Text: Benj Ngo / Photos: Benj Ngo | posted June 13, 2001 23:25
the weekend was plagued with a number of mishaps
It was going to be another bright and exciting day full of karting action. That is, until about noontime when torrential rains drenched the whole track. The first two heats of the different classes however all proceeded without a hitch. After having a good lunch, each driver had his/her own thoughts and feelings about the sudden rain. Some drivers were quite nervous because they didn't know how they would perform in the rain. Others were clearly anxious to go at it.
Fortunately for some of the drivers, but unfortunately for others, the final heat of the Formula SL Light Division was canceled because of the downpour that was occurring during the time. The advantage clearly went to Mandy Borja of team Demvels because he took first place in both of the earlier heats. The final heat of FSL Light was canceled and points were awarded based on the standings on the two prior heats. Uwe Madamba, Jeremy Marquez, Arwin Drueco and Richard Diaz likewise were in a beneficial position as each driver finished among the top five in the two previous heats.
Fortunately for everybody, the downpour did not last that long. After about an hour of waiting, the sun finally came out and karters and spectators were happy at the prospect of having slightly wet but nonetheless very entertaining races. First up was the FSL Heavy class. It was obvious that the drivers were being very careful as they controlled their speed and had a very conservative race. Tim Gosnel drove a very careful race as he took first place with Edgar Quesada at second and Allan Pastrana at third.
By the time the cadets took to the track for the KT Junior class, the track was still pretty wet because of the occasional light rains. The juniors were all clearly a bit nervous because of the possible dangers that racing in such conditions would have. And they had every reason to be nervous. Dado Peña and the other kids obviously had trouble controlling their karts as they spun around quite a few times. But the shock of the day came during the middle part of the race. Batsy Aggabao was pushing and pushing but in one of the sharp corners, he suddenly hit the tire barrier and went through it onto the next portion of the track.
Clearly hurt, Aggabao laid on the grass almost motionless, for quite a long period of time. Race officials immediately stopped the race. As Aggabao was carried onto the ambulance, race officials and other personnel said that he seemed to be fine; he was breathing, and was still able to move. The 20 lap race was cut to 10 laps with Tyson Sy taking the checkered flag. Don Pastor came in second, while Mark Bumgarner took third.
After that major incident, the Formula 125 Division was ready. As the race started, the karters up front made a quick bid to secure their positions, their aggressive driving downsizing the fact that the track was still wet and full of small puddles of water. Mike Francisco, who was on pole, and Bert Neuhof, who was in third, both spun out on the first lap. Their aggressive driving technique was certainly a bad move in such conditions. With the two spinning out, Angelo Barretto took the lead and held it until about 3 laps left retiring with a broken sprocket. Luck was certainly not on Barretto's side as his airbox came off in the second heat and his sprockets came loose in the final heat. Lee Bumgarner, who drove a very consistent and steady race, took advantage coming in first place. Finnish driver Juha Roiha came in second and Ramon Hermosa came in third.
In the Formula A category, Pepon Marave once again proved that he is among the finest karters in the Philippines. His precise driving around the wet track got him first place and a 4 second advantage over close rival Philip Alvendia of Kart 1 Racing. Marave's teammate Bogs Mayo clinched third.
In the ICA division, Allan Uy took the checkered flag as he garnered his third win in five rounds to regain the lead in the championship. Bingo Valero, only 5 seconds behind Uy took second while Marzo Samson took third.
The final heat of the Cadet 85 class was highly anticipated because the second heat saw Mark Bumgarner trouncing Tyson Sy with a 10 second advantage. But this time around, Tyson 'Superboy' Sy did what he does best; drive one hell of a race. He took first place as rival Bumgarner took second, and Marty Aguilar took third. In the Cadet 60 class, Lorenzo Rijk narrowly won the race as he had only a 2 second margin over second placer and close rival Buffy Laurel. Marlon Stockinger came in at third.
The team race saw ARC clinching first place as Demvels and Kart 1 Racing took second and third respectively.
Although the weekend was plagued with a number of mishaps, the bad weather and delays could not prevent the organizers and karters from giving a very good show. Rain or shine, delays or not, karting will indeed continue to provide very exciting racing action for spectators and enthusiasts alike.