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July 11, 2023

2023 Tarlac Rally Opens Most Exhilarating Rally Yet

Further championing the return of the rally in the Philippines, the Tarlac Rally hosted its season opener last June 24 to 25, 2023 at the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac. The iconic 2019 Southeast Asian Games venue served as the parc fermé and service park of the rally.

The first round of Tarlac Rally contained 11 exhilarating special stages (SS), all of which were accessed through the stretch of the O’donnell Road, which served as the main thoroughfare of the Tarlac Rally’s transport stages. 12 entrants participated in the challenging yet exciting rally event. Out of the 12, only six teams were able to achieve the rewarding feeling of crossing the finish arch which signifies the completion of over 100 km. rally.

Group 2 classification’s Paul Santos together with navigator Ansley Sarmiento emerged as the overall Champion of the first round of the 2023 Tarlac Rally. The 2022 Philippine Rallycross Group 3 Champion and 2022 AAP Driver of the Year for Rallycross finished the rally using his no.1 Honda Civic EK with an overall time of 45 minutes and 14 seconds. Participating in the Rear-wheel-drive (RWD) class, the veteran rally driver Jun Magno finished second-overall using his 3S-GE Beams-powered BMW E36. The champion rally driver together with his co-driver Kalvin Sumagui clocked in a total rally time of 45 minutes 30 seconds.

Off-roader and dirt bike rider Devor Andres along with co-driver Rommel Ocoy were hailed as the third-overall winner. With the oldest car in the rally in the form of a 1980’s Toyota Corolla KE70, the duo clocked in a total rally time of 50:22, earning them the Group 4 win. On the other hand, Touge Battle race organizers E.Z. Ligaya and Stephen Alunan finished the rally using the Debest Autofix BMW 316i E36 with a total time of 53:14. The Full Throttle Weekend duo finished fourth overall in the rally and took home second place in the RWD class.

Group 1 was dominated by Marvin Susara together with navigator Charlie Cruz in the team’s 2NZ-powered Corolla E100. In a dramatic SS11 finish which saw their Corolla barely crossing the line, the veteran racers were able to clock in a total rally time of 55:31 which earned them the fifth-overall finish. Meanwhile, Automobile Association Philippines (AAP) CEO Mark Desales together with co-driver Ricxie dela Cruz were able to complete the rally despite challenges mid rally. The duo clocked in the total time of 59:59 which earned them Group 1 second place and sixth-overall finish.

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