An exciting day at the race track was what the competitors of the 7th season of the Jazz VTEC Media Challenge had last Saturday. It was a close fight until the end with the competitors eagerly egging their colleagues on as they ran their second official heat of the day. The tight course of the Carmona Racing Circuit was made even more challenging with the additional chicanes and gates added by the race officials. Making the day even more special was a visit from the PR managers of Asian Honda Motor Co Ltd, Ms. Nanako Kumamoto and Siriporn Ounkhum from Thailand.
The excitement and tension was thick in the air as the racers ran their second heat - with only mille-seconds separating the top three teams. Team Manila Bulletin, composed of Anjo Perez, Aris Ilagan, Popong Andolong and Aaron Favila, who dominated both the first two rounds of this year's season, again emerged victorious after Ilagan's 1 minute 7.01 second run. Their team time was 03:19.91. Team C! Magazine headed by one-time Media Challenge Best-Driver-of-the-Year awardee James Deakin and composed of Angelo Puyat, Chris Van Hoven and Iņigo Roces had a team time of 03:20.62. Team Philippine Star / Speed Magazine composed of veterans Manny de los Reyes, Andy Leuterio, Lester Dizon and Jeff Reyes (and fervently supported by team manager and Phil Star Motoring Editor Dong Magsajo) clocked the team time of 03:20.78.
The team from Manila Times / DZRH, composed of Vernon Sarne, Brian Afuang, Deo Macalma and Jess Garcia, placed fourth place with the time of 03.21.10, while Team Top Gear Magazine (Mike Black, Chuck Kim, Ferman Lao and Susan Leonardo) placed fifth with the time of 03:23.38. Capping off the teams who were awarded points for the round are the teams from Auto Review / Autoindustriya (03:26.53) and PDI/Daily Tribune/DZEC/Daily Mirror (03:30.58) finished 6th and 7th place, respectively.
For the individual standings, Manila Bulletin's Anjo Perez ran in top form with the best time of the day 01:05.62, adding 30 championship points under his belt. Reyes of Philippine Star clocked the time of 01:05.84 placing him second for the round, while rookie Roces' time of 01:06.20 placed him in third. Chuck Kim (Top Gear Magazine, 1:06.32), Deakin (C! Magazine, 01:06.64), Brian Afuang (Manila Times, 01:06.73), Ferman Lao (Top Gear Magazine, 01:06.78), Jess Garcia (DZRH, 01:06.87), Ilagan (Manila Bulletin, 01:07.01), and Andolong (Business Mirror, 01:07.28) round up the round's top10 finishers.
The four Honda Jazz 1.5 VTEC racing cars performed beautifully even after this season's four competitive rounds under the hands of the media competitors. True to their slogan of "Power for Extra Miles," Petron Xtra Unleaded has provided the power needed by the racers to traverse the track while still providing excellent fuel efficiency. The Goodyear NCT 5 tires fitted in the cars has proved worthy of being the OE tires of the Honda Jazz 1.5 VTEC by providing excellent traction and handling in the varied track conditions of the series' rounds.
The 7th season of the Jazz VTEC Media Challenge is presented by Honda Cars Philippines (Inc.) and supported by Petron Xtra Unleaded, Good Year Tires, Igertech for the timing, Nodalo's Trading for the safety modifications, and Aitech for the stickers.