RACE REPORTS

2002 SVI Grand Prix 2nd Leg

2002 SVI Grand Prix 2nd Leg image

Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co | posted June 30, 2002 00:00

Jody Coseteng further extends his winning streak in the 3rd and 4th rounds

Team Globe/Caltex/Red Horse/Autoplus ace driver Jody Coseteng further extends his winning streak in the 3rd and 4th rounds of the Blaze Super Saloon Series at the Subic International Raceway. Starting from pole, there was nothing to stop Coseteng from taking the checkered flag. Lap by lap, Coseteng extended his lead over his nearest rivals. Making daring moves to challenge Costeng was Mike Aguilar of Velocity Motors who started from 3rd pole. Aguilar managed to close in on Coseteng in the first few laps of the race even coming in contact with Coseteng's rear end.

Round 3 was a chaotic race as the bus stop tire barriers were all over the chicane as they were being hit by racers who take the wrong racing line or those who simply went in too fast. Yellow flags were waved to signal caution to racers that the barriers were being rearranged.

Some racers were so confused that they were overtaking other cars under yellow flag. To cause more confusion, a driver who thought he was a race official called for a red flag and the race to be stop because "It can't be like this, you should fix the barriers before the race be continued." This incident caused the marshals to get more confused. To prevent further confusion, and enforce the yellow flag, race officials sent out the pace car in lap 9. This slowed the cars down and showed them what slowing down meant. After 2 laps, when the tire barriers were set in place, the pace car went out and the racecars were back on racing speed.

Some racers were so confused that they were overtaking other cars under yellow flag. To cause more confusion, a driver who thought he was a race official called for a red flag and the race to be stop because "It can't be like this, you should fix the barriers before the race be continued." This incident caused the marshals to get more confused. To prevent further confusion, and enforce the yellow flag, race officials sent out the pace car in lap 9. This slowed the cars down and showed them what slowing down meant. After 2 laps, when the tire barriers were set in place, the pace car went out and the racecars were back on racing speed.

Aguilar in a desperate move to close in on Coseteng drove his car too hard ran into the tire barriers on Lap 13 like a bowling ball at the bus stop chicane causing the tires to fly. Apparently Aguilar's car wasn't able to turn. "There was a problem with my steering, the car was not turning," said Aguilar after race. This opened the door for Carlos Anton of Gulf Oil/Zed/MP Turbo to take second place. Kookie Ramirez of Team Globe/Petron driving a very good race, even having best laptime of 1:31.778 in the 5th quickly came into third position. But Aguilar was clearly slowing down and dropping positions in last 2 laps of the race as drivers quickly overtook him. Miguel Ramirez managed to get up to 4th position. Ferdie Ong of Rota/Speedwelle managed to get in 5th.

The oldest man on the track Tom Pastor of Team TEC who was 'all over the track' even managed to get ahead of Aguilar to take 6th overall and secured himself of the B Division win. The race did not go without casualties though, as Dominic Tan retired in lap 10 due to mechanical problems, while Mon Lindo in 7th lap also due to mechanical problems.

Race Resutls - A: (1) Jody Coseteng, (2) Carlos Anton, (3) Kookie Ramirez; B: (1) Tom Pastor, (2) Mike Anton, (3) Dominique Bon; C: (1) Francis Godinez, (2) Dominic Tan, (3) Mon Lindo.

Proving their point that they are on top, Coseteng set a new lap record for the new track with a time 1:31.518 which he made in lap 10 in the 4th round of the Super Saloon series. "I was just driving my drive out there, the engine was really running pretty well, plus there was a lot more traction this weekend compared to the first two rounds," said Coseteng.

Carlos Anton was the first casualty victim of the 4th round as he blew his transmission early during the 3rd lap. "I was getting the rhythm already, but when I shifted to fourth gear in the back straight, my transmission failed. The engine was only revving but the car was not going forward. I just had to pull to the side," said Carlos Anton.

The race ran smoothly and without frills unlike the first round. Although it still did not stop some cars to clip the tire barriers in the bus stop chicane. Louis Ramirez of Team Globe/Petron had an unfortunate encounter midway through with the bus stop as he lost control going into the chicane and spun out.

"I clearly lost it going into the chicane, my car was out of balance and I lost traction. I'm fortunate nothing really bad happened to the car and I was able to rejoin the race," said Louis.

Clearly having a hard time driving his car was Nilo Pazcoguin of Caltex Havoline/Beefeater Racing Team in his Toyota Levin. He managed to get to 4th position in 3rd lap but later dropped down to 5th. "The car was not going where it was supposed to go, especially in the last turn when I was turning the wheel the car just kept going straight. I'm having a hard time correcting it. I just hope my new car is finished for the next race," said Pazcoguin.

Running a very good race for the weekend was Kookie Ramirez who after a not so good performance in the first two rounds showed that he is still a contender in the series. Ramirez was in 2nd position all the way from start to finish for the 4th round.

Mike Aguilar would hang on to his 3rd position without frills after Carlos Anton dropped out of the race due to his transmission problems. Securing himself of a Division B win was Mike Anton of QC Autosport/Pinoy Toppings who finished among the Division A drivers in 7th overall almost 8 seconds ahead of Frenchman Privateer Dominique Bon. Ricardo Loi of GNC/L'Opera/Agip/Madison/A Tavola rounded up the top three for Division B.

Meanwhile in Division C, Privateer Francis Godinez led his division with his nearest competition Dominic Tan of Rota/Speedwelle more than 30 seconds behind him. "It wasn't a good weekend for us in Super Saloon, but I'm very happy with the results in the SVI Challenge Cup as Monching swept both rounds," said Mike Potenciano of MP Turbo.

Dickies MP-Turbo Racing's dynamic duo led by defending champion Monching and his brother Tonton Gutierrez made a 1-2 finish respectively for Round 3 of the SVI Challenge Cup at the Subic International Raceway on April 28. Monching's win did not come easy as he faced a lot of pressure from Don Pastor of Team TEC. Pastor unfortunately blew his engine after relentlessly trying regain first position from Monching on the ninth laps of the race thereby ending his weekend. Pastor also had the fastest laptime of the race which was 1:41.906.

With Pastor out of Monching's sleeve, victory was imminent. His brother Tonton meanwhile fought it out for 2nd place with Oscar Aguilar of Havoline-Beefeater Racing Team. Tonton managed to overtake Aguilar in the last few laps and never looked back. In far fourth was Menchie Francisco of Team Globe-Petron.

Thirty-six seconds behind the race leader and three seconds ahead of his rival was Patrick Mendiola of Havoline-Beefeater Racing Team who went on to take Novice Class honors from Pampanga's John Sambo of ZED MP Turbo. Gaby Dela Merced of Big Shot Billiards finished off the top-three for the Novice division ahead of Arthur Feliciano of Velocity Motors who clearly hasn't had the best of luck in the series so far.

In Round 4, wisome lady driver Gaby Dela Merced of Big Shot Billiards gave polesitter Monching Gutierrez an unexpected surprise when she sprung to first position going into turn one. Gutierrez being a more experienced driver, overtook Dela Merced after a few turns. Gutierrez never looked back after taking the lead. With a trailing sideskirt he drove confidently to complete his sweep. Menchie Francisco of Team Globe Petron driving a very consistent race also managed to overtake Dela Merced taking 2nd overall.

Dela Merced good start built up a very good lead which would give her the advantage in the last 4 laps as the effects of the grueling heat allowing Tonton to close into her. Dela Merced managed to hold on to her lead making a photo finish win of just .32-seconds ahead of Tonton. John Sambo took second place in the Novice division edging out Patrick Mendiola who settled for third.