The change of plans meant that Touge Battle 3!! would be moved from the south to the Clark International Speedway (CIS). And instead of having a full track to ourselves, we had to share it with other guys in drifting and drag racing. Though it may sound like a bitter blow, in reality, it was a great privilege for Touge Battle 3!! to be part of one of the biggest track events of the year last April 12. This was MFest Philippines 2014.We were given the East short course to play with in the morning, which allowed all the competitors to do Time Attack runs. But come the afternoon, the main straight was taken over by the drag race, so we switched back to the regular touge battles. To our surprise, there were over 30 drivers who showed up – the biggest in attendance by far. There were the regulars such as Jeff Maglonzo and Nicx Chen who has been with the series since day 1, as well as some returnees from Touge Battle 2!! What got us really excited, however, were the young bloods that mixed it up with the big boys.
Imagine this, 8-year-old Iñigo Anton drove his dad's BMW 325i to take 3rd place in the 2,000 cc and up Time Attack Novice Class.
How young? Imagine this, 8-year-old Iñigo Anton drove his dad's BMW 325i to take 3rd place in the 2,000 cc and up Time Attack Novice Class. Gabriel Sohu, on the other hand, finished 2nd in the 1,601 cc to 2,000 cc Time Attack Novice Class and 1st in the Touge Battle, and he's only 12.The weather got so hot that I actually had to hide inside the pit building for most of the day. Thankfully, I got back on track just in time for the main touge battles to redeem myself as the event's 'official photographer'.And when I did, Jeff Maglonzo was busy chasing after Rennie Fortunato's R32 Skyline in his black MR2. Who would have thought that a small MR2 could outrun a giant like the Skyline to take 3rd in the Turbo Novice Class. Meanwhile, Iain MacDonald had to face yet another Subaru WRX STI, this time driven by a Russian guy that goes by the name 'Vadimir'. Sadly, WRX STI trumps Legacy once again and Iain had to settle for 2nd.
As for the the battle in the 2,001cc and up X-Class, it was a toss-up between Angelo Magtoto's BMW E36 M3, Carlo Tison's Honda Civic EF, and Gab Salvador's Toyota 86 who finished in that order. Seriously, you can't get a more diverse group than this. Of course, there are great men behind these little talents. Iñigo's dad, Carlos Anton was there to coach him every step of the way, while Edward dela Rosa was hired to train Gabriel.
Then, it was time for the big boys. It was an all-86 affair in the Turbo+ X-Class with Dax Robles in the blue 86 and Tyrone Ongpauco in the black. This was Tyrone's chance to take advantage of Touge Battle 1 champ Aurick Go's absence, but Dax proved to be the quicker of the 2.
And with Carlos Anton around, it really wasn't much of a battle in the Race Car Class. Carlos, who came to test his freshly-build Honda Civic EF, was the quickest all day. He easily dominated the Time Attack with a clear 5.0 second advantage over everyone, so winning against Alfie Concepcion in the Yokohama Advan Civic EG was simply a walk in the park.
Touge Battle!! began as a small, intimate event and we've been trying to keep that simple formula intact with every new edition. Our fear was that it would grow too quickly and spoil the brew. But the tie up with MFest Philippines, which turned Touge Battle 3!! into the biggest we've seen it by far, proved otherwise.
We can't wait to see what's in store for Touge Battle 4!!Touge Battle was organized by Fuel and Aggressive Line, with support from Racewell Marketing, Petronas, Scag Automotive, AutoPerformance Ph, Victor Buensuceso of Achilles Tires, Barney's Burger, C! Magazine, and Time Attack Manila.