Rainclouds threatened the track during the season opener of the 4th Lateral Drift Championship Series held at the Greenhills Promenade Parking Lot in San Juan City held last April 25. However it didn't stop the sideways action and the tire smoke from the twenty-two eager drifters who participated in the event. The event started at half-past three in the afternoon with the qualifying runs. The order was based on the previous season's finishing order.
Qualifying for the Top 16 were, Jason "The Destroyer" Choachuy, Alex "X" Perez, Kevin "Bad News" Tayao, Giovan Bernardino, Bryan Revilla, Dan "Lt. Dan" Javier, Francisco "Pacho" Blanco, RJ Obiedo, Jeffrey Villanueva, Audel Sison, Paolo Agregado, Boodie Dabasol, Raymond Ronquillo, Mike Tuason, Joma Montaner and Chukri Prieto. The drivers voted to do solo runs for the Top 16 in the drivers' briefing to show off more of their drifting skills to the crowd. But only half of the 16 qualifiers would make it to the Top 8 for the tandem runs.
For the Top 8 tandem runs, it would be Choachuy in the AutoIndustriya.com-A-toy Bodykits-Kumho Tires Nissan A31 Cefiro versus Blanco in the Motul-Autoplus; Perez in his Yellow Cab Nissan S13 Silvia versus Villanueva in the Forced Speed Nissan S15 Silvia; Tayao in his newly painted red Toyota AE86 against Bernardino in his Nissan A31 Cefiro; and Revilla in his new Maxxis tires sponsored Nissan S15 Silvia powered by his parents against Javier in his Nissan S13 Silvia.
Despite being sleepless and weary in order to finish their car in time for the event, Blanco gave Choachuy a run for his money as he proved a challenge for The Destroyer, but in the end, experience and the right amount of sleep prevailed. The seasoned Perez took rookie Villanueva to school as he easily dispatched him in two heats. Tayao and Bernardino had an exciting exchange but the cool golfer managed to edge his aggressive opponent, proving that cool driving can get you far in drifting. Revilla managed to dispatch Lt. Dan easily as the latter started to develop car problems.
It was an exciting semi-final round as the crowd favorites were paired against each other. Team AutoIndustriya.com-A-toy Bodykits-Kumho Tires' Choachuy, last year's third placer, was pitted against three-time champion, Team Yellow Cab's Perez. Last year's second place finisher, and also professional golfer Tayao was pitted against actor and drifter Revilla.
For both Choachuy and Perez, it was almost like a rematch of last season's third leg final run as the two sped away for a heated battle. Being consistent as he was for the whole day, Choachuy destroys the X to advance to the final round. Revilla, who also drive consistently managed to mount pressure on Tayao forcing errors on the seasoned driver to earn him a spot in the final round against Choachuy.
This meant that Perez and Tayao would eventually find themselves pitted against each other to duel for the last podium spot. With the track getting damp from the rain, Tayao would find himself lacking grip with his new supercharger setup, he would eventually spin under pressure, handing over third place to Perez.
It was a hair-raising final round showdown between Choachuy and Revilla, who both fought relentlessly to outdo each other, as more rain started to fall on the already dampened track. Choachuy would draw first blood taking the first heat, while Revilla would fight back to take the second heat. But a highly contested run between the two would decide the match, and The Destroyer salvages a well-deserved first win for himself and Team AutoIndustriya.com-A-toy Bodykits-Kumho Tires for their maiden race.
"Everything just worked well for us today, our car performed very well and Jason gave it a solid drive. We were actually hoping to only get to the semi-finals, but fortunately we made it to the end. We would like to thank our sponsors Kumho Tires, Informatics Valenzuela, A-toy Bodykits, Recaro, Rota Wheels, Motul, Autoplus, Momo, Alpine, Du Pont, Motor Pro Autoclinique, Optima Batteries, Fremuff, H&R Suspension, Remixx Clothing and DMF Drift Garage," said a delighted Ric Wee, Team Manager for Team AutoIndustriya.com.
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 and Wave 89.1.