The Hyundai Lateral Drift Championship kickstarted the 2013 season with back-to-back rounds at the Mega Tent Libis last 31 August and 1 September. The much-awaited 8th year of the country’s longest-running drift series was well-attended by scores of crowds who gathered to see all the drivers in action as well as this year’s highlights—the new judges who came all the way from Japan.
D1 Grand Prix drifter Kimihiro Obata and his wife Formula Drift driver Hiromi Kajikuma were in attendance at every round, not only to judge, but also to coach the local roster of drifters on how drifting should be done.
To give spectators an extra bit of thrill, the two talented drifters demonstrated their skill in a 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0L with high-speed drifts and burnouts courtesy of Saffiro Tires by Concept One. A few lucky fans were also able to ride shotgun and experience drifting first-hand from the best drivers and in the best car possible.
There were a lot of new faces in the amateur division—most of whom have graduated from other local feeder drifting series—though one would be hard-pressed to ever consider the roster of drivers to ‘amateurs’ with the skill they put on show.
Round 1 was topped by Singaporean Cedric Cabanero whose excellent performance gave him the opportunity to run in the Pro category in the succeeding rounds, though on a probationary status. Cabanero was followed Robert Tan, taking second place, and by newcomer Mark Bernardo from Concept One, taking third place.
The next day, Robert Tan came back with a vengeance and took his first-ever first-place finish in Round 2. Coming in second was EJ Malibiran from Team Drift MOB in his red 1st Gen Toyota Celica, and Mark Bernardo again in third.
In the Pro Division, Pilipinas Got Talent Season 4 Grand Finalist Gio Rodriguez from Team ATOY Customs put everyone on the edge of their seats and aced Round 1 to be crowd champion. Taking the second spot was the series’ sole lady drifter Tintin David—who opted to move up to the Pro Division this year after finishing in fourth in last year’s championship standings. In third was 2011 Champion and 2012 Overall Runner-Up Audel Sison of Team Autocraft Drift.
Round 2 was run on the same track layout as the previous day. With more track time, this allowed the drifters to show the panel of judges what Filipino drifters can do. This was best demonstrated by the weekend’s top driver Gio Rodriguez who clinched back-to-back victories in the first two rounds of the season. He was followed by defending six-time Lateral Drift Champion Alex Perez of Team Yellow Cab Drift in second, and Boodie Dabasol in his newly-built Nissan S14 Silvia of Team Turbo Cafe in third.
The 2013 Hyundai Lateral Drift Championship is powered by the Genesis Coupe and co-presented by Standard Insurance and Wave 89.1 FM. Other sponsors include Atoy Customs, Dickies Clothing, Barney’s Burger, and Aguila Auto Glass, with media partners Auto Review, Creator Studio, Gadgets Magazine, Kotse.com, Power Wheels Magazine, Motorcycle Magazine, Sprocketph.com, Stoplight TV, The Manila Times, The Philippine Daily Inquirer, and Top Gear Philippines.