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March 26, 2015

Drift Tire Tracks Make History: 2015 Hyundai Lateral Drift Round 1

History has been made as the first and longest running drift series in the country as it started out its 10th season of the Hyundai later drift championship series and year 3 for the Hyundai brand as title sponsor. It was held last Saturday, March 21 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines parking lot and alongside the Atomized 5th Carshow by the De La Salle university of Mechanical Engineering.

The last time drifting was held here at the CCP parking area was back in 2007, but this time it's held here on the biggest side of the open area. The old side was use for the car show displays.

The track was layout to a fast straight to big left drift to number nine and transitioning to a big drift back to the initiating point of start. It was a nice track layout by the Japanese Judges Kimihiro Obata, Hiromi Kajikoma, and this year, joining them is a third judge: long time drift instructor Paolo Arepacochaga. Six-time Lateral Drift Champion Alex Perez is this year's race director and steps aside and concentrate on circuit racing career.

The day started with the amateur division and not like the pros they are only required to do the half of the track and not to a reverse 9. A new comer from Australia, Max Lopez took third place and he was very happy to be part of this year. First and second spots were taken by the Ng brothers of Kowloon tea house with Patrick Ng in second and Stephen Ng in first place.

In the pro division, the level of competition was so much higher. In the battle for third place it was Ralph Tan of Pilipnas Got Talent Season 4 finalist and team Atoy customs who drifted it out with EJ Malibiran of team DriftMob. Tan took third.

The battle for first continued with the two top dogs that competed for last year's championship: John Boban of team DriftMob and defending back-to-back champion Gio Rodriguez of Pilipnas Got Talent Season 4 and Team A-Toy customs. In their battle for first, they wowed the fans and put the judges on their toes as these guys had to run a few more times with a total of eight runs. Boban, driving Toyota Soarer that produce 500-hp, was a smoke machine at the track while Rodriguez had to be content driving a Mercedes-Benz 190E with just half of the horsepower. Rodriguez continued to overcome the challenge as he was able to close in on Boban's car to take first place in the Season 10 opening round. It was a show that the spectators will would like to see more this season as this drivers continue to progress in world standard form.

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