2002 SVI Grand Prix 5th Leg

2002 SVI Grand Prix 5th Leg image

Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co | posted July 11, 2002 00:00

Kookie Ramirez makes a clean sweep

Kookie Ramirez of Team Petron SRA took the glory in the 9th and 10th rounds of the Blaze Super Saloon Series and 7th and 8th rounds of the PNTCC mixed grid at the Subic International Raceway. Securing himself of a hope to still capture the Super Saloon crown.

Ramirez made an excellent start in round 9 despite being in a disadvantageous 2nd pole grid position. "Jojo (Silverio) had his eyes on Jody (Coseteng) and probably forgot about me, so I drove on to take the lead going to turn one," said Ramirez. Obviously driving an underpowered car compared to Silverio's Tom's Corolla and Costeng's Autoplus Civic, Ramirez raced defensively to put a foothold on his lead. "It was really hard to fend them off, I was wearing my tires out big time from the late braking and hard driving," added Ramirez.

Jody Coseteng of Team Havoline/Red Horse/Autoplus was able to take second, when he had a collision with Jojo Silverio of Fujitsu Ten/Team Tom's/Shell early on in the second lap where he took a daredevil dive into turn 3 coming into contact with Silverio's rear left hand side causing a slight spin. On the way out of the turn hitting Silverio again on the front left tire and fender. Silverio managed to limp through the lap 2 but went into the pits to retire due to a flat tire.

Silverio's teammate Vincent Floriendo on the other hand, ran in 3rd position for the whole race after Silverio's early exodus. Meanwhile Louis Ramirez of Team Petron SRA drove relentlessly against the Anton brothers to battle for his early 4th position. Mike Anton of Pinoy Toppings/QC Autosports took 4th in lap 4, but was later overtaken by brother Carlos Anton of Team Gulf Oil/Zedl/MP Turbo who lost it again to Mike in lap 6. Carlos stumbled down to 10th nearing the end of the race as he ran into problems with an overheated driveshaft. Louis Ramirez and Mike Anton continued to get in on with Ramirez finishing ahead of Anton at the checkered.

Dominique Bon finished ahead of Francis Godinez of Add Research Paints in 6th position but was later disqualified when his restrictor was damaged in post race scrutineering. Godinez was promoted to 6th and took the C division win. It was Godinez' best finish of the season so far. Philip Alvendia of A3 Motorsports also made his best finish of the season as he finished 8th overall and was upgraded to 7th due to the order change.

Miguel Ramirez finished in 9th overall due to an early race spinout when his car and Carlos Anton's car came into contact. "It's a good thing no one hit my car, or else it could've been worse," said Ramirez after the race. Ricardo Loi of GNC/L'Opera/Agip/Madison/A'Tavola rounded up the B division as he and Mon Lindo of Gulf/Zed/MP Turbo finished in the back positions of the race. The round claimed three retirees, Nilo Pazcoguin being the first to retire in lap 2 with a blown engine approaching turn 15, Silverio in lap 3 after his collision with Coseteng and Mike Aguilar of Team Castrol/Velocity/YMCA also retired after having an acquaintance with Bon's rear end in lap 6.

Jojo Silverio of Fujitsu Ten Team Tom's Shell took round 10 by storm as he led from start to finish leading 3.577 seconds over Kookie Ramirez of Petron SRA. Silverio's teammate Vincent Floriendo also made a daring run finishing 3rd overall getting past Carlos Anton of Gulf/Zed/MP Turbo in lap 9. "He tried to pass me, I just let him because he was doing it while the yellow flags were being waved by the marshals," said Anton. Jody Coseteng who was running second until lap 3 came into contact with the bus stop tires and was penalized with a stop-go penalty dropping him down to 7th in lap 4. Coseteng worked his way up midway through the race to make a 4th place finish.

Miguel Ramirez of Petron SRA went on in full fury as he tries to make a comeback from a dismal round 9 performance. Ramirez dueled with Mike Anton in the latter part of the race making a daring dive in turn 15 to take 5th overall going into the checkered. He was later upgraded to 3rd with the dropping of Silverio and Floriendo from the order.

Louis Ramirez of Petron SRA was literally nailed down to 8th position for the whole race and later advanced to 7th as Carlos Anton developed problems in his car, later ending up in 5th with the order change. Francis Godinez ran his best weekend for the season as he finished 8th and was upgraded to 6th to make a double 6th place overall finish and taking the win as he ran solo in the C division.

Dominque Bon and Ricardo Loi rounded up the B Division finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively as they ran over a minute behind the race leader. Philip Alvendia drove a disappointing race as he ran tail ender in the race later advancing a position when Carlos Anton had a heartbreaking driveshaft failure once again. "My mechanics didn't check the right hand side driveshaft when they replaced the left, it suffered the same fate as the left hand side driveshaft similiar to round 9," said Anton after the race.

To the surprise of Team Tom's, a protest was made by Team Autoplus against their 7-inch wide wheels which were not allowed under the rules to the stewards. "The maximum width for wheels were only 6.5-inches. Having 7-inch wheels were an unfair advantage against all the cars," said Raul Ylanan, Team Autoplus Spokesman. The scrutinizers inspected the wheels and found the complaint to be accurate and disqualified both Jojo Silverio and Vincent Floriendo. A crucial change of order was made and the win handed over to Kookie Ramirez.

A big mishap ensued in lap 2 when Nilo Pazcoguin of Caltex Havoline/Autoplus lost his brakes due to a brake hose failure ran into Team Castrol/Velocity/YMCA Mike Aguilar's car while trying to dive into the chicane in turn 13 and 14. The incident sent Aguilar's car to the entry of the chicane, while Pazcoguin's ended up on the exit of the chicane. "Mike (Aguilar) suddenly closed the door thinking I was going to brake, when I stepped on the brake pedal, it went all the way down my rear brakes locked and ran my car into his," said Pazcoguin after the race.

SVI Challenge Cup

Ramon Gutierrez of Dickies/MP Turbo Racing further extended his dominance in the SVI Challenge Cup as he took Rounds 9 & 10 at the Subic International Raceway. Gutierrez further extended his overall points lead in the series making him the eventual winner if he continues his streak.

Starting from pole position, Gutierrez blazed through the start until the checkered flag. Ending up in 2nd place was Dominique Bon and Mikko David Caltex Havoline/RI Autosport Racing ended up in 3rd after having penalized with a stop-go penalty as he hit the bus-stop tire barrier.

Division C leader Don Pastor of Team TEC continued to add up points as he took round 9 over Tonton Gutierrez of Dickies/MP Turbo. Alex Padua of ZED/Gulf Oil/MP Turbo rounded the top three for the division. Followed by Oscar Aguilar who ran in a different car complaining of problems in his newly setup Toyota Corolla.

In the novice division, Patrick Mendiola of Caltex Havoline lorded it over John Sambo of Dickies/MP Turbo and Gaby Dela Merced of Big Shot Billiards. Ramon Gutierrez continued his streak to Round 10 as he took the checkered flag. Mikko David finally redeeming himself took 2nd place, wile Ramon's brother Tonton finished in 3rd.

Don Pastor finished behind Tonton Gutierrez to earn 2nd place in the C division. Menchie Francisco of Petron SRA earned the 3rd spot in the division. Patrick Mendiola once again took the win for the Novice division while John Sambo finished second and Chok Cruz of Auto Solutions rounded up the podium. Round 9 second placer Dominique Bon had an encounter one too many with the bus stop barriers as he was send for stop-go penalty through the pitlane several times. Gaby Dela Merced failed to start in round 10 due to engine problems.