In a city where the roads are incessantly choked with identikit rough and ready Toyota taxis, battered pick-ups stuffed with grimy workers, tuk-tuks in almost all states of disrepair and many other mundane utility vehicles, some of the world’s finest supercars are also sporadically evidence and on an average day a Gallardo or F430 will suddenly stand out from the endless plethora of bland vehicles, highly polished alloy wheels, a gleaming metallic coat or the burble of a throaty exhaust unexpectedly alerting the senses to the fact that there is to be a very brief break from the monotony. In Bangkok though supercars owners’ are passionate about their exotic symbols and believe that they were crafted on the distant assembly lines of Maranello, Hethel or Modena not to gather dust under a sheet in a climate controlled underground garage but to be used and enjoyed. One such owner is city resident Dave Teirlynck, and he has gone a big step further than most, creating “Mun Maak” a club that brings together the owners of these exotic machines and gets them out on the road and travelling. Events take place every few months and are very popular, both with participants and (usually surprised) spectators alike. Next May he’s planning a real biggie, a mad dash from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, then up to Phuket, and finally to the finish line in Bangkok. But that is then, this morning however the “Super MunMaak Rally” is set to take participants from Central Plaza in Bangkok to Pattaya and back again. Early thunder and rain hasn’t deterred the participants and by 9:30 AM the cars are starting to roll into the damp but perfectly laid square in front of the towering glass and steel edifice that is Central Plaza, one of the city centre’s busiest malls and office complexes, their bright colours providing welcome relief from the morning’s sea of grey that stretches up from the car park surface, through the Plaza’s height, the rising concrete foundations of the BTS line and up into the overcast and sullen sky. Around two dozen or so cars eventually gather up and the bulk of these are from European brands, making a welcome break (for me at least) from the Asian auto-lock out that is usually the case in Bangkok. Porsche is the best represented in the car park which is claustrophobically bookended by Central Plaza on one side and the concrete stanchions of the BTS line on the other, with a couple Caymans, a Carrera 4S and a pretty historic 911 version sporting rather lurid day-glo orange wheels, while the German brand’s eternal rival Ferrari is on show courtesy of a stunning F430 Coupé in “Rosso Corsa”. Up the road from Maranello in Bologna Sant’Agata they craft the fearsome Murciélago and a shining white example of the V12 supercar is burbling away and awaiting the commencement of the action. A second silver version was also lurking. American muscle meanwhile comes in the shape of a Ford GT 40. A couple of Giugiaro-era Lotus Esprits provide a more unusual sight, with one kitted out in orange-and-black “Polizia” livery, as does a KTM X-Bow, also in orange, and boasting lightweight spaceframe, open cockpit and a myriad of bolt on panels. Several Nissan GTRs, complete with big rear wings, provide sharply focused angles and demonstrate the aggression of Japanese “design language” in sharp contrast to the more elegant European lines, while a pumped-up Subaru Impreza, also boasting a big rear wing, brings this car’s rally-winning dynamics to the party. The rest of the runners are made up of representatives from brands including Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Audi. The formalities done and the engines fire up and the convoy starts to snake out of the car park to be swallowed up in the bustle of the city centre on a Sunday morning. Soon they’re gone and we’re left with just the sea of grey.
SO-ME-DAY / ห้ามจอด @ Central world ( Bangkok Bike ) Chang Export Beer Park Video Rating: 5 / 5
Start of Super MunMaak Rally, Central World, Bangkok 30/08/2009
Title: Start of Super MunMaak Rally, Central World, Bangkok 30/08/2009