Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co | posted July 28, 2005 10:00
Coseteng makes clean sweep to extend championship lead
The Philippine Touring Car Championship series returned to the Batangas Racing Circuit for its seventh and eighth rounds for more exciting racing action as series leader Jody Coseteng tries to further extend his lead to capture the coveted touring car crown. Not wanting to be outdone was Kookie Ramirez who's also in the three-way title chase with Enzo Pastor who unfortunately missed the leg and has more catching up to do.
In qualifying, San Miguel Corporation's Jody Coseteng took pole with a 1m52.48s laptime, just one tenth of a second quicker than Petron-SRA's Kookie Ramirez. MP Turbo's Mike Potenciano took over driving duties for the leg from Carlos Anton steering himself to third on the grid while Louis Ramirez of Petron-SRA lined up beside him in fourth.
In Group 3, Shift Racing's Renan Morales led the pack with a 2m01.206s time ahead of Miguel Lazaro of the Velocity/H&R/Race Fans Team who was less than two-hundredths of a second behind. Unfortunately, Lazaro was relegated to last on the grid when his car was found to be underweight in the post-session scrutinizing. This moved Uly Maningding beside Morales, while Velocity/H&R/Conoco's Tok Corpuz and Big Chill Racing's Peewee Mendiola shared the next row.
In Round 7, it was Jody Coseteng who took the checkered flag despite a hard charging Kookie Ramirez for most of the race, with Ramirez even taking the lead for a brief moment. But Coseteng fought back relentlessly and never looked back when he took the lead. It was Mike Potenciano and Carlos Anton dueling all the way for third place as Philip Alvendia left the scene early due to a blown engine on the seventh lap. It was Dominic Bon all the way in Class B for the Group 1 over Velocity/H&R/Conoco's Dennis Uy, but Bon's four missed rounds have unfortunately cost him a lot already in the championship race. In Class C, it was Ral Ariola over MP Turbo's Jonathan Buxton.
For Group 3, it was a Renan Morales all the way without hesitation as he dominated the whole race. It was a heated battle for second and third places as JP Carino managed to emerge from the spoils, having started from four places behind the leader. Meanwhile a hard charging Miguel Lazaro managed to steer his way to third despite having to start from the back of the grid. Behind them was a heated duel between Uly Maningding and Peewee Mendiola with several exchange of positions, but Maningding would eventually take the upper hand. Lory Uy was disqualified after ignoring the black flag when she ran with a trailing bumper after she was hit coming out of the R-bend. Jeff Borja said goodbye on the sixth lap due to car problems.
It was still Jody Coseteng for Round 8 with Kookie Ramirez still hounding him for most of the race until the very last lap when a miscalculation caused Ramirez to spin out and hand over second to Mike Potenciano and eventually over to brother Louis Ramirez as well who was right behind Potenciano. It was still Dominic Bon over Dennis Uy in Class B, while none of the Class C drivers managed to finish.
Renan Morales made a clean sweep with another win in Group 3. This time it was Peewee Mendiola taking second over Miguel Lazaro, who settled for third. Mendiola did not have an easy time with Lazaro, it was a very exciting duel between the two as they fought for second with Morales slowly inching away from them up front.
In the points standings, Jody Coseteng leads the Group 1 Overall Class Championship with 182 points with Kookie Ramirez in second with 145 points. Enzo Pastor is in far third with 107 points. In Class B, Dennis Uy leads by a wide margin with 166 points over Dominic Bon who has 97 points. In Class C, Jonathan Buxton leads with 122 points over Ral Ariola who has 75 points, while Philip Molina has 60 points in third.
Renan Morales leads the Group 3 Overall standings with 175 points. A close battle for second place is led by Miguel Lazaro with a 3 point margin at 145 points, while Peewee Mendiola stands at third with 142 points. It is still too early to tell as to who will take the crown with four legs to go in the championship series. The series moves to the Subic International Circuit on February 12 for the penultimate 9th and 10th rounds.