Text: Andre Arellano / Photos: Brent Co | posted June 08, 2001 07:01
Plenty of action of action at the start of the Round 5 of the SVI Challenge Cup as the cars rushed towards the first turn, Manuel Llige (ZED/Gulf Oil) had made an excellent start and slipped by Menchie Francisco (SRA) at turn one. This got him alongside Michelle Pritchard (Kel Seats) and ahead into the long straight. At the hairpin Tom Pastor (Team TEC) was in the lead with Monching right behind him. Contact between Michelle Pritchard and Manuel Llige would send him spinning and drop down the order. Jonmark Ong (AMA) would also be able to slip by Menchie Francisco in the scramble for position.. So as the car came around for the first lap it was Tom Pastor in the lead with Monching Guitierrez, Michelle Pritchard, Jonmark Ong, Menchie Francisco, Oscar Aguilar with Llige bringing up the rear after that spin.
With the cars so strung out it became a matter of seeing who would make a mistake first. Lap after lap the car would come around, some times would gain but could not find a way past. At the front Tom Pastor had developed a small gap from Guitierrez but behind them the novices were running close together. Pritchard, Ong and Francisco were running close but unable to make a pass. Llige had caught Aguilar (Caltex Havoline) and was able to get ahead on lap 8 with only four to go. Aguilar then had to stop due to a dangling exhaust pipe. That is how it ended with Tom Pastor (Team TEC) taking the win ahead of Monching Guitierrez (ZED Gulf Oil), third was the lady driver Michelle Pritchard (Kel Seats). Pritchard was also the fastest Novice with Jonmark Ong (AMA) in second and Menchie Francisco (SRA) in third.
It was Guitierrez taking the lead and pulling away at the start of Round 6. It was a clean first lap except for Pritchard overshooting the hairpin and dropping herself down the order. Llige and Aguilar had made good starts to slip into third and fourth respectively. So as the cars came round that first lap the order was Guitierrez, Pastor, Llige, Aguilar, Francisco, Ong and Pritchard follow Monching Guitierrez. At the front Monching Guitierrez was starting to pull away from Pastor. It was Jonmark Ong (AMA) on the move as he past Francisco on lap 2 then two laps later he would take the Novice lead from Aguilar.
With 7 laps down and 5 to go Pastor would drop out with mechanical problems. At the front Guitierrez had a safe lead from teammate Llige. Third was Ong who was also leading the Novice class. Behind him was a tight train of cars as the trio of Aguilar, Francisco and Pritchard would run almost noise to tail. The two ladies had closed on the Honda but could not find a way past.
So that is how the race ended, Guitierrez would take the win ahead of teammate Llige. For the second time in two races a Novice driver would earn the third spot in the race as Ong (AMA) would earn third and the novice Class win. Second in Novice was Aguilar who was able to hold off the charging Francisco.
Round 5 of the Production Class had plenty of action, with the major teams battling each other very hard. From the start Carlo Pastor and Enzo Pastor (Team TEC) were putting heavy pressure on Carlos Anton (ZED/ Gulf Oil). George Apacible (ZED/ Gulf Oil) and Mikko David (Caltex Havoline) had closed on the leading pack and were able to put pressure on Carlo Pastor. On lap 2 Carlo and George were going hard and as the entered the last turn of the circuit Carlo went wide after some contact and they went side by side through the corner. At the exit Apacible who was slightly ahead closed the door on the Corolla and squeezed it into the wall. The contacts damaged the Corolla and would drop it down the order, as first David and then Alex Padua would slip by.
David was on the move and a few laps later slipped ahead of Apacible. Up ahead the two car were still running close together. They continuos battle was slowing them and David was closing on them. Then with only a few laps to go contact at Turn 3 would bunch the two cars together and slow them down. Miko was quick to pounce on the opportunity and slip by Enzo Pastor at turn 3 and then Anton into the hairpin. As the two still kept fighting he was able to keep clear the rest of the way. So it was David who took the win with Enzo Pastor winning the duel with Anton. However all four of the drivers with contact were called to have a chat with the Stewards earning each a warning.
Despite the warnings that they had received the boys were still a little on the rough sides in Round 6. There was some contact and as they came around for the first lap it was Carlos Anton in at the front. Behind came Enzo Pastor, David, Apacible, Carlo Pastor and Padua. They were then running close together but things were not good for Carlo Pastor as his engine was running out of power and on the second lap he dropped our with engine trouble. At the front Anton now had a good lead and was clear chasing pack.
Lap 5 and David found a way past Enzo Pastor and on the next lap some mechanical trouble had dropped Enzo down the order behind Padua. After that, it was just a matter of the drivers to keep their cars on the road and get to the finish. So the race ended with Anton winning the race with David in second and Apacible in third.