It was a hard-fought victory for Richmon Dela Rosa as he dominated the rain-soaked 2nd Round of the 2015 Yokohama Philippine GT Championship held last June 20 to 21 at the Clark International Speedway (CIS).
As expected after the series’ opening round, new drivers joined in to catch the action. Willie Torres steps in the GT300, while Joey Perry finally made it to race under the GT200 after missing Round 1. The series also welcomed NR Juaquin in the GT150 division.
This is good news. The bad news is that Veli-Matti kaikkonen and GT150’s Bong Perez failed to show up, bringing the total number of competitors to 11. What’s even worse was that the rain showed no signs of stopping as the morning’s 9-lap sprint race went underway.
Despite the bad weather, the sprint race concluded with the lone GT300 racer Willie Torres finishing at 21:39.701 total race time. In the GT200, Paolo Mantolino and Richmon Dela Rosa were locked in a fierce battle leading to the line where Mantolino outraced Dela Rosa by a mere 0.205 seconds. Walter Zamora saw the action behind in 3rd.
The rain proved to be too much for Joey Perry though. His GT200 Honda Integra Type R aquaplaned and careened towards the barrier. His crew deemed the car beyond repair for the rest of the weekend, thus ending his debut race prematurely. Thankfully, he walked away unscathed.
Down in the GT150, Dindo De Jesus finished 1st, Patrick Dela Rosa followed closely in 2nd, and new comer NR Juaquin in 3rd.
It was in the GT100 where the rain made things all the more exciting because although Ivan Diaz claimed 1st, he won it difficult fashion against Edwin Rodriguez in his new Mazda 2 SKYACTIV racecar. Known for gunning it harder as things get tougher, Rodriguez almost caught Diaz down the line with a mere 0.400 seconds gap between them.
The afternoon main race started out dry but after a few laps, the rain made things hairy once more. As GT300’s Willie Torres completed the race, things weren’t the same for GT200 defending champion Paolo Mantolino as his car lost traction and ended up hitting the wall. He was OK and was considered a 3rd place finish after completing more than 50% of the race. Ahead of him was Richmon Dela Rosa who won the race in 1st, followed by Walter Zamora in 2nd.
In the GT150, Dindo De Jesus was the last man standing, but there’s a catch. He was denied the victory after the race due to a failed post-race dyno test. This handed the win to Patrick Dela Rosa even though he only finished more than 7 laps. NR Juaquin was awarded 2nd place despite finishing just 8 laps.
Lastly in the GT100, Ivan Diaz again came out the victor, but not after battling it out with Edwin Rodriguez who bagged a close 2nd place. Joginder “King” Sin saw it all happen as he crossed the line in 3rd.
As for the support races, the Philminiracers Classic Mini Open Pro Class was won by Rodney Caballero, followed by Arwin Gervacio at 2nd, and Borgy Zoleta at 3rd. Meanwhile, the top 3 Classic Aspirated Cup finishers were VW Beetle drivers Raffy Locson, Armand Hipolito, and Dexter Daquigan respectively.
The top 3 finishers in the Sparco Cup Bracket Race were Brian Alonzo, Joey Howard, and Jonnie Pineda. But the real action was in the new Grid Race which was won by Emerson Ocampo, Dominique Bon, and Brian Alonzo once again.
Round 3 of the 2015 Yokohama Philippine GT Championship will be held on July 25 to 26 at the Batangas Racing Circuit. It's 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.