Half of the 2014 Yokohama Philippine GT Championship is in the books after the season’s fourth leg concluded last September 28 at the Clark International Speedway.
Presented by Petronas, 12 cars duked it out in the GT 300, GT 200, GT 150, and GT 100 classes. Included in this lineup was Team Häfele’s Veli-Matti Kaikkonen in a Mitsubishi Evolution, returning to the series after missing the third round. Reigning champion Jody Coseteng was sadly missing in action again.
The qualifiers saw Kaikkonen leading the GT 300 class with a best lap time of 2:08.419 around the Speedway. Tailing him was Team Ethanworx R33’s Carlos Anton, and GT 300 driver Don Don Portugal in second and third, respectively.
The GT 150 class was captained by Richmon Dela Rosa, while Rhaffy Latorre blazed through the GT 100.
The morning’s 10-lap Sprint saw Kaikkonen easily leading from the start until the checkered flag, posting a 14.504 second lead over Portugal. Jomari Yllana placed third thanks to his Hyundai Genesis Coupe equipped with a new engine built overnight by his crew.
Carlos Anton, Joey Pery, and Paolo Mantolino posted clean runs in the GT 200, taking home gold, silver, and bronze, respectively. The GT 150 had Richmon Dela Rosa in his Honda Del Sol placing first, with Walter Zamora in second. However, Raymond Ronquillo blew his engine in the very first lap and did not finish the heat.
The GT 100 also saw only two out of three drivers cross the finish line. Rhaffy Latorre took gold, Edwin Rodriguez took silver, and Ivan Diaz was knocked out of standing by a technical infringement.
Carnage took over the 15-lap GT 300 race as a three car collision occurred involving Carlos Anton, Veli-Mati Kaikkonen, and Joey Pery. The two finishing drivers were Taysan Mayor Don Don Portugal, a haf lap ahead of Yllana.
Faring a little better was the GT 200 class which saw drivers powering past vehicular problems. GT 200 winner and Ethanworx R33 racer Paolo Mantolino finished first; Carlos Anton wrecked his transmission and crossed the checkered flag with only his fourth gear; and Joey Pery pushed through a damage front suspension for third.
Meanwhile, Kaikkonen was literally on his toes as his broken seat was held down by only one remaining bolt. Despite this, he was disqualified because of a technical infringement. Jomari Yllana’s disqualification because of a failed dyno test didn’t matter as he ran out of gas on the last lap.
Richmon Dela Rosa championed the GT 150, with Walter Zamora coming in second; and Edwin Rodriguez in his Mazda Philippines-sponsored Mazda 2 blazed through the GT 100.
A case of déjà vu was the podium of the Philminiracers Championship as again, Rodney Caballero, Bernard Sy, and Borgy Zoleta took gold, silver, and bronze, respectively.
Finally, Dexter Daquigan lead the Kafer Cup, with Daniel Castaneda and Arman Salada rounding up the podium.
The fifth leg of the 2014 Yokohama Philippine GT Championship will be on October 25 and 26, this time at the Batangas Racing Circuit. It is sanctioned by the Automobile Association of the Philippines (AAP), sponsored by Petronas Energy Philippines, Inc., Speedlab, and Yokohama Tires Sales Philippines, Inc.
For more details and inquiries, please contact Batangas Racing Circuit, Inc. by calling (02) 729-5365, (02) 889-3389, or 0922-885-8410 and kindly look for Nelson Gayola or Rodini Rivera, or Racewell Marketing at 0917 856-8493. Get the latest updates by liking their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BatangasRacingCircuit or log on to www.batangasracingcircuit.org.