Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co | posted May 28, 2002 00:00
Team Tom's ends Coseteng's winning streak
Team Tom's reversed the tide in the 5th and 6th Round of the Philippine National Touring Car Championship as they put a stop to Jody Costeng's winning streak in the Autoplus Flying Civic. Struggling into a race weekend with laptop problems, team Autoplus failed to map the ECU of ace driver Jody Coseteng, Nilo Pazcoguin and Dominique Bon. "Our laptop crashed, we had to wait for a replacement before we could map the ECU settings for the cars. Unfortunately, the data we needed was in the laptop that crashed," related Francisco Blanco, chief engineer of Autoplus.
Team Tom's drivers Jojo Silverio and Vincent Floriendo enjoyed a 1-2 start at the grid, Enzo Pastor of Team TEC started in 3rd slot. The Caltex Havoline/Red Horse Beer/Autoplus sponsored Coseteng had to start in 4th position on the grid after a disappointing qualifying round. Behind in 5th slot was Caltex Havoline/Autoplus Nilo Pazcoguin debuting his new Honda Civic hatchback. Dominique Bon started in 6th, Ferdie Ong in 7th and Tom Pastor in 8th.
Jojo Silverio pulled ahead of the grid as the green light went on. Jody Coseteng made one his daring starts and made a good entry into turn one to get into 2nd position. Coseteng made another daring maneuver on turn 6 where he tried to dive into the inside lane to overtake Silverio, but to no avail as Silverio closed the door on him.
After 3 laps, Enzo Pastor retired with a broken left axle. Going into lap 5, Silverio ran into problems which prompted Coseteng to take the lead away from him. Driving consistently at a blazing speed was Vincent Floriendo who had a brief duel with Coseteng and eventually taking the lead and the checkered flag away from Coseteng. In far third was Dominique Bon followed by Nilo Pazcoguin in fourth.
In Round 6 Coseteng was able to take pole position with Silverio coming in at second. As the lights turned green, both men nailed hard on the accelerator as they blasted off the starting line. Coming into the first corner, a right-hander, Silverio took the inside line and tried to overtake but Coseteng just shut the door on him. That first corner maneuver was the closest that Silverio could get as Coseteng just kept on getting faster and faster with each passing lap. In the end Jody took the checkered flag with Jojo over 4 seconds behind. Vincent Floriendo, also of Team Tom's, managed a third place.
From the start of Round 6, it was already apparent that Jojo Silverio of Team Tom's/Fujitsu-ten would take the win as he blazed through the start/finish line into turn way ahead of Jody Coseteng who got caught in a little 'traffic', Floriendo and Pastor followed in 2nd and 3rd position.
Coseteng, determined to challenge the race leaders eventually overtook Enzo Pastor. But the Tom's cars were too far away for him to catch.