2002 SVI Grand Prix 4th Leg

2002 SVI Grand Prix 4th Leg image

Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co | posted April 21, 2002 00:00

Coseteng ends streak at 7 wins

Jody Coseteng of Team Havoline/Red Horse/Autoplus further extended his win streak in the 7th round of the Blaze Super Saloon Series at the Subic International Raceway. Coseteng led the race from the entry to the first turn to the checkered flag. His race would not go unchallenged as there was a brief duel between Coseteng and Kookie Ramirez of Petron SRA in the first three laps of the race where Ramirez was literally on the tail of Coseteng. Midway through the race, Ramirez unfortunately hit the tire barriers on his way out of the bus stop chicane, which forced him to go into the pits for a stop and go penalty.

Mike Aguilar of Team Velocity Motors/Castrol/Cebe Eyewear immediately went up to 2nd place after Ramirez' penalty with Carlos Anton on his tail. Behind Carlos was his brother Mike, who continued his lead in the B Division driving flawlessly ahead of closest competitor Frenchman privateer Dominique Bon. "I'm still having trouble of controlling the car and losing time due to my suspension, I hope to have it upgraded for the next race," said Bon. Midfield in the race order was another exciting duel between Ricardo Loi of GNC/L'Opera/Agip/Madison/A'Tavola and Louis Ramirez of Petron SRA. Excellent defensive maneuvers by Loi against Ramirez from laps 4 to 11, with centimeters separating the two. Ramirez being a more seasoned driver would eventually find an opening in lap 12 to overtake Loi whom he pressured for more than 8 laps.

A very unfortunate race though for Dominic Tan as he had several encounters with the tire barriers at the bus stop chicane. On lap 5, he clipped the tire barriers on his exit and spun car and hit the wall, he recovered to overtake George Apacible on the 8th lap, but unfortunately crashed again into the tire barriers on the entry to the chicane sending the tires all over the track. "I was having problems with my brakes, my brake rotors are damaged I always lose control when I go into the chicane," said Tan after the race.

In lap 9, Kookie Ramirez' comeback charge from an early position drop would have him overtake Carlos Anton to move up to third position. He continued his charge to challenge Mike Aguilar and take Aguilar on the 13th lap to move back up to 2nd. Defending champion Ferdie Ong of Rota Speedwelle, finished 9th overall, but was later disqualified at the post race scrutineering.

It ended with Jody Coseteng (1st), Kookie Ramirez (2nd), Mike Aguilar (3rd) overall. In B Division, Mike Anton (1st), Dominique Bon (2nd), Ricardo Loi (3rd). C Division, Dominic Tan (1st).

An upsetting result for team Autoplus in the 8th Round of the Blaze Super Saloon series as Kookie Ramirez of Team Petron/SRA broke the winning streak of Jody Coseteng. This development came after Coseteng was flagged in for a stop and go penalty for allegedly hitting the anti-cutting device in the bus stop chicane on the 12th lap while leading the race by more than 4 seconds.

"It was certainly a call of bad judgment by a marshal who was at least 20 feet away from the chicane, Jody (Coseteng) would not have gained anything even if he hit the tires because he was leading by more than 4 seconds already," said Autoplus spokesman Raul Ylanan. Especially on a driver who has been taking his time every race to go into that chicane even if the tire barriers had been flying around.

More than 15 spectators witnessed and reacted to the penalty being taken by Coseteng while he was entering the pits. "Did he hit the tires? The tires didn't even move!" exclaimed one spectator. "When he came to the pits, there were no markings whatsoever of the white paint from the tires. I really cannot understand that call," said Mr. Carlos Gono of Team Autoplus who quickly inspected their car when it entered the pits for the penalty. As a result, Coseteng fell to third place.

This round claimed the most number of casualties, as 5 drivers retired. Louis Ramirez was first after 3 laps, Dominique Bon followed a lap after, while Ferdie Ong after 5 laps with engine problems for the weekend. Dominic Tan of Team Rota/Speedwelle, obviously still having problems with his car after crash twice in the 7th round retired after 7 laps. Philip Alvendia of A3 Autosports retires after 11 laps.

Mike Anton of Pinoy Toppings repeated his Round 7 win for the B division running with the pack of the A division drivers taking 3rd overall. Riccardo Loi of Team GNC/L'Opera/Agip/Madison/A'Tavola, another B driver, finished 6th overall and 2nd place in the B division. George Apacible of Gulf/Zed/MP Turbo rounded up the B division finishers in 3rd place.

