Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co, Dean Ang | posted May 25, 2009 00:00
Return to the throne for Perez, ties championship with Choachuy
It was all clear skies and sunshine for the second round of the Lateral Drift Championship Series at the Greenhills Shopping Center Parking Bay 6 in the City of San Juan held last May 23. This meant nonstop drifting action as a total of 25 competitors arrived at the track to show off their cars and smoke out their new tires for another round of sideways and lateral drifting action.
Some of the cars however were either sidetracked or sidelined by the extreme heat. Bryan Revilla's Nissan S15 Silvia went out of commission due to engine problems, Raymond Ronquillo also suffered from mechanical gremlins on his green Nissan S14.5 Silvia, Pia Boren sidelined her car due to engine difficulty as well, Jeffrey Villanueva also sidelined his Nissan S14 Silvia, some of the top drivers including Alex Perez and Kevin "Bad News" Tayao were not spared as both of them had transmission failures which led to emergency trackside transmission repairs. Even opening round champion Jason "The Destroyer" Choachuy suffered from a minor clutch issue as well. Those who were not fortunate enough to make their cars run either went home or ended up borrowing another car.
Qualifying for the Top 16 were Kevin "Bad News" Tayao, Alex "X" Perez, Jason "The Destroyer Choachuy, Chukri "Captain Shakey's" Prieto, John Boban, Paolo Agregado, Francisco "Pacho" Blaco, Joema Montaner, RJ Obiedo, Bryan Revilla, Atoy Llave, Jeffrey Villanueva, Rhett "Toycool" del Rosario, Kar Montaner, Ryan Agoncillo, and Mike Tuason. As done in the opening round, the format for the Top16 was to be done with solo runs.
For the Top 8 tandem runs, it would be Tayao in his supercharged AE86 against Obiedo of Team Forced Speed in his Nissan S15 Silvia; Perez in the Yellow Cab Nissan S13 Silvia up against Joema Montaner; The Destroyer aboard the AutoIndustriya.com-A-toy Bodykits-Kumho Tires Nissan A31 Cefiro against Villanueva aboard the Nissan S15 Silvia of Team Forced Speed; and Prieto in his RB25DET powered Nissan A31 Cefiro against Boban in the Nissan R32 Skyline of Team Drift Tech.
Pulling an upset on top seeded Tayao was Obiedo who drove masterful drift maneuvers with his S15 advancing to the semifinals, his best finish so far. Perez dispatched Montaner easily advancing into the semifinals as well. Choachuy manages to defeat Villanueva in the last two out of three heats on his way to possibly extend his streak. Choachuy's car actually made it just in time for the run thanks to a borrowed part from Mark Rosca of Team Forced Speed. It was a good match between Prieto and Boban, but the seasoned Prieto would have more than a trick or two up his sleeve as he becomes the final piece of the semifinal puzzle.
In the semifinal round, it was Team Forced Speed's RJ Obiedo paired against Jason �The Destroyer� Choachuy of Team AutoIndustriya.com-A-toy Bodykits-Kumho Tires, and cousin duel between Alex �X� Perez of Team Yellow Cab up against Privateer Chukri Prieto.
Obiedo driving like a madman pulls another upset defeating The Destroyer in two out of three heats advancing to the final round. The cousin duel between Perez and Prieto would prove to be one of the most exciting parts of the event as both drivers tried to outdo each other. Prieto definitely made Perez go inside a needle hole as the two dueled for five heats before the judges awarded the win to the three-time champion. This meant that Obiedo would go against Perez for the finals as Choachuy and Prieto would try to outdo each other for the final podium spot.
It was the battle of the Cefiros between Choachuy and Prieto. Choachuy aboard the RB20DET powered car of Team AutoIndustriya.com-A-toy Bodykits-Kumho Tires while Prieto piloted his RB25DET powered car. The Destroyer mounted enough pressure to route the exhausted Prieto to salvage the final podium spot.
As a prelude to the final showdown, there was a special demo run by D1 Grand Prix US Competitor Cyrus Martinez driving the Megan Racing sponsored Motul-Autoplus Nissan S13 Silvia. Martinez is the only professional Filipino competitor in the US drifting series running a similar car under Megan Racing.
The highlight battle of the day was the duel between Obiedo and Perez, it was a student and master showdown as Obiedo was a student of Perez in the DMF Drift School. Obiedo drew first blood taking the first heat, building pressure on the defending champion. Perez would fight back to take the second heat. The third heat was declared a dead heat and they would go at it for one more time. In the final heat, it would have seemed that Obiedo had the advantage up until the exit of the very final turn when he spins out missing the finish line by a few inches handing the win to Perez on a silver platter.
The excitement continues at the 3rd leg of the series on June 27 as the championship points are at a deadlock between Jason Choachuy and Alex Perez for 1st, while RJ Obiedo and Bryan Revilla are locked in 3rd, with Kevin Tayao and Chukri Prieto also tied for 5th close-by. It is still anybody's championship as the drivers have upped the ante. This year is certainly the most competitive Lateral Drift season.
The 2009 Glade Sport Lateral Drift Championship is turbcharged by PLDT myDSL, and sponsored by Motul, A-toy Bodykits, DMF Drift, Aikka Paints, AutoIndustriya.com, C! Magazine, Speed TV, Turbo Time, DC Shoes and Wave 89.1.