Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co | posted October 23, 2005 10:00
Fifty-eight competitors joined the event, mostly from Luzon due to its location
The 3rd Leg of the Caltex Delo Sports National 4x4 Extreme Series moved further north into the hills of Dariok in Santiago, Isabela which coincides with the Santiago Extreme 4x4 Club's annual Dariok Off-Road Showdown. Fifty-eight competitors joined the event, mostly from Luzon due to its location. Coming all the way from Cagayan De Oro, was Albert Monte de Ramos as the lone competitor representing Mindanao.
Absent from the third leg were Timtom Gempesaw, Robert Abas, Concon Fernando, and Butoy Gamallo, leaving Albert Monte de Ramos as the only one in the top 5 of the championship standings to gain valuable points for the Driver of the Year competition. Monte de Ramos was determined to do well and best out the other competitors to get on top of the leaderboard.
A very interesting rule was added for this competition which race officials saw as a very effective rule to enforce in future races. A new bunting rule was implemented, that if a competitor knocks down a bunting during his run, his/her crew should put the bunting back in place before he/she continues to run again. This rule prevented people from doing shortcuts from the obstacles by some creative off-roaders.
The more difficult track was determined to be Track A, which had gigantic rocks, and a very tricky climb out of the mud pit which devored most of the competitors. Only 20 of the 58 competitors managed to finish the track. Treacherous as it may seem, Albert Monte de Ramos of the CDO Off-Road Club proved that it can be done and set a shocking 3m04.27s time erasing all previous records set on the track. Jeremie Lo of the Bicol Off-Roaders set a 3m17.36s which was good enough for 2nd on the track. Rounding up the Top 3 finishers in Track A was San Jose 4Wheeler's Neil Andaya with a time of 3m41.70s.
On the watery Track B, which later became a track full of mudpits, more than half of the competitors managed to finish setting the total number of finishers at 32. Roger Peyra of the Bicol Off-Roaders showed the way and sent the spectators in awe as he finished with a 3m01.51s just a couple of seconds shy of eclipsing the 3-minute barrier. Setting the biggest splash in the water however, was John Sambo of the Manila Off-Roaders who also set an impressive time, clocking in at 3m13.55s which was the second best time for the track. Henry Dee of the Suzuki 4x4 Club set the third best time at 4m02.08s. Pol Herrera of the Del Monte 4Wheelers logged the fourth best time at 4m23.53s, while Bicol Off-Roader Jeremie Lo's 4m37.95s rounded up the Top 5 for Track B.
The worst has yet to come, at least for some competitors, the final round was a result of a creative combination of Track A and the whole of Track B. Out of the 20 brave men who challenged the track, only 11 were able to finish the long and technical track. It was dark horse John Sambo of the Manila Off-Roaders blazing through the track with a blistering pace of 4m42.18s. Also managing an impressive run to cap off his overall victory was Roger Peyra figuring in 2nd with a time of 5m05.73s. Determined to stay in the podium, Jeremie Lo also made a good run finishing with a time of 5m07.24s. Neil Andaya of the San Jose City Off-Roaders finished in 5m15.78s giving him 4th place for the track and the overall standings. Rounding up the Top 5 finishers for the finals was Albert Monte De Ramos of the CDO Off-Roaders with a time of 6m41.79s, which was good enough to earn him good points for the Driver of the Year standings.
Bicol Off-Road Club's Roger Peyra took the last hurrah whose spectacular Track B and C runs gave him a twenty-two second advantage over a hard-charging John Sambo of the Manila Off-Roaders who came in second place. Coming in third was Jeremie Lo of the Bicol Off-Roaders whose consistent efforts paid off. San Jose City 4Wheelers' Neil Andaya came in 4th overall, while Albert Monte de Ramos of the CDO Off-Roaders rounded up the Top 5 finishers.