the cockpit of the Renault 30 speeds down for the very first time in the streets fronting the Quirino Grandstand amidst the sounds of the cheering crowd and thundering engine of the racecar.
Davide Valsecchi, current champion of the 2012 GT2 on the otherhand provided rides on a two-seater variant of the F1 to Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and several VIPs.
In the afternoon, the speed show moved to the grounds of SM Mall of Asia, along the Seaside Boulevard where Marlon again excited the crowd in a 3-lap show.
Crowds, more on the last day plus newly converted fans lined up along the path of the speedway for Marlon's 4-lap performances that again ignited the viewers.
For sure now that the Philippines is on the map of F1 racing, we all are looking forward to a bigger event next year as the thundering sounds of the F1 mania roars down the streets of Manila once more.