RACE REPORTS

2002 SVI Grand Prix 1st Leg

2002 SVI Grand Prix 1st Leg image

Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co, Benj Ngo | posted May 30, 2002 00:00

Coseteng sweeps series opener

Super Saloon

Jody Coseteng of Team Globe-Autoplus-Havoline-Red Horse despite having starting from the back of the field swept the whole grid and took the checkered flag. Coseteng was disqualified in the qualifying session for not passing the scrutineering check. It was later found out that the throttle body gasket was damaged.

"Its good that the problem was found out, the mechanics were having problems the whole weekend because the fuel map was very erratic. I hope to run faster today and hope to win the race," Coseteng said before the race.

Coseteng surprised his rivals in Round 1 with a spectacular start climbing up immediately into 7th position going into Turn 1, as he approached Turn 2, he again climbed a position up. By Turn 3, the 'bus stop' chicane he was already running fifth. By Lap 6, Coseteng was already race leader with top qualifiers Carlos Anton Gulf Oil/Zed/MP Turbo and Miguel Ramirez behind him.

Midway through the race polesitter Miguel Ramirez of Globe/Petron comes into contact with Nilo Pazcoguin of Caltex Havoline/Beefeater and both of them spin out. It left the door wide open for Mike Aguilar of Velocity Motors to take 3rd position. Pazcoguin the quicker one to recover took 4th position. Defending champion Ferdie Ong of Rota-Speedwelle settled for 6th position. Mike Anton of QC Autosport after being absent in motorsports for more than 2 years makes a comeback and takes Class B honors followed by expat Riccardo Loi of GNC/L'Opera/Agip/Madison/A Tavola.

In Round 2, it would again be Jody Coseteng who would take the checkered flag. He would again climb up the grid at the start of the race. Despite driving a 70-kilo overweight racecar, Coseteng manages to drive it with finesse overtaking the rest of the field.

Carlos Anton unable to catch Coseteng settled for 2nd place. "Jody's car performed so well I just couldn't manage to catch him at any point in the race," said Anton. Polesitter Miguel Ramirez rounded up the top three.

Mike Aguilar finished 4th, Ferdie Ong in fifth, and Nilo Pazcoguin in sixth. "I'm the only one running a Toyota in the front field, and I'm really having a hard time catching up to their Hondas. I think I need to change to a Honda," commented Pazcoguin.

Tom Pastor of Team TEC, after having an unfortunate loose tire accident in the first round came back second round taking B Division honors. Mike Anton settled for 2nd while Ricardo Loi completed the top three. Mon Lindo despite having a good performance in the C Division ran into engine problems towards the last part of the race. It would again be a repeat top-three finish for the C Division with Francis Godinez taking 1st, followed by Dominic Tan and Ben Chan.

SVI Challenge Cup

Sixteen year-old Don Pastor, youngest son of veteran race driver Tom Pastor shined in the opening rounds of the SVI Challenge Cup as he dominated both races. Being a novice, it was a great feat to finish overall since he went against seasoned drivers George Apacible, and Oscar Aguilar.

"I'm really nervous on the wheel, because this is my first time to race in touring cars. I used to kart before it is a different feeling altogether today," said the young Pastor. "I'm glad to have qualified in pole position and I just hope to win my class today," he added. Pastor runs his maiden race along with fellow Novice drivers Sonny Oliveros of AMA Auto Technic, Gaby Dela Merced, Patrick Mendiola, John Sambo and Arthur Feliciano.

The young Pastor drove fearlessly like a master of the track against his rivals as he finished ahead of the pack in Round 1 of the SVI Challenge Cup. George Apacible of Dickies-MP Turbo Racing Team came in close second while Oscar Aguilar of Caltex Havoline/Beefeater came in third overall.

Rd1: Class C, Oscar Aguilar (1), Tonton Guttierez (2), Alex Padua (3); Novice, Don Pastor (1), Menchie Francisco (2), Sonny Oliveros (3).

In Round 2, It was again Don Pastor of Team TEC who took the checkered flag, this time it was Oscar Aguilar of Catlex Havoline/Beefeater in far second running 12 seconds behind the Pastor who literally scorched the Subic track. Tonton Guttierez rounded up the top three.

Rd1: Class C, Oscar Aguilar (1), Tonton Guttierez (2), Alex Padua (3); Novice, Don Pastor (1), Patrick Mendiola (2), Sonny Oliveros (3).