CAD Racing on the grid before an 8hr Endurance Race
How does one truly measure success in racing? Some might say that it's by comparing yourself to your competitors or by achieving the fastest lap. Some might even say you measure it by how many awards and trophies you put on the shelf. Well, CAD Racing Team has a way of measuring success on its own. But first, who is CAD Racing Team?
CAD Racing Team, or the Center for Automotive Development Racing Team, is a car racing team that seeks the true test of man and machine. Formed in 2016 by Charlie Conjuanco, Anthony Antolin, and Jeffrey De Leon, the founders came up with their team name, "CAD,” using wit and creativity by combining each of their surname’s initials.
The team consists of highly skilled members such as Jeffrey De Leon, a multi-award-winning race mechanic at ForcedSpeed, and veteran racers Ton Ramos, Anthony Antolin, Nicolo Fernandez, Eggy Ong, and Pauland Dumlao.
Even though CAD Racing Team may only join endurance races (at least for the time being), that’s not everything they stand for. One of their primary purposes in creating the team was to test and break through the limits of their cars and mechanics through research and development. That’s why they also chose to specialize in endurance racing: to improve not only their vehicles and racers but most definitely their mechanics.
CAD Racing Team's Mechanics practicing a Pitstop.
The team even talks about proposing an official program that could produce highly skilled racing mechanics so that the Philippines can have more aces up their sleeves when it comes to export, especially since they are vastly sought after overseas.
Like every other racing team, they won’t settle for less when it comes to racing. What started as a side quest has now turned into a competitive goal for CAD Racing to reach. Starting with races in local battles, the team took its wheels internationally and competed twice in Japan two years after they were formed.
CAD Racing representing the Philippines at Mobility Resort Motegi (Formerly Twin Ring Motegi Circuit) | Photo by Kevin C. Limjoco
For CAD, racing is more than just a passion; it’s a brilliant obsession. The lengths they go through and the time, resources, and effort they invest are no joke. Sometimes, it could even go beyond reasonable, as Pauland Dumlao, one of the team’s racers and managers, described it.
Despite going through a midlife crisis, their passion for the sport and the idea of automotive research and development drives them to push themselves to the limit. It’s what also inspired younger racers to join the team, like Jiro Garbes (22) and Joaquin Garrido (17), so their legacy can continue for more generations to come.
CAD Racing Team had its fair share of glorious moments on the track, but one of their greatest milestones from 2022 was winning the overall champion title in the season’s first leg by conquering both two- and four-hour endurance races in a single day.
That race held in Batangas was one of the team’s biggest flexes, as not only did they get a very strong lead as the season’s champs but also their pride for making it despite racing away from their home court with just a one-day practice before the competition. This victory sparked that “gigil” factor to hype them to dominate throughout the entire season.
However, the second leg of season 2022 didn’t go as well as the first one now that they are faced with their toughest challenge yet; it was the biggest hurdle they had to go through in their entire racing career.
It was the last lap of the 12-hour race in Clark, Pampanga, when Ton Ramos’s car came to a full stop in the middle of the track due to an electrical problem, setting the team’s stress level to its maximum.
But apparently, there were already small signs of malfunction during the qualifying race. They just didn’t have the time to fully inspect and fix the car since they were also racing against time. Still, the team proved to be tougher than steel when they didn’t call it quits and managed to finish the race by resetting the car and letting it rest for minutes until the end, taking “endurance” racing to a whole new level.
Crew Chief, Jeffrey De Leon, Inspecting CAD Racing Team's Car Before a Race
As they reached the finish line, the team was on cloud nine for overcoming such a “Biakan ng utak” type of situation, as Pauland puts it.
This experience taught the team to be more thorough with the preparations and to dive deeper into every small detail as they aim to be better than their past versions.
“In racing, you can never be too prepared,” Pauland emphasizes.
This meant that they had to fully prepare not only the cars, racers, mechanics, and managers but also the strategy and monitoring of the competition and other teams. They expect that the competition will only get tougher as they move further into it, making preparation the greatest lesson they want to focus on in the next season, especially since they aim to become the overall champions of the Petron Makabayan Series and get their hands on the Golden Wheel Award.
Ton Ramos Communicating Strategy to Crew Chief, Jeffrey De Leon.
CAD Racing Team also plans to build a solid car through their own research and development that can speed through the tracks with grace and fierceness and showcase their unique identity as a team. On a side note, they are also set to further develop their team in skill and bonding. CAD Racing finished the 2022 Petron Makabayan Cup Endurance Race Challenge Series in 3rd Place Overall and 2nd in the Open Class A.
In 2023, the team’s measuring stick for success will be longer as they become bolder and wiser. As the team said,
“Ultimate success is inevitable for those who want it bad enough.”
Going back to the question, how should success be measured? Taking inspiration from CAD Racing Team, success is measured by how much you have grown from your old self and how much you have caught up to the ideal self you have envisioned.
It is determined by how well you can work together to adapt and pass different tests and trials in the face of adversity. Through this, the dream they’re passionately chasing can become a reality.