Bigger Challenges in 2007 Philippine Touring Car Championship

Bigger Challenges in 2007 Philippine Touring Car Championship image

Text: / Photos: Brent Co | posted December 16, 2005 20:00

Racing action moves up to a higher level as the country's premiere drivers gear up for new quests and bigger challenges in the coming Philippine Touring Car Championship Series 2007 kicking off April 21-22 at the Subic International Raceway.

Whether it's an issue of rivalries or veterans against the young turks, this season is expected to be more intense with the formidable line-up of top caliber drivers vying for the titles in the Group 1 Super Saloon Class and Group 3 Production division.

More importantly, Philippine Touring Car Championship Series 2007 supports the advocacy of the Department of Energy with the implementation of the use of Sea Oil E-10, an alternative gasoline blend with 10 percent ethanol, thus making the series the first event to officially comply with comply with environmental protection laws.

"The Philippine Touring Car Championship supports the advocacy for environmental protection laws in line with program of the Department of Energy. We want to show that we could still enjoy the sport while protecting environmental concerns. Thus, our foremost policy now is safety first for the races and the environment," said Richard Santos, CEO of the organizing Race Fans Inc.

The grand launching of the 2007 Philippine Touring Car Championship Series and 5th Slipstream Party Tour season 2007 provided a glimpse of what to expect this season. Slipstream airs every Sunday 12nn to 1pm on Studio 23, and also through NBN America.

Defending champion Jody Coseteng of San Mig Coffee is gunning for his 11th straight touring car crown, but the scenario now become even more complex with the emergence of young drivers moving up from the Group 3 division.

The elite field in the Group 1 division includes mainstays Petron-SRA ace driver Kookie Ramirez and Bioactive-Team TEC driver Don Pastor who are still tagged as Coseteng's toughest title rivals; Velocity Motors' Dennis Uy, Rota-A2 Motorsport's Philip Alvendia, Shift Racing's Renan Morales, MP Turbo's Carlos Anton and privateers Dominic Bon and Cebu-based driver Jonathan Buxton.

Joining them are the "New Kids On the Block" who are out to snatch the limelight from the veterans with their own brand of racing and could even give Coseteng a tougher challenge for the crown.

Uly Maningding of Explorer Motorsports, last year's Group 3 champion, is tagged as the most promising among the newcomers in this class as he was reportedly doing fast times during his practices.

Nico Montinola of Akula Racing is looking forward to a better, smooth-sailing bid after a whirlwind campaign in the Group 3 division while top female driver Gaby de la Merced is out to prove she's equally talented, if not better than her male rivals, on her big comeback in the touring car scene.

The Group 3 scenario is equally exciting mainstays Jeff Borja of FS Steel-Bosch Racing who wound up third overall last year, Peewee Mendiola of Big Chill Racing, lady drivers Lory Uy of Velocity Motors and Menchie Francisco of Petron-SRA, Bosch Intelco drivers JP Carino, Angelo Tambo and Bingo Valero, Judge Banny Vargas of MP Turbo and two comebacking drivers - Chris Guevarra of Shift Racing and former Rookie Driver awardee Jon Mark Ong of Eneos.

Among the new faces in the touring car scene this year are PBA analyst and former La Salle Archer Dominic Uy of Velocity Motors who'll be driving an Alaxan-sponsored car, Doby Atillano who saw action in the British Touring Car Championship, Autocross Champion Alvin Santos of Kotse Network and William Tan, one of the top drivers in the Miata Cup.

This year's series got the backing of valuable supporters Sea Oil, Alaxan FR, TNT, Ray-Ban, Valvoline, Starbright Bodykits, Gerry's Grill - the official bar host, Bendix, Rota Wheels, Subic International Raceway,, Coca Cola and media partners Studio 23 and NU107.5FM.