The drift season gets more action and excitement as the championship moves past the halfway mark for the 4th round of the 2010 Lateral Drift Pro-Am Championships held in Eastwood City last weekend. A total of thirty-two drivers came to compete for both Pro and Amateur divisions combined. Even after the rain, the top competitors remained unfazed and focused on the championship.
Pro Division Qualifiers
In the Pro Division, it was Jason Choachuy heading the qualifiers running the recently upgraded AutoIndustriya.com-Kumho Tires Cefiro. Following in second was Alex Perez in the Yellow Cab S15-faced RPS13 and teammate Kevin Tayao in the SR20DET powered AE86 in third. Following them were Audel Sison of Fern C Racing; Raymond Ronquillo of R33; Boodie Dabasol; Gio Rodriguez of A-toy Bodykits/Falken Tires; Pacho Blanco of MOTUL/Autoplus; Jeff Villanueva of Teleserv-Forced Speed-Kumho Tires; Pao Agregado; Joma Montaner; RJ Obiedo of Teleserv-Forced Speeed-Hankook; John Boban of Team Driftmob; Atoy Llave of A-toy Bodykits; Bryan Revilla of Team Ultra Racing; and Jonathan Arriola of Team Dorifto.
In the Top-16 tandems, Chaochuy easily defeated Arriola with two solid runs, getting himself much needed championship points; A determined Perez easily dispatched Revilla driving a spare Nissan ER34 from dmfdrift; Tayao was given a bye-run as Llave pulled out of competition due to car damage the day before; Sison aboard the Nissan RB25DET powered Fern-C Mercedes E-Class easily routed Boban in his limping Toyota 1JZ-GTE powered R32; Ronquillo made sure he drove a solid run to stay ahead of Obiedo in the points standings advancing himself to the Elite-8; Joma Montaner's solid performance in his SR20DE powered Toyota Corona defeated Boodie Dabasol in the 4G63T powered Lancer I-Type; Rodriguez showed that power rules in drifting as he drove the 1JZ-GTE powered A-toy Nissan Cefiro to victory against Pao Agregado in his 4AG-ZE powered AE86 Coupe; A tight battle between ensued between Blanco and Villanueva, but the "Colombian Drag Lord" would advance.
The Elite-8 for the pro division was preluded by a rain shower, which prompted organizers to delay the runs by a few minutes due to safety reasons. As the rain eased up, it was Choachuy against Blanco running the first pair, as Choachuy showed the way in the first run, while Blanco makes a serious error in the second run as Choachuy continued his solid performance. Tayao proved to be a better driver in the wet in his battle against Montaner advancing himself to the Top-4. Ronquillo continued his solid performance against an eager Sison who was driving his car to the limit as well as they battled it out, Ronquillo having a more consistent line would advance. As if it were planned, akin to a rematch from the third round in Clark, Perez would again face Rodriguez in a battle to advance to the Top-4, judges had to call for a One More Time as both ran equally consistent runs in their first set. A serious error committed by Rodriguez of not letting the chase car pass in the event of a major error however in the first run of the second set handed the victory to Perez after much drama and protests from both camps.
As if his eye were on the prize, a focused Choachuy drove masterfully to defeat Ronquillo to advance to the championship battle; After the drama in the Elite-8 Perez would go on to face his teammate Tayao, who would end up handing over the win to Perez as the latter spun out. Tayao would be relegated to the battle for third against Ronquillo; after two solid runs by Tayao, he secured himself of his first podium of the season.
Pro Championship Battle
In the championship battle, it was a classic match-up between close rivals Choachuy and Perez. Choachuy with the advantage pulled away from Perez up until the third corner where he went in too fast and spun, easily handing over the virtual win to Perez. A solid run by both drivers in the second run gave Perez the victory.
Amateur Division Qualifiers
In the Amateur Division, Alvin Dayrit topped the scoresheets in his first outing aboard his RB25DET powered Nissan S14 by dmfdrift. In second and third respectively, were TRS teammates Bjorn Ongtiabok and Mike Tuason in the Mazda BT50 drift truck. Following the top 3 qualifiers were Kar Montaner; Marron Soriano; Jayson Lao; Ryan Agoncillo of Team Yellow Cab; Mark Rosca of Team Teleserv-Forced Speed-Kumho Tires; Norman Agojo of Agojo-Goodyear Racing; Ric Wee of AutoIndustriya.com-Kumho Tires; Rhett Del Rosario of Toycool Garage; Pia Boren; JP Tuason of TRS; Rey Panaligan of Fern C Racing; Lawrence Boban of Team Driftmob; and Kevin Chan.
In the top 16 tandems for the amateur class, the more experienced Dayrit easily defeated greenhorn Kevin Chan; Ongtiaobok easily defeated Boban who was all over the place; Mike Tuason defeated Panaligan; Kar Montaner easily defeated JP Tuason who drove the limping RX-7; Soriano made a bye-run as Boren's car was pulled out of competition due to damage from qualifying and practice; Jayson Lao easily dispatched Del Rosario to advance; Agoncillo led the way for rookie driver Wee, and Agojo advances ahead of Rosca with the latter trying all his best to drive his A31 which was badly damaged during practice sessions the day before.
For the top 8 tandems, Dayrit would easily defeat Agojo with a consistent drive; Ongtiaobok defeated Agoncillo to advance ahead; Mike Tuason took an easy victory from Lao; and Kar Montaner showed Soriano how it was done to advance himself to the Top-4.
The young Montaner pulled off more tricks under his sleeves as he showed Dayrit his mettle as he advanced to the finals. With both TRS drivers driving the same BT50 truck, Mike Tuason gave way to Ongtiaobok who made his bye-run to formally advance to the finals as Tuason went on to battle Dayrit for the last podium spot. Dayrit determined to make a mark in his first outing, drove 110% to defeat Tuason to claim his third-place trophy.
Amateur Championship Battle
In the battle for the top prize, both competitors showed good driving skills but Montaner proved that he had better skills to impress the judges countersteering his SR20DE powered Corona to victory against the diesel-fed BT50 of Ongtaiobok.
Close Championship Points Battle
As the season concluded its fourth round and moves to the penultimate round next month, the championship is still for anyone's taking. Leading the Amateur Division is Mark Rosca maintains his lead with 373 points, Norman Agojo with 365 points, Mike Tuason with 346 points, Ryan Agoncillo with 337 points, Bjorn Ongtiaobok with 336.5 points, and Jayson Lao with 282 points.
In the Pro Division, Alex Perez jumps up to the lead with 372.5 points, Gio Rodriguez follows with 351 points, Pacho Blanco with 344 points, Raymond Ronquillo with 326 points, RJ Obiedo with 303.5 points and Jason Choachuy with 287.5 points.
The fifth round of the championship moves to the Clark International Speedway from July 31 to August 1. 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, and Stoplight.