In the post race scrutineering, Carlos Anton of Gulf/Zed/MP Turbo was stripped of his 2nd place finish for failing the restrictor leak test. Jody Coseteng was upgraded to 2nd place. The final standings went as Kookie Ramirez (1st), Jody Coseteng (2nd), Mike Anton (3rd) overall. For B division, it was Mike Anton (1st), Riccardo Loi (2nd), George Apacible (3rd). In C division, Francis Godinez and Dominic Tan ended up in 1st and 2nd respectively.

After the race, Team Autoplus spokesman Raul Ylanan went to the chief steward Jun Espino to make an inquiry about the call by the marshal in the 12th lap. But sadly they were answered back "If you do not like the way we run things here, its up to you." Trying to clear things up with Espino, Ylanan asked again. This time he received another 'arrogant' reply, "What do you want us to do? Penalize everyone else and pretend we didn't see your car?"

"Motorsports has died today," said Mr. Raul Ylanan of Team Autoplus. "They didn't even bother to just investigate the call. All we wanted for them to investigate the call and that it would not be repeated on other drivers as well. We weren't there to tell them to change the result of the race," he further added.

SVI Challenge Cup

Don Pastor of Team TEC made a comeback in the 7th round of the SVI Challenge Cup after failing to follow up his wins in the first two rounds. Pastor led the race from start to finish but it wasn't without challenge from Frenchman Dominique Bon, who was running both Challenge Cup and Super Saloon. Father and son tandem Oscar Aguilar and Glenn Aguilar of Caltex Havoline Racing Team ran a team order all throughout the race with Oscar in front running in 3rd position. Bon unfortunately dropped 2 positions down on the last lap due to engine problems. Oscar and Glenn went up to 2nd and 3rd respectively. Series leader Monching Gutierrez of Dickies MP Turbo Racing Team found it impossible to get through the father and son tandem stuck to 5th place after a good start from 8th position to 5th in the second lap.

Running a not so good race though was Monching's brother Tonton who despite having a 9th to 6th position charge early in the race dropped down position by position to end up 8th place. Some others were more unfortunate, Gaby Dela Merced of Big Shot Billiards retired after 5 laps due to an overheating engine. "This was really a bad weekend for me, it seemed like my car did not want to run. Imagine having your car break down four times in one race weekend," said Dela Merced. Peewee Mediola of Caltex Havoline Racing Team likewise retired after 5 laps. Caltex Havoline/RI Autosports' Miko David retired after 8 laps. "My rev limiter too early due to electrical problems, and I was also having problems with my brakes," said David.

Final standings were, Don Pastor (1st), Oscar Aguilar (2nd), Glenn Aguilar (3rd) overall. In division C, Don Pastor (1st), Oscar Aguilar (2nd), Alex Padua (3rd). For novice, it was Glenn Aguilar (1st), Johnny Sambo (2nd), Peewee Mendiola (3rd).

Monching Gutierrez snatched a win from Pastor in Round 8 of the SVI Challenge Cup. Gutierrez made a terrific start quickly getting up to 2nd position on lap 4 after getting past Glenn and Oscar Aguilar in lap 3 and 4. Driving a very disappointing race was Mendiola, who despite starting in 4th position dropped 4 positions down to 8th in lap 2. Mendiola regained a few positions managed to climb back up to 6th position in lap 6, unfortunately losing it to Menchie Francisco of Petron SRA who overtook Mendiola in the last lap.

Bon apparently still having problems with his car after Round 7 retired after 2 laps. David still wasn't having the best luck of all was still being plagued by electrical problems and failed to finish after running 3 laps. Tonton Gutierrez likewise dropped out of the race after 5 laps due to mechanical problems.

Pastor was running in front for most of the race literally waiting for the checkered flag until lap 11, when he spun out giving a wide open door for Gutierrez to take the lead. Gutierrez never looked back to take the checkered flag. Final standings were, Monching Gutierrez (1st), Don Pastor (2nd), Oscar Aguilar (3rd) overall. In division C, Don Pastor (1st), Oscar Aguilar (2nd), Menchie Francisco (3rd). For novice, it was Johnny Sambo (1st), Peewee Mendiola (2nd).