Text: Benj Ngo / Photos: Brent Co | posted May 15, 2002 00:00
After three rounds of action, the points are as close as ever
The fourth leg of the Shell Super Karting Series was held last May 11 and 12 at the Carmona Circuit in Cavite. After three rounds of action, the points are as close as ever in all of the different classes. This particular race marks the last race in Carmona for two months since the June and July rounds will be held in the Batangas Racing Circuit. What was unusual for this weekend was the relatively low turnout in some of the classes. The FSL light and heavy classes had a total of only 17 competitors as opposed to the usual 24 or 25. But this didn't deter the karters from giving the crowd a very entertaining race.
In the KT light class, Jan Jan Gonzales continued to extend his points lead as he took the checkered flag by completing the 20 laps in 21:52.863. Indy Villalon, second placer in points had a slight case of bad luck. Although he did set the fastest lap of 47.999, his exhaust pipe came loose and he was forced to take a pit stop to remedy the problem.
Coming out, he found himself a couple of laps down and desperately fighting to regain position. Unfortunately, the marshals blue-flagged him several times because he kept on dicing with the frontrunners even though he was a few laps behind. Things didn't go so well with Tuason Racing Project either as Mike Casimiro had to pit due to a loose chain oil shield. But TRP's PJ Religioso managed to get 4th place. Edgeport's Pia Boren mustered up a pretty impressive 8th place despite being under the weather during the whole weekend. Tim Gosnel took 2nd while Kendrick Sy of Demvels Racing Team settled for third place.
In the KT Heavy category, points leader Michael Yap of TRP had a disappointing heat as he spun out, had engine trouble, and was unable to get the kart going again. Jerome Montemayor, second in points, wasn't able to attend the event because of out of town work commitments. In the end, newcomer Jonathan Buxton bagged the trophy for first. Ricardo Loi, the Italian circuit racer, is definitely showing a lot of improvement as he was second in the third round and was also second in this round. Dennis Almuete, one lap down from the frontrunners, took third.
The man to watch in the Formula 125 division was most definitely JP Tuason. After being absent from karting for a few years, it seems that Tuason has once again decided to go back to the sport that has brought him much heralded success. In the first two heats of the weekend, Tuason blasted his way through the field to the delight of the crowd. Although he wasn't able to place first in any of the previous heats, his excellent performance made him a force to be reckoned with. In the final heat, things were going so well for him until his engine's chain went loose and forced him to retire. Lee Bumgarner of M&M kart racing walked away with the checkered flag and his first victory for the season. JP Carino placed second while Justin Neri took third. Noticeably absent from the top 3 was Philip Alvendia who, although setting the fastest lap of 44.854, couldn't keep up to pace with the frontrunners.
The ICA division also saw very exciting action. Ryan Francisco was leading almost the entire race with Arvin Drueco of Edgesport trailing close behind. In the final lap, at the Heavenly hairpin (second to the last corner), Drueco attempted a very daring overtaking maneuver. As the two headed out to the final straight, Drueco had the advantage and took first with Francisco trailing a mere 0.325 seconds behind. Young sensation Dado Pena was able to keep Batsy Agabao at bay and took third place. Agabao was 0.039 seconds behind at fourth. Jeremy Marquez was able to manage only a 7th place due to extremely worn out tires. Superboy Tyson Sy had problems with his kart and was forced to retire early on in the race.
In the Formula A race, Allan Uy of MOFO Racing moved his season standings up a bit after setting the fastest lap of 43.4380 and taking the checkered flag. Current points leader Pepon Marave settled for second while Jinky Cabalinan took third. Mario Cunan of Demvels Racing Team had engine problems on the first lap and had to cut short his race. Manuel Sy made a mistake and damaged his side pod, forcing him out of contention. TRP's Mike Tuason was having a great race until he had engine problems. He had to make on-track repairs, but the hassle to make fixes would prove to be futile as the engine just refused to restart.
In the FSL junior category, the impressive lady karter Michele Bumgarner of M&M Kart Racing showed her prowess one again as she took the checkered flag, setting the fastest lap of 47.585 (even quicker than the fastest lap of the KT light class). The Cebu based Mateo Guidicelli of Futura Racing was'nt far behind in second place. But the real battle in this class was between Mica Anton of Edgesport and Ken Monzones of Tuason Racing Project. The two exchanged places throughout most of the race. But on the last lap, Mica Anton took advantage and was able to secure the lead, finishing in third. Ken, just .092 seconds behind, had to settle for fourth.
In the Cadet 85 division, Mateo Guidicelli of Cebu took first with Marty Aguilar and Mark Bumgarner getting second and third respectively. The Cadet 60 category saw Robert Buxton dominate the field to the take checkered flag, with Brandon Angel taking second followed by Carvin Marwood in third.
In the team race, Allan Uy lead his team, Mofo Racing, to a clear victory with the Tuason Racing Project team coming in at a close second. The Intelco team lead by JP Carino mustered up a third.
The post race awarding ceremonies once again saw the antics of Manuel Sy as he doused everyone he could with buckets of water. Round 5 of the Shell Super Karting Series is scheduled on June 22 and 23 at the Batangas Racing Circuit.