Saturday, October 3, 2015
Willie Torres Bags 2015 Yokohama Philippine GT Championship
After bagging two 1st place finishes at the 5th round of the 2015 Yokohama Philippine GT Championship last September 27, Willie Torres is provisionally now the new GT 300 champion with one round to spare.
Sponsored by Yokohama Tire Sales Philippines, Inc., round 5 featured a bigger grid with the return of Richmon Dela Rosa and his younger brother Patrick. Bong Perez also made his official comeback after missing out on the last 3 races, now with a new gold-liveried Mohspeed Honda Civic FD in GT 200. Mikko David also made his debut in GT 100 using the older Mazda 2 of Edwin Rodriguez. This brought the total to 13 drivers competing in the Batangas Racing Circuit (BRC).
The morning's 10-lap Sprint Race saw a clean run from all drivers. Despite being the only GT 300 driver, Willie Torres in the W-Autosport Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII still put an all out performance to finish ahead of the pack.
GT 200 saw a furious drive by Richmon Dela Rosa in his Honda Civic Del Sol to take 1st in class. Trailing by almost 30 sec was Bong Perez who finished in 2nd. The last podium spot was then filled up by Walter Zamora in the Walter Lights and Sound Honda Civic EK in 3rd. Despite posting the quickest qualifying time in GT 200, Paolo Mantolino of the R33 Ethanworx Racing Team failed to make it to the grid due to mechanical issues.
Patrick Dela Rosa in his Honda Civic Type R Hatchback completed a dominating comeback in GT 150. NR Joaquin gave a good chase but ended up in 2nd in the SM Bonus Honda Civic EK Hatchback, followed by his teammate Dindo De Jesus in 3rd.
GT 100 saw the Mohspeed trio fill up all the podium spots. Ivan Diaz took 1st, while Jodinger “King” Sin and Rhaffy Latorre finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
The afternoon 17-lap GT Race saw a repeat victory for Torres, earning him the GT 300 title. As for the boys in GT 200, Richmon Dela Rosa crossed the line 1st in class and set the fastest lap of the race of 1:51.849 in the process. Zamora came in 2nd 3 laps behind, while Mantolino retired at on lap 4 due to mechanical failure. Sadly, Perez stayed in the pits due to mechanical problems.
Patrick Dela Rosa was unstoppable, finishing 1 lap ahead of Joaquin in GT 150. Unfortunately for De Jesus, he was disqualified during the post-race scrutineering as his car was underweight.
GT 100 also saw a new champion as Diaz crossed he line in dominating fashion with Sin taking 2nd. Veteran driver Mikko David completed the podium in 3rd. Latorre was given a 30-sec penalty for an avoidable contact which sent Rodriguez and his Mazda 2 Skyactiv race car spinning at the R-bend. This gave Rodriguez 4th place.
Other races chipped in the action during the weekend. The Philiminiracers Classic Mini Cup saw Jason Choachuy, Rodney Caballero, and Borgy Zoleta finish in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, respectively. Dexter Daquigan crossed the line 1st for the Classic Aspirated Cup, followed by Francis Villafranca in 2nd, and Arvir Gervacio in 3rd.
In the Sparco Cup, Paul Henderson, Lewy Manio, and Joseph Julius Beredo completed the podium in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, respectively.
The 2015 Yokohama Philippine GT Championship heads to the Clark International Speedway on November 7/8 for the final round of the season. The races are sanctioned by the Automobile Association of the Philippines (AAP) and sponsored by Yokohama Tires Sales Philippines, Inc., Sparco, and Aguila Auto Glass. It is also supported by Asian Carmakers Corporation (ACC) and BMW for providing the official pace car and Speedlab as the official pace car dyno provider.