Shell is proud to partner some of the top motorsport teams in some of the world’s most competitive championships – from spearheading innovation to instilling technical prowess, their access to racing is second to none. The sport continuously serves as their ultimate test bed for their products, challenging them to perform in some of the most extreme conditions thus ensuring customers nothing but the very best. And given their rich motorsport history, there’s no doubt that victories have become a culture for the leading oil and gas company.
No exception to their prowess is the Shell Helix DC Racing Rallye Team, who proved to be a cut above the rest throughout last year’s Philippine Rallycross Series. The 9-round championship saw the team’s ace drivers, father-and-son duo of Paul and Paolo Santos and three-time “Slalom King” Dr. Peewee Mendiola, dominating almost all rounds of Groups 2, 3, 4, and the Open categories en route to claiming overall championships and “Driver of the Year” honors at the end of the 2022 Philippine racing season.
It was a year-long dog fight between teammates Santos (Paul) and Mendiola for the Groups 2, 3, & 4 crown. Although each individual duel was nothing short of an intense battle for the top step of the podium, the team’s ability to have both of their drivers be at a position to consistently fight for wins was the main takeaway of the season.
2022 eventually saw Paul Santos not just claim the Group 3 & 4 championship, but was also named the Rallycross “Driver of the Year” of the Automobile Association Philippines (AAP). Mendiola, on the other hand, was titled the Golden Wheel Rallycross awardee after bagging the Group 2 crown.
Santos, being the head honcho of the team, gave high praises to the group for an amazing season of racing. “I’m extremely grateful and proud of my team for not just allowing me to take home another championship worth cherishing, but for also enabling one another to reach for greater heights as each race went by. Special mention goes out to Dax Santiano of TS Tuning and our boys, who constantly kept the car well-maintained and prepared to face the challenges of rally racing, we wouldn’t have been able to accomplish anything without them. And of course, big big thanks to Shell for supporting us throughout the entire season”, said the very jubilant lead driver.
Mendiola, on the other hand, dedicated his victories to someone more than meaningful to his life on and off the race track. “These wins are dedicated to a very good friend of mine – Ding Clemente – who not just helped our team a lot before his demise, but was a key figure in my growth as a race car driver too. This win is definitely his as well”, said the former three-time Slalom champion who admits that it was always difficult balancing his passion for the sport and his profession as a renowned ophthalmologist. “Praise God for continuously blessing me with the ability to still win races, even at this stage of my life, and to the whole Shell Rallye Team for the opportunity and support. It’s always been tough juggling time between getting the right preparations for the car and being a doctor. Although at the end of it all, I’m glad everything paid off very well. I’d like to give special mention to Arthur Pasao and Dax Santiano for keeping our cars in tip top condition and being able to get through the rigors of this type of racing”, he added.
In addition to the triumphs of both Paul and Doc Peewee, young ace driver Paolo Santos also proved his worth in the field of rallycross after emerging as the undisputed king of the Open category – winning almost all rounds of the year in just his first season of racing on dirt. Being no stranger to the sport after successful stints in circuit racing, the 2019 Golden Wheel “Driver of the Year” and 2019 Philippine GT Champion admits that it was a challenging transition from asphalt to gravel. “In addition to this being my first year back since the pandemic hit, the abrupt change in racing characteristics given this move to rallycross was the main challenge for me entering the series. Yet with the help of the whole team I was able to get my groove back as quickly as possible”, said the young Santos.
With the continuous backing of Shell throughout the team’s motorsport endeavors, more success is definitely within their grasp as another year of racing is about to commence. “It’s absolutely great to be back and endless thanks go out to Shell and everyone behind our team for helping me bag the Open Championship. This is definitely an amazing start for us as we aim for more wins this 2023”, added Paolo who speaks on behalf of the team as they set their sights on another successful Rallycross season, as well as a go at the 2023 Rallysprint series.