The Petron Blaze 100 X30 Challenge Philippines is the first Karting championship for 2018. Held last February 25, 2018 at the Carmona Racing Circuit, we witnessed the new generation of champions battle it out the whole day.
Even though the grids were sparse, the exciting races made up for the time and effort to go to Cavite. The good thing about going to the Carmona Track is reviving the old memories that we had in this track.
The Carmona track was inaugurated in 1991 and the first kart race was a national event that we won. We were part of the BLTBCo-Firestone-MP Turbo Team and were the distributor of Italian made Tonykarts. The top class then was powered by 100cc, 2-stroke, rotary valve engines, that produced about 35 hp and directly driven to the axle.
The next race was an international kart race and we had Japanese drivers doing battle with our own drivers. We had a great battle with them as I ended up 3rd overall behind the 2 Japanese and top Filipino. The winner was the more mature karter and the 2nd team mate kept blocking me so I couldn’t pass them in the corners. It was a good race and everyone saw how Filipinos can excel in this sport given the right equipment.
Back to the future
Fast forward to 2018 and the Carmona track is still the same. The compound though has a lot more development around it. There are safety catch fencing, grand paddocks, air conditioned lounges, stewards building and grandstand areas now.
However, you can still see the old officials’ building and even the inaugural picture taken during the first race with us in the picture along with track owner and karter Johnny Tan, celebrity driver Richard Gomez and a lot of other VIPs.
What doesn’t change is the quality of racing that happens in this track. The layout promotes fast racing especially in the first turn and the final hairpin turn at the bottom of the main straight. This first race just proves what I have been saying all along and karting is truly the best form of racing for the young ones!
The premier class of the Petron X30 Challege is the combined classes of X30 Seniors and Juniors race. The karters that are old enough for the smaller karts find themselves here, including the new ones and those that had raced for years in other classes. Thus you get the best and the newbies here; you can really see the difference.
Winning the 2 races handily was the 2nd generation of the Coseteng family, Eduardo. He had his multi-time touring car champion Jody beside him including his years of experience in both local and international competitions. In 2nd place was come backing driver Raymond Cudala who stopped racing for a number of years. It was great to see that he could still drive these karts and run against the younger drivers. Kaito Tsukada took third in a hotly contested position with the Junior drivers.
Juniors and masters
The combined races had the Juniors on the same engine and weitght as the seniors. This gave good racing between both classes and the 12 year old, female driver Bianca Bustamante showed them how it was done by winning both races. However, Jarred Kim was ahead of Bianca in the 2nd race but broke his throttle cable while he was chasing Eduardo for the lead. Cruel luck for Jarred and Bianca suffered much from a slow, stock engine.
A new addition was the Masters class for older karters. The first race was won by another returning karter Arvin Drueco but in the second race, his kart stopped and Anthony Baisa took the top spot. All in all, the top 5-6 karters in the combined race really gave it all and entertained the crowd tremendously.
The Cadet Expert karters had some of the best races of the day. The top 3 karters-Zach David, Joharry Suba and Miguel Angeles crossed the finish line in less than 0.3 second from each other! David took the checkered flag with Suba and Angeles coming in 2nd and 3rd , respectively.
Seb Kawpeng came in first overall for the Cadet Novice division and had Alfonso Rei Daquigan chasing him all the way to the finish line. William Calleja took third overall. The above cadet karters all ran again in the Minirok class and David again got the better of Suba.
With this kind of racing, we will definitely see more races in the future. We enjoyed it much and will now try to ge t more newbies into karting right away! Godspeed to all!