2011 Lateral Drift Pro-Am Championship Round 2

2011 Lateral Drift Pro-Am Championship Round 2 image

Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co | posted April 30, 2011 10:35

Controversy Surrounds Action-Packed Second Round

Part of the 2011 season's new format included Clark weekend events having two events. Round 2 was to be run on a more technical track nicknamed the "Tank Slapper", which required competitors to hit more clipping points bringing competition closer.

The early morning runs were not incident free as Chris Cabanero was an early casualty as his shared Nissan Silvia S14 with Boodie Dabasol broke the lug nuts of one of its wheels nearly sending the wheel off the track. Their crew was able to fix the car in time for qualifying. Atoy Llave had an unfortunate incident with the wall during qualifying causing major damage to the Rockstar Cefiro's suspension. His crew led by Richard Gopez of Tomato Garage scrambled to replace the part but only to make the car run.

Qualifying on the top spot was Jason "The Destroyer" Choachuy of the Kumho Tires-AutoIndustriya.com-Ultra Racing with renewed vigor as his 400-horsepower RB25DET powered Nissan A31 Cefiro finally arrived late afternoon the previous day. Rounding up the top-6 qualifiers were Gio Rodriguez of A-toy Customs-Glade-Falken, Alex Perez of Yellow Cab, Audel Sison of Team Autocraft, RJ Obiedo of Team Fixstop and Joma Montaner.


With all of the 21 competitors managing to qualify, the tandem battles started with the Top 32 ladder as many of the top qualifiers found themselves making bye-runs, while some battled it out to decide the Top 16 pairings.

Ryan Agoncillo had a relatively easy time getting past Kar Montaner to advance to the Top-16. As if the falling wheel wasn't bad enough, Chris Cabanero got into a major disagreement with the wall in his Top-32 tandem run against Ralph Tan, sending his car up in the air causing major suspension damage ending his day. Ric Wee of Kumho Tires-AutoIndustriya.com-Ultra Racing was able to defeat Paolo Agregado after a "One More Time". Jayson Lao advanced over Rey Panaligan when Panaligan spun out to hand over the easy win.


Facing off in the Top-16 tandems were Jason Choachuy versus Team Yellow Cab's Ryan Agoncillo, with Choachuy taking the easy win. Despite driving a slightly disfigured car Francisco Blanco managed to outdrive Norman Agojo to advance. Kevin Tayao had a free pass to advance to the Top-8 this time as Dabasol's shared car with Cabanero crashed in the Top-32. Team Fixstop's Jeffrey Villanueva drove consistently against Joma Montaner who was still struggling with his newly setup Nissan RB20DET powered Toyota Celica. Raymond Ronquillo of R33 took an easy win as RJ Obiedo overshot and went into the grass on both runs. Autocraft's Audel Sison easily defeated neophyte runner Ralph Tan. Alex Perez was in for a surprise when he underestimated Ric Wee who pulled away fast during their second run making it a near decision by the judges; Perez would take the hair-raising win to advance to the Top-8. Gio Rodriguez struggled in the damaged Rockstar Cefiro against Jayson Lao, Rodriguez eventually succumbed to a spinout with his car going all over the place.


For the Top-8 it was Choachuy against Blanco in a hard fought battle, which would be decided when Blanco would break another driveshaft ending his weekend, opening the door for Choachuy to enter the Top 4. Still fighting back after a disappointing round 1 performance, Tayao drove consistently to defeat Villanueva. As if it were a rematch of their round 1 battle, Ronquillo was paired against Sison and the bout ended with Sison taking a controversial win to advance to the Top 4. Four-time champion Perez played his cards right this time taking an easy victory over Lao.

Top-4: Choachuy verus Tayao

Kumho Tires-AutoIndustriya.com-Ultra Racing's Jason Choachuy managed a clean getaway for the first run taking an early advantage. Pressure built-up on Yellow Cab's Kevin Tayao in the second run as he cracked just before the final corner and spun out. However, Choachuy managed a quick maneuver driving his car over the berm to avoid a near crash and finished off sideways as the car landed which sent the crowd to their feet. Choachuy would advance to the final.

Top-4: Perez versus Sison

It was a tightly contested battle between Alex Perez and Audel Sison to decide who would advance to the finals. Sison was fighting hard with only five out of six cylinders working in his 1JZ-GTE engine; as he tried to muster up against the onslaught by Perez who was making up for dismal round 1 performance. The judges would award the Sison the win to advance to the finals with much debate from the camp of Perez.

Battle for Third: Perez versus Tayao

It was a battle between teammates for Yellow Cab drivers Alex Perez and Kevin Tayao. But in competition, it's anybody's battle. A more determined Perez would take the advantage and secure the final podium spot as Tayao settled for 4th place.

Championship battle: Choachuy versus Sison

The final duel was to be decided between Choachuy and Sison, as they fought long and hard to get this far. After two close runs between the two drivers, judges called for a "One More Time". Choachuy's camp quickly ran into the officials to make an appeal as Sison made allegedly made serious errors in his run. As if the weather was not hot enough at the Clark International Speedway, inconsistent calls, heated discussions and accusations filled the air in the second round leading to controversial decisions and results. Unable to make a decision, the Race Director called for the postponement of the awarding ceremony with the result to be decided three days after.

It was declared on a controversial 5-minute count-out decision three days after the race of Choachuy, thus the declaring Sison the winner.