Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co | posted September 10, 2002 00:00
Coseteng takes Super Saloon series victory
Jody Coseteng of Team Caltex Havoline/Red Horse/Autoplus once again dominates the 11th and 12th rounds of the 2002 Blaze Super Saloon Series at the Subic International Raceway. This time around, he took the series win away with him. With the 11th round win, Coseteng already won for himself the championship series. The 12th round win was simply a red carpet on victory lane. Coseteng also won the 2002 Philippine National Touring Car Championship Series at the Batangas Racing Circuit recently.
Starting from pole position, Coseteng immediately took the lead from turn one. Nearest rival Kookie Ramirez of Petron SRA pushed hard behind Coseteng while Mike Anton of QC Autosports/Pinoy Toppings followed closely in third. Making a good two position climb into 7th position in the second lap was Nilo Pazcoguin of Caltex Havoline Racing.
An incident filled lap 7 and 8 as Pazcoguin blew his engine in the seventh lap, while Louis Ramirez of Petron SRA dropped from 4th position to last. In the 8th lap, Kookie Ramirez driving on the limit intent on gaining points for the championship pushed a little too hard and blew his engine as well. With the exodus of Kookie Ramirez, the carpet opened for Mike Anton and Miguel Ramirez to the podium in 2nd and 3rd positions respectively.
With Ramirez out of the race, Coseteng relaxed a bit on his driving lapping 1:35+ times compared to his usual low 1:30 times. This opened the door for Mike Anton to close in on Coseteng. Anton started to close in on Coseteng on the final 3 laps of the race, but alas he was out of time as he finished a very near 0.215 seconds behind Coseteng.
The race ended with Coseteng in 1st, Anton 2nd, Miguel Ramirez 3rd. For the B Division, Anton 1st, Bon 2nd, and Loi 3rd. For the C Division PJ Religioso 1st, and Mon Lindo 2nd.
In Round 12, Coseteng blasted away from the start-finish line as the light turned green and never looked back posting 1:30+ second laptimes. The Petron SRA team quickly changed the engine of Kookie Ramirez' car after round 11 in time for the 12th round. It was almost the same order for the top three positions until lap 6 when Mike Anton dropped down the order to 7th position.
Miguel Ramirez immediately took over and hounded his brother Kookie, their other brother Louis followed close behind. While the brothers were dishing it out, Mike Anton slowly climbed back into contention for podium honors, he climbed up to 5th position in lap 10. But clearly, the sibling rivalry in the front part of the pack was simply to tight for Anton to squeeze himself into.
In lap 11, Miguel Ramirez was able to get past brother Kookie taking 2nd position as Louis followed in on lap 12 to take 3rd. Kookie Ramirez quickly gained momentum to overtake Louis in lap 13 and take 3rd position back. Anton followed in and took 4th spot from Louis Ramirez. While exciting action was going on in front, Tom Pastor Team TEC and Privateer Dominic Bon had their own share of dicing in the middle part of the grid. Dominic Bon emerged victor from the duel to take 7th overall and Division B second honors.
At the last lap, Carlos Anton of Zed/Gulf/MP Turbo made a daring overtake maneuver on Louis Ramirez to take away 4th position from Ramirez. The race ended with Jody Coseteng 14.5-seconds ahead of closest rival Miguel Ramirez, as Kookie Ramirez followed in third running 1.5-seconds behind Miguel. Mike Anton in 4th and 1st in Division B, while Carlos Anton made a last minute rush and stole 5th away from Louis Ramirez.
SVI Challenge Cup
Dominic Bon took first honors in round 11 of the SVI Challenge cup, while series leader Monching Gutierrez further extended his dominance as he took 3rd place in round 11 and 1st place in round 12 at the Subic International Raceway during the Asia Formula Festival weekend.
In the 11th round, polesitter Gaby Dela Merced of Bigshot Billiards led the way until the 2nd lap where Monching Gutierrez of Dickies/MP Turbo and Don Pastor of Team TEC took over and made a battle themselves up in front of the pack. Menchie Francisco of Petron SRA and Mikko David of Caltex Havoline Racing also found themselves up a position each in the middle of the pack as they each overtook an opponent in lap 2.
A fierce battle ensued between the Gutierrez and Pastor until lap 9 where Gutierrez and Pastor would come into contact. The incident meant Pastor ending his race. The lap 9 incident caused a slight commotion among the cars as Dela Merced went behind Gutierrez. Dominic Bon quickly got past of Dela Merced in the 11th lap as they moved ahead of Gutierrez.
Oscar Aguilar of Caltex Havoline carefully defended his line for a 4th overall finish and the C division win. Notwithstanding a challenge from Peewee Mendiola in lap 11. Frenchman Dominic Bon would take the checkered flag after his late lap 9 charge. Dela Merced followed in second and also took Novice class honors followed by Gutierrez. Newcomer Dennis Uy of Unichema/LG/Velocity Motors didn't quite make a good showing in his debut race. Uy ended up in the back of the grid for the whole race.
In round 12, it would again be the same story as polesitter Gaby Dela Merced would again lose her lead early in the race. Monching Gutierrez and Don Pastor continued their rivalry as they overtook Dela Merced in the latter part of lap 1. Gutierrez would be too focused for Pastor to catch this time as he pulled away from Pastor.
In lap 2, Johnny Sambo of MP Turbo would make a quick climb up to 8th position from 11th as teammate Mon Lindo drops 2 positions down to 9th. Lap 3 caught an unsuspecting Dennis Uy as its victim as he retired due to mechanical problems. Round 11 winner Dominic Bon came into contact with the bus-stop chicane tire barriers in lap 6 and was penalized with a stop-go penalty. Bon dropped 4 positions down to 7th, he continued to drop further to 9th and was eventually disqualified from the race.
Caltex Havoline driver Mikko David overtook Johnny Sambo in lap 7 with a late charge to go up to 8th position and later advancing another position to 7th. His teammate Oscar Aguilar on the other hand took 3rd position as Bon was penalized. Peewee Mendiola, another Caltex driver managed to close the gap with Dela Merced and squeeze in a very late rush to take 4th position away from Dela Merced in lap 12. Gutierrez crossed the finish line in first place ahead of Don Pastor by more than 5 seconds. In far away third was Oscar Aguilar more than 14 seconds behind.