Anjo Perez of Team Manila Bulletin was the fastest driver but Team Philippine Star was the quickest team as round 2 of the Civic Media Challenge moved to the Quirino Grandstand on Rizal Park last Saturday, May 24, 2003.
Driver's points leader Perez set the fastest time of 1 minute 1.19 seconds during the first heat on the challenging course laid out on the tarmac surface. The two-time individual Media Challenge champion improved on his record driving the powerful 2003 Civic with a 1:00.45 on the second heat. But this was not enough to keep Team Manila Bulletin on top of the team competition.
First round winner Team Manila Bulletin had the best cumulative time of its top three drivers after all teams completed the first heat under sunny skies. Team Philippine Star was a close second. Then Manny de los Reyes mastered the precise handling of the Civic shod in grippy Michelin tires to drive a flawless second heat and record a second best time of day 1:01.41.
With skies darkening and rain threatening to fall, Andy Leuterio, who came late and was a DNS in the first heat, came through with a third best time of 1:01.37 to push the Star past the first round winners.
Coming in third was team C!-Auto Extreme with consistent performances from James Deakin, Kenneth Quintal and Kevin Limjoco.
Following the results of the second round, Perez leads the driver's points standings with 60 points. Dodjie Aguila of Team DRP-K-Lite-Today is second with 45 points after a fifth place finish in the second round. Third is Jess Garcia of DZRH with 36 points. Just 3 points behind Garcia is Star driver Leuterio with 33. Hanging on to fifth is Deakin with 30 points.
In the sponsors competition, Caltex continues to lead the team competition with lead driver Miguel Sierra continuing to dominate the individual series. A best time of 1:04.51 should have been good enough to put him on the top 10 of the whole competition.
Arnel Doria carried Team Honda 2 to second with a 1:05.29, second best in the sponsors competition. Junichi Sato led Honda 1 to third with his third best time of day 1:05.72.
Thirteen teams will be competing this year with the following media groups represented: ABS-CBN News, Auto Review, Motoring Today, Auto Extreme, and the Associated Press for television; and DZBB, DZMM, DZEC, DZRH and 103.5 K-Lite for radio. BusinessWorld, Manila Bulletin, The Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Standard, Today, C! Magazine, Gadgets Magazine, and Sports Weekly represent the print publications, while Autoindustriya.com, Dragracingpinoy.com and Drive.com.ph represent the leading motoring websites.
The penultimate round of the now tightening competition will once again be held at the Luneta Grandstand on June 21, 2003 before it returns to the dirt track of Liwasang Ipil-ipil for the finals on July 19.
The 2003 Civic Media Challenge is organized by ADBM Resources in partnership with Activity Asia Association and Roadwise Motoring School and is sponsored by Caltex Havoline, Michelin, the official tire supplier thru its Philippine distributor Tiara Commercial & Industrial Corporation; Nodalos Trading, and Aitech.