As was the case last year, 2016 has been the year of Mindanao racers as 2015 Philippine Tough Truck Challenge (PTTC) champion Jiggy Rodriguez of 4Wheelers Davao took the top spot once more during the 16th edition of the series, held last December 4 in Argao, Cebu.
Rodriguez’s club mates Jodax Daquil and Reynan Jayme finished second and third, respectively.
Hosted by local club Cebu Off-Roaders and town mayor Stanley Caminero, the Maxxis Cup season-ender was held in scenic Argao where 17 of the country’s top extreme off-road drivers battled it out for the coveted PTTC trophy.
The race featured two father-and-son tandems: Kito Obeso and son Elvis of Cebu Off-Roaders, and Jun and Jad Garbes of the Kapampangan Racing Team (KRT). Also seeing action was 15-year-old CJ Doyon from Ormoc City. Still only in his second year as a racer, he finished in fifth place, beating former champions along the way.
The unique Argao track was literally built on a river that had been pitted with very technical rock formations, featuring a continuously changing riverbed surface and a slippery 7ft almost-vertical wall near the finish line, which was the track’s major obstacle.
Meanwhile, Mindanao-based businessman and off-roader Cesar Jodax Daquil of 4Wheelers Davao bagged the 2016 NASFOR Driver of the Year (DOY) award, fending off his closest rival Tonton Dungca of KRT in what has been the tightest Maxxis Cup season ever.
Finishing second to teammate Jiggy Rodriguez during PTTC XVI allowed Daquil to maintain his slim lead over his closest rival, two-time winner Dungca, who finished in second place for the second straight year. It was a bittersweet season for Dungca, who was aiming for an unprecedented third DOY award.
Kent Estrella of the Waig Adventure Team finished in third spot.
As expected, top club honors went to 4Wheelers Davao, whose members dominated the season, while the top constructor award went to Mikee’s 4×4, owned by 2015 DOY Michael Cerin.
This year’s Maxxis Cup, including the PTTC, saw the races divided equally among the three island groups of the country. Three legs were held in Pampanga, two in Davao City, and two in Cebu. Other legs were held in Santiago City in Isabela, Ormoc City, Dipolog City, Cagayan de Oro City, Laoag City and T’boli, South Cotabato.
The 2016 edition of the race kicked off in Laoag, Ilocos Norte, in February, and concluded in Argao, Cebu. In what was the tightest series ever, only 2013 and 2014 DOY Tonton Dungca and Jiggy Rodriguez won more than one leg of the competition, with each race leg going to different winners. DOY Jodax Daquil was the winner of the Angeles City leg. Although Daquil claimed only one race leg, he was a consistent podium finisher throughout the 2016 race season.
This year’s competition also saw the racers tackle one of the most difficult tracks ever built for the participants. Designed by race director Tin Tin Von Beja, the Santo Tomas, Pampanga, race allowed only two off-roaders to finish the difficult trail dominated by sticky, clay-like mud. Daquil was one of the finishers.
“We want the competition to be friendly to the racers in terms of venue and schedule,” NASFOR president Ramon Toong said. “This is why we try our best to schedule races within the same area close to each other, and at the same time divide the races equally within the three main regions of the country.”
The 2016 Maxxis Cup was presented by Maxxis Tires and supported by 199 Off-Road House, Toptul, Race Tech suspensions, Mobil lubricants, and Adventure 4X magazine.