The air was filled with the smell of burnt rubber and tire smoke as the 2010 Glade Sport Lateral Drift Pro-Am Championship staged its first round at the Eastwood City Open Parking Lot over the weekend. With a new two-day format, the series attracted a total of Thirty-nine competitors for both the Professional and Amateur divisions.
The first day featured the practice sessions for and qualifying runs for both divisions to determine the Top-16 Tandem orders; the second day featured the main event as the 16 drivers try to eliminate each other to reach the final four match-ups to determine the three drivers who will shine on the podium.
Qualifying on top in the Amateur Division was Kar Montaner; the rest of the order was Pia Boren (DC Shoes-A-toy Bodykits), Ryan Agoncillo (Team Yellow Cab), Marron Soriano, Mark Rosca (Team Forced Speed-Kumho Tires), Jayson Lao, Bjorn Ongtiabok (TRS-Mazda), Bingo Valero, Norman Agojo (Goodyear Tires), Bingbong Lingat, Struan Wallace, Mike Tuason (Castrol-TRS), Angelo Tambo, Gaby Dela Merced (DC Shoes-A-toy Bodykits), JP Carino and Ric Wee (Team AutoIndustriya.com-Kumho Tires).
Montaner was looking to be the favorite being the top qualifier; he made a solo run with Wee out of contention due to mechanical issues. The seven other advancers to the top-8 were Agojo, Boren, Ongtiabok, Agoncillo, Lao, Soriano, and Rosca. All eyes shifted to Rosca of Team Forced Speed-Kumho Tires when he eliminated top qualifier Montaner in the elite 8 to advance to the final four. Agoncillo won a heated battle with Ongtiabok, while Agojo and Boren advanced easily.
Rosca would go on to defeat Boren easily advancing to the championship run against Agoncillo who advanced ahead of Agojo. In the end, it was Rosca of Team Forced Speed-Teleserv-Kumho Tires who emerged victorious as he bested fifteen other drivers aboard his RB25DET-powered Nissan Cefiro A31. Coming in second was Agoncillo of Team Yellow Cab, while Agojo of Team Goodyear and Boren came in third and fourth respectively.
In the Pro Division, it was Joma Montaner qualifying on top, making it a father and son sweep of the qualifiers. He was followed by Jet Mathay (dmfdrift), Jason "The Destroyer" Choachuy (Team AutoIndustriya.com-Kumho Tires), Francisco "Pacho" Blanco (MOTUL-Autoplus), Alex Perez (Team Yellow Cab), Paolo Agregado, Gio Rodriguez, Bryan Revilla (Team Ultra Racing), Chukri Prieto (dmfrift), Jeff Villanueva (Team Forced Speed-Teleserv-Kumho Tires), Atoy Llave (Falken-A-toy Bodykits), RJ Obiedo (Team Forced Speed-Teleserv-Hankook), John Boban (Team DriftMob), Giovan Bernardino, Boodie Dabasol and Raymond Ronquillo (R33-Toyo Tires)
Upsetting top qualifier Joma Montaner was Ronquillo who steered his R33 Skyline sideways to advance to the top 8. Rodriguez however did not have an easy time defeating Villanueva with multiple repeat runs ending with up a blown engine on the Toycool Garage AE86 in their final heat on the fourth battle. Also advancing to the elite 8 were Prieto, Mathay, Rodriguez, Choachuy, Agregado, Blanco and defending champion Perez. For the Top 8, Ronquillo would be paired against Perez, Mathay against Agregado, Choachuy against Rodriguez, and Blanco against Revilla.
Not wanting a repeat of last year's fourth round, Perez quickly dispatched Ronquillo. Agregado got away with the win over Mathay with a hard-fought battle. Rodriguez would defeat Choachuy, while Blanco piloting the powerhouse MOTUL S13 rounded up the final four taking an easy win over Revilla. Rodriguez would go on to advance to the championship round as he defeated Blanco, while Agregado would challenge him after trumping Perez.
Comeback-kid Rodriguez emerged victorious claiming the top podium spot for the Pro Class. Placing in second and third were Agregado and Perez of Team Yellow Cab. Blanco of Motul-Autoplus claimed fourth place.
However, Agregado was later stripped of his championship points for second place and given his Top 16 points as organizers decided that his overtaking maneuver on his tandem battle with Atoy Llave was deemed as unsafe driving practice not in compliance with the rules for overtaking.
A further review of the rules has also adjudged Gio Rodriguez to be given a deduction in his points as only advancing to the Top 4 as his infraction of the spare car rule. Jason Choachuy of Team AutoIndustriya.com was also penalized and given his Top 16 points as well.
The 2010 Glade Sport Lateral Drift Pro-Am Championship is also supported by PLDT MyDSL, M-150, Goodyear, Falken, Hankook, Starfire, Concept One, FixStop, AutoIndustriya.com, Wave89.1, TopGear Magazine, Stoplight, and the Manila International Auto Show.