Text: Benj Ngo / Photos: Brent Co, Benj Ngo | posted August 08, 2006 07:00
Coseteng sweeps PTCC 7th and 8th rounds
The 4th leg of the Philippine Touring Car Championship was held last October 6-8 at the Subic International Raceway. The Sunday had an assortment of different races scheduled including the PTCC Group 1 series, the PTCC Group 3 series, as well as the Miata Cup races.
Saturday Qualifying saw Jody Coseteng of San Mig Coffee Racing Team edging out all his rivals to claim pole position in Group 1 with a 1'17"57 lap time. Siblings Kookie and Louie Ramirez of Petron SRA racing team followed closely in 2nd and 3rd respectively. This field was rounded out with Don Pastor, Dominic Bon, and Dennis Uy. Philip Alvendia had some car problems and was unable to finish his qualifying session. He had to start from the back of the grid for Sunday's race.
In Group 3, Uly Maningding grabbed pole from Nico Montinola with a 1'23"84 lap time. Montinola put on a good performance despite being in an accident earlier in the day. Colombian ace Pacho Blanco got third with Jeff Borja, Jp Carino, Lory Uy, and newcomer Angelo Tambo rounding out the field.
First race was for Sunday was the 7th round of the Group 3 championships. Group 3 cars are slightly less advanced but still very quick cars. This race was all Uly Maningding and Pacho Blanco as they were literally bumper to bumper in most sections. The duel seemed to give fuel to the fire as both drivers set blazingly fast laptimes with Pacho Blanco setting a new course record for Production racecars with a 1:22.6"63 laptime. Maningding however had the last laugh as he grabbed checkered flag while managing to get a best lap of 1'22"67 seconds, only .04 seconds behind Blanco! Pacho Blanco settled at a close 2nd and Nico Montinola got 3rd. Jeff Borja grabbed 4th with Lory Uy 5th and Angelo Tambo 6th. JP Carino had overheating problems and finished at the tail end of the field.
The next race scheduled was round 7 of PTCC Group 1. This race consisted of extremely fast, modified machines, and the best saloon car drivers this country has to offer. This particular race saw a lot of action with the three top drivers, Jody Coseteng, Kookie Ramirez, and Don Pastor swapping leads several times throughout the race. In the end though, perennial points leader Jody Coseteng pulled away with a close win over his rivals. Kookie Ramirez came in a close 2nd with Don Pastor 3rd, Denis Uy 4th, privateer Dominic Bon 5th, Philip Alvendia 6th, and Louie Ramirez 7th.
The 8 th round of the PTCC Group 1 saw Jody Coseteng of San Mig Coffee immediately pull away from the others. Despite a closely bunched group coming together at the first corner of the first lap, Coseteng was able to dodge any incident to coast to victory. Kookie Ramirez of Petron SRA tried desperately to catch up, even managing a best lap exactly similar to Coseteng, however there was just not enough time and he had to settle for 2nd. Don Pastor of Team TEC Bioactiv got third with Louie Ramirez getting 4 th and Philip Alvendia got 5th. A mid race incident between Dennis Uy and Dominic Bon relegated themselves to the 6th and 7th position respectively.
The 8th round of PTCC Group 3 got underway with Uly Maningding still taking the lead. Pacho Blanco got a good start but oversteered a bit in the first corner, hitting Nico Montinola and Jeff Borja. Luckily for them they were not yet traveling that fast when the accident occurred. Blanco quickly got to his feet but was already 3 rd behind Uly Maningding and JP Carino.
Nico Montinola was the last to leave the accident but by the end of the race he was already up to 4th by passing Lory Uy and Jeff Borja. Carino and Blanco had a terrific race with the Colombian almost taking the win during the last corner. Only fractions of a second separated the two as they crossed the finish line. It was certainly redemption for JP Carino after suffering from engine overheating the first race, and being down with a fever the entire weekend.