Fans, mall goers and passersby were drawn to Parking Bay 6 of Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan City by the sound of screeching tires as 36 drivers showed-off their sideways maneuvering skills for the final round of the 2009 Lateral Drift Championship Series last August 29. The fourth round offered a lot for the spectators as the track put the drivers drifting skills to the test with a number of drivers have already crashed their cars on the metal barriers during the practice runs. Another treat for the drifting fans is the presence of Nobuteru "NOB" Taniguchi, first D1 Grand Prix Champion in 2001 and the current record holder for the fastest lap for Time Attack at the famous Tsukuba Circuit. He wowed the crowd by drifting gracefully around the track and was the guest judge for the competition.
The top 16 qualifiers who will battle each other out in tandem runs were Team Yellow Cab's Alex "X" Perez versus Rannie Ronquillo of R33; Paolo Agregado versus Gio Rodriguez who makes his drift comeback after a four-year hiatus driving for Team AutoIndustriya.com-Kumho Tires-A-toy Bodykits; Ian "The King" King versus Francisco "Pacho" Blanco of Autoplus-Motul; Kevin "Bad News" Tayao versus Ryan Agoncillo of Team Yellow Cab; Jet Mathay versus John Boban of Team Drift Tech; Chukri "Captain Shakey's" Prieto versus Bryan Revilla; Tuason Racing's Audel Sison versus Raymond "Mister R33" Ronquillo; Naji Kassouf of Autosport versus Boodie Dabasol.
Reigning champion Perez easily dispatched Rannie Ronquillo twice. Even after a long drought in the drifting circuit, Rodriguez managed to put up a fight against Agregado, but practice makes perfect as the latter advances. The King easily grabbed a spot on the top 8 as Blanco had difficulties completing the long drift on both heats. Dogged by engine problems in his AE86, Tayao virtually handed the win to Agoncillo. Mathay and Boban who incidentally ran with newly painted cars proved to be a match to each other as they tied twice until Mathay stepped up his game taking the third heat. Prieto advances to the Top 8 defeating Revilla 2-1 by taking the last two heats. Mr. R33 took charge over Sison's BT-50 and drifted his way to the Top 8. Amateur series champion Dabasol wins over Kassouf claiming the last slot for the top 8.
Battling it out for a spot on the semi-finals were Perez with his Nissan S13 and Dabasol with his 4G63T powered old school Mitsubishi Lancer; Agregado on his Nissan S14 and Ronquillo with his Nissan R33 Skyline; King with the RB26 powered Nissan 'Skyfiro' and Prieto on his trusty Nissan A31 Cefiro; Agoncillo on his Nissan S13 Silvia and Mathay on his newly painted Nissan S13.
Perez leaves Dabasol behind in the first heat giving him a point, while both tied it out on the second heat making Perez the winner. Agregado gained a point over Ronquillo in the first heat, but luck didn't seem to be on his side that night when his intercooler pipe came loose after hitting a barrier handing the semi-finals spot to Ronquillo. The King drifted his way to the semi-finals with a 2-0 run against Prieto. Mathay on the other hand didn't put much effort to gain a spot on the semi-final round as Agoncillo's car developed problems problems and decided not to finish the heat.
Perez and Mathay went head-to-head with both S13s trying to shake one off its back and advance to the finals. Perez came out victorious with a one point lead. Ronquillo on the other hand didn't have much of a hard time getting himself up to the finals as King spun out on the second heat giving him another point.
Battling their way for the final spot in the podium were King and Mathay, advancing to the podium was Mathay who took a one point margin victory. The fight for the number one spot in the podium was between Perez and Ronquillo, who was a student of Perez in the DMF Drift School. Ronquillo proved his skills to his mentor as they went into a sudden death round. Rain poured hard just when the last heat started, Ronquillo would be the eventual winner showing his mentor some new tricks.
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, DC Shoes and Wave 89.1.