Presented by Petronas, the qualifying session was dominated by Taysan Mayor Don Don Portugal. On-board his race-winning Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII, Portugal took pole with a blistering 1:47.517 time, ahead of everyone by more than two seconds. Clocking in second place was GT200’s Paolo Mantolino, while taking slot #3 was Joey Perry.
The morning’s 10-lap sprint race saw Don Don Portugal, taking a commanding lead over the rest of the pack. Crossing the line 32.735 seconds later was the actor Jomari Yllana, who finally was granted some much-needed boost of luck, while finishing in third was Guillermo “Willie” Torres, who has now levelled up as one of the GT300 Class contenders.
In the GT200 Class, Joey Perry crossed the line ahead of Ethanworx R33’s Paolo Mantolino, but the tables have turned for Perry, as he got penalized for causing an otherwise avoidable collision mid-way through the 10-lap sprint race. This led to Mantolino’s Class victory. And, persistency was at its finest when Carlos Anton still managed to finish 3rd, unhindered by a broken gearbox. Winning the sprint race for the GT150 was Richmond De La Rosa and his race-dominating Honda Del Sol, while Joel Portugal claimed 2nd place, ahead of 3rd placer Walter Zamora.
In his first season in the Phil. GT Championship series, newcomer Joginder Sin was the last man standing for the GT100 Class, after Ivan Diaz’ failure to get it all up and running on the green light, and class leader Edwin Rodriguez’ DNF due to electrical problems.
As the afternoon’s 17-lap GT Main Race began, that very familiar Evo VII of Don Don Portugal immediately darted ahead of everyone. Without showing signs of wearing down, Portugal went on to dominate the GT300 Class. In 2nd place came Guillermo “Willie” Torres, ahead of Jomari Yllana in 3rd, still a much better way to cap-off a racing weekend for the racer/actor.
An exchange of high-speed action was seen in the GT200 Class, highlighted by Joey Perry and Paolo Mantolino. Swapping place throughout, it was all an edge-of-the-seat experience, not only for the racers themselves, but for the crowds as well. On they went with their head-to-head battle, until the final lap where Mantolino eventually gained the upper hand, clinching 1st place for the second time that weekend, just a hair ahead of Perry in 2nd and Carlos Anton in 3rd.
Down in the GT150 Class, Joel Portugal went on to claim the race win against Richmond De La Rosa, while Walter Zamora took 3rd. Finally in the GT100 Class, it’s PAYBACK TIME for Ivan Diaz, as he wowed everyone with a 1st place win, which have demolished all the bad vibes from his sprint race DNF. Not far behind in 2nd place was Joginder Sin, and finally in 3rd was Edwin Rodriguez and his Mazda Philippines sponsored Mazda2.
It’s a case of “High-Five @ Round Five” for Don Don Portugal, Richmond De La Rosa, and Edwin Rodriguez, as they were all hailed as Champions in their respective GT Classes for the 2014 season. Portugal’s unwavering performance from day.1 earned him the honor of becoming the series’ GT300 Class Champion, plus an opportunity to really kick it up a notch with one more round to go. De La Rosa has the good’ol Mathematical Mojos to thank for, as his 96pts lead in the GT150 Class shows. Also in celebratory mode is Edwin Rodriguez with his 127pts advantage in the GT100 Class, earning him the Class Championship title in what was a very spectacular 2014 season.
Capping off the race weekend was the Philminiracers Championship, with Rodney Caballero again winning 1st place, trailed by Borgy Zoleta in 2nd, and Junior Class’ Aries Padiermos, crossing the line in 3rd.
Just in time for the Holidays, the sixth and final round of the 2014 Yokohama Philippine GT Championship will be held on December 13 and 14, and once again, the wide corners and long straights of the Batangas Racing Circuit is going to be where it’s at for one of the country’s most spectacular union of man and machine.