RACE REPORTS

2003 Caltex Delo 4x4 Extreme Series 2nd Leg

2003 Caltex Delo 4x4 Extreme Series 2nd Leg image

Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co | posted August 24, 2003 14:24

A total of 53 participants representing 16 different clubs from across the country

The 2nd leg of the 2003 Caltex Delo 4x4 Extreme Series headed to the Eagles Racetrack in Ma-a, Davao City, for the Kadayawan Off-Road Challenge from August 22-24. A total of 53 participants representing 16 different clubs from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao with mostly coming from neighboring cities in Mindanao.

Clubs present at the event were: Luzon - Team DELO, Manila Off-Roaders, Inc., Santiago City 4x4 Extreme Club, Suzuki Club of the Phils., and Angeles City 4Wheelers; Visayas - Cebu Off-road Club, and Bacolod Off-Roaders; Mindanao - 4Wheelers Dadiangas, 4Wheelers Davao, 4x4 Davao, Bansalan 4Wheelers, Bukidnon Off-Road Club, CDO Off-Road Club, Gensan 4x4 Fun Club, Mt. Apo Off-Road Club (MAO-RA), and host club Eagle Off-Roaders Davao.

A treacherous track composed of mud pits, deep v-canals, log crossing, sharp gigantic rocks, a drop dead and various obstacles. With each of the 53 competitors given 15-minutes to finish both tracks to qualify for the final stage which combined both tracks. Several competitors managed to finish in both tracks making the elimination round tough, but still, some unlucky ones managed to finish only one and some were utterly defeated by the course and failing to finish both. Only the top 15 participants were drafted from the elimination round to run on an easy Track C, due to time constraints. A treacherous and technical track as it may seem, finishers of both tracks totalled to 16 competitors with Brian Diaz of the Manila Off-Roaders Inc., just one place shy of getting into the finals.

The bravest competitor in the to finish Track B was hometown hero Timtom Gempesaw of 4Wheelers Davao, who managed to finish the track in 14th place with only one wheel turning after breaking three axles while negotiating the tough track. Excellent teamwork from his co-driver and winchman and good driving was indeed a key to his finish.

Larry Mendiola of the Angeles City 4Wheelers carried the flag for Luzon garnering 12th overall as top Luzon finisher for the race with Santiago City 4x4 Extreme's Joel Miranda behind him in 13th. Team Delo's Noel Bartolome unfortunately failed to finish both tracks unable to make his 2nd run comeback in the opening leg.

The youngest competitor in the race was 10-year old Ralph Alberto of Team Shell-Suzuki Club managing to finish in Track A besting the efforts of even some of the most experienced drivers. The young Alberto was guided by his father Ka Larry Alberto who finished among the top 5 in the same track.

Perhaps the most applauded among all the competitors was 66-year old Johnny Ferrazzini of 4Wheelers Davao, who showed that age doesn't matter in off-roading. Besting even Leg 1 champion Albert Monte de Ramos of the CDO Off-Roaders. His driving through the tracks was a perfect example of calculated driving. "You need not gun it on tracks like these, you'll just destroy your vehicle. I see these crazy guys doing it all day on the track thinking they'll finish faster,' said Ferrazzini. The crowd literally came alive as Ferrazzini crossed the finish line aboard his Land Cruiser.

As the saying goes, save the best for last. The best indeed was Totin Macmang of the Team Tide/Bilstein/CDO Off-Road Club as he literally conquered both tracks with a time of 2:07.82 for Track A and 4:05.15 for Track B, running his total time to 6:12.98. Second overall runner, Michael Cerin of 4Wheelers Davao was only able to muster a total time of 8:02.50, more than a minute behind Macmang.

Macmang's spectacular performance also landed him in the top spot of the National Off-Roader of the Year chase, leading the championship with 51 points. Finishing with the best time in Track C was Bobit Española of the Gensan 4x4 Fun Club. A special Sportsmanship Award was given to Bobby Orbista of the Bacolod Off-Roaders.

The top ten finishers were led by Totin Macmang- Team Tide/Bilstein/CDO Off-Road Club (1st); Michael Cerin - 4Wheelers Davao (2nd); Richard Emano - CDO Off-Road Club (3rd); Robert Abas - CDO Off-Road Club (4th); Timtom Gempesaw - 4Wheelers Davao (5th); Bobit Española - Gensan 4x4 Fun Club (6th); Johnny Ferrazzini - 4Wheelers Davao (7th); Albert Monte De Ramos - CDO Off-Road Club (8th); Don-Don Ramos- Bukidnon Off-Road Club (9th); Cesar "Jodax" Daquil - Gensan 4Wheelers (10th). The finishers received an assortment of prizes with the champion going home with a new Multi-cab, other prizes include a Kymco scooter, car batteries, Caltex DELO Gold, to a set of wheels and Goodyear tires.

The event was supported by Caltex DELO, Goodyear Tires, Silverwind, Concept One, Sun Cellular, Furukawa Battery and many other sponsors.