Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co | posted July 31, 2014 16:22
Choachuy wins in the dry and wet for a sweep of races 3 and 4
Twenty drivers from dealer and customer teams, five celebrities and three media personalities took the field to battle for the top prize at the second round of the 2014 Toyota Vios Cup at the Clark International Speedway. Series leader Jason 'The Destroyer' Choachuy proved his might besting out twenty-seven other drivers at the competitive one make series.
It was a close Top 6 in qualifying, with all the drivers only within 1 second. Flashbacks Racing/Toyota Alabang's Carlos Castaneda (#69) took pole position after topping the qualifying session with a 2:25.661 laptime edging Toyota Balintawak's Jason 'The Destroyer' Choachuy (#37) by 0.127 seconds. Choachuy settled for P2 with his 2:25.788 laptime.
Toyota Alabang's Andres Calma (#97) took P3 with a 2:26.261 laptime just .029 seconds ahead of round 1 polesitter Luis Gono (#17). Toyota Alabang's Inaki Araneta (#23) set the fifth fastest lap time at 2:26.487 despite running his just repaired car which suffered serious damage after crashing in practice last month. Basti Escalante (#77) of Toyota Otis rounded up the top 6 with a 2:26.586 laptime.
Jinno Rufino set the pace for the celebrity drivers with a 2:29.929 laptime for P16, while Paulo Subido led the media division with a 2:32.811 in P25.
Race 3: Choachuy dominates field of 28
Starting in P2, Choachuy managed to get off the line with a good start beating polesitter Castaneda into the first corner as the field followed in tow. The young Gono also managed to advance to third as Araneta followed close behind.
Just behind them was a squeeze into the first corner perfectly taken advantage of by Toyota San Fernando's Pauland Dumlao (#28) followed by Toyota Batangas' Carlos Loinaz (#11), Bryan Co (#55), Escalante, TQA's Allan Uy (#26) and Dominic Ochoa (#25). Unfortunately for Calma, he fell back to 11th and had to claw his way back up the order.
Just behind them was an early contact between celebrity drivers Sam YG, Phoemela Baranda and Fabio Ide, which resulted in a broken driver's side window for Baranda and a dangling side mirror for Sam YG.
A missed shift by Choachuy after exiting the Acacia corner allowed Castaneda to close in and eventually pass on the 'Big Loop'. Choachuy quickly fought back and regained the lead on the next corner sending the crowd into a big roar. In the end, it was Choachuy with the win as Castaneda followed 1.213 seconds behind.
Not too far behind was Gono who was busy defending a charge by a relentless Inaki Araneta. The two had a series of position changes but latter was eventually able to get ahead for the final podium spot while the young Gono settled for 4th.
Race 2 winner Uy meanwhile lost the chance to get back up the order after being sent into the gravel by Escalante who was muscling back lost positions on the track. The youngster went on to challenge Ochoa and Loinaz for position and traded paint with them as well.
Early retirees from the race were Tonton Ramos of TQA who went into the pits after 4 laps due to technical problems, while Miko Halili had a close encounter with the barriers after the Acacia hairpin.
Choachuy wins the Race 3 of the 2014 Vios Cup followed by Castaneda in 2nd, and Araneta in 3rd. Sam Yg topped the celebrity division in 15th overall, while Paulo Subido topped the media division in 22nd overall.
With the win, Choachuy extends his championship lead. Championship contender Uy did not have the best of luck as he only managed to finish 12th, out of the points; allowing Gono to slide past him to second overall.
Race 4: Choachuy reigns in the rain, Ochoa fastest
A heavy downpour just before the start of the race 4 delayed the race by about 30 minutes, leaving all the cars on the grid as they waited for safer conditions as per race officials' orders. The race was eventually declared a go after the rains eased off. The grid order for race 4 followed the finishing results of race 3.
Toyota Balintawak's Choachuy (#37) blasted off from the front into the first corner followed by TQA's Dominic Ochoa (#25), who took advantage of the wet condition mayhem with a fantastic start getting ahead of 8 cars. Gono (#17) managed to move up to third.
Just behind was a daring maneuver by Castaneda (#69) trying to take Loinaz (#11) on the inside after the Acacia corner. Castaneda (#69) momentarily lost control with Uy (#26) coming all the way from 12th on the grid avoiding him, while Loinaz recovered to keep 4th.
However a spin on the main straight on the second lap by Ochoa nearly ended his race and allowed Gono, Loinaz, Uy and Castaneda to advance as Ochoa rejoined in 6th.
Uy would eventually get ahead of Gono for 2nd, while the latter settled for 3rd. Loinaz and Castaneda would come into contact going into the double apex with the former ending up in the gravel pits just beside Calma (#97) who retired on the second lap.
Officials decided to stop the race after 7 laps due to the rains which started to pour again. Ochoa set the fastest lap in the wet with 2:34.561 on the very last lap of the shortened race. Newcomer Steve Bicknell decided to skip the race due to car problems.
The shortened race ended with Choachuy in 1st, Uy 2nd and Gono 3rd. Sam Yg repeated his celebrity class win, while Subido bested his fellow scribes in the media class.
With the two wins, Choachuy racks up 40 points moving his total count to 75; a comfortable championship lead going into the final round as he only needs to score a minimum of 14 points to clinch the championship of the 2014 Toyota Vios Cup Season. Gono is in second with 49, after adding 22 points. Uy is in close third with 47 points.