Last May 16 to 17, all roads led to the Clark International Speedway (CIS) for the opening round of the 2015 Philippine GT Championship.
It was a promising start this year. 10 cars lined up the grid for what could be the best season yet. And like last year, the championship is divided into horsepower-based classes GT300, GT200, GT150, and GT100 with every racing weekend commencing with a morning 10-lap Sprint Race and an 15-lap afternoon GT Race.
The morning’s 10-lap Sprint race saw GT300’s Veli-Matti Kaikkonen onboard his Hafele Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII leading the race from start to finish with a 21.629 seconds advantage over the rest of the pack. As of the season’s opener, he has no competitors in his class.
Debuting in the GT200 is last year’s GT150 winner Richmon Dela Rosa, and what a successful start he has shown. He won against Paolo Mantolino who encountered a transmission problem early on in the race. Mantolino did managed to finish 2nd ahead of Walter Zamora in 3rd.
In the GT150, Dindo De Jesus was greeted with a 1-position penalty after the race due to him driving beyond the track limits to gain advantage. This gave the newcomer Patrick Dela Rosa his maiden victory. Bong Perez took 3rd.
Down in the GT100, Ivan Diaz bagged his first 2015 season victory, followed by Joginder Sin in 2nd and Edwin Rodriguez in 3rd onboard his brand new Mazda Philippines-supported Mazda 2 SKYACTIV racing machine.
In the afternoon’s GT race, GT300’s Kaikkonen again led the pack from the get-go, while GT200’s Richmon Dela Rosa, Paolo Mantolino, and Walter Zamora crossed the line in exactly the same order as the Sprint race.
Also taking double victories was GT150’s Patrick Dela Rosa. Bong Perez followed in 2nd, and Dindo De Jesus in 3rd. Lastly in the GT100, Ivan Diaz once again took pole, while Joginder Sin claimed 2nd and Edwin Rodriguez 3rd.
For this year’s Philminiracers Cup, BorgyZoleta took home 1st, Rick Jason De Guzman 2nd, and Arvir Gervacio 3rd. In the Sparco Bracket Racing Championship, Kim Lagman, Franklin Ong, and LewyManio claimed the top 3 podium spots.
This year’s season also introduced a new support race called the Classic Aspirated Cup. It featured nostalgic VWs and Japanese cars of yesteryears. The first top 3 finishers in this race were Dexter Daquigan for the VW Modified, Phil. GT Scrutineer Fil Gulfin for the 2.0 Modified, and Armand Hipolito for the VW 1600 class.
Round 2 of the 2015 Yokohama Philippine GT Championship will be held on June 20 to 21 at the Clark International Speedway. It is sanctioned by the Automobile Association Philippines (AAP), sponsored by Yokohama Tires Sales Philippines, Inc., Sparco, and Aguila Auto Glass with support from the official dyno provider, Speedlab.
For more info or inquiries about the Philippine GT Championship, please contact BRCI at (02) 729-5365 or 0932-860-4522. Get the latest announcements at www.facebook.com/BatangasRacingCircuit or log on to www.batangasracingcircuit.org.