With the season nearing its end, 13 cars were raring to go at the penultimate round of the 2014 Yokohama Philippine GT Championship held last October 26 at the Batangas Racing Circuit.
Taysan Mayor Don Don Portugal in the teal Mitsubishi Evo 7 took pole position in qualifying with a commanding 1:47.517 lap, which was more than two seconds quicker than anyone. In second place was GT200 driver Paolo Mantolino, while Joey Pery lined up third on the grid.
In the morning’s 10-lap Sprint Race, pole sitter Don Don Portugal lead the race from start to finish. His consistent lap times allowed him to pull away from the field and cross the line with a commanding 32.735 second advantage. Further behind, lady luck finally smiled down on Jomari Yllana who claimed second place in GT300, followed by Guillermo “Willie” Torres who now stepped up to the GT300 division.
Joey Pery finished ahead of Ethanworx R33’s Paolo Mantolino in GT200. However, Pery was penalized for causing an avoidable collision during the race, which handed the class victory to Mantolino. Carlos Anton, on the other hand, still managed to finish the race 3rd in class despite a broken gearbox to claim valuable points.
Richmond Dela Rosa once again dominated GT150 in his Honda Civic Del Sol, followed by Joel Portugal in second and Walter Zamora in third place. Series newcomer Joginder Sin was the lone survivor in GT100, thus claiming the win. Unfortunately, Ivan Diaz failed to get off the starting line, while Edwin Rodriguez suffered a DNF after just one lap due to electrical problems.
In the afternoon’s 17-lap GT Race, Don Don Portugal once again took the lead and dominated GT300. Guillermo “Willie” Torres, on the other hand managed to outrun Jomari Yllana for 2nd place in class.
An intense battle ensued in GT200 between Joey Pery and Paolo Mantolino, which kept spectators on the edge of their seats. The two drivers swapped positions in class multiple times during the race. But eventually, Paolo Mantolino would take his second first place of the day in GT200, followed by Pery in second, and Carlos Anton in third.
Joel Portugal managed to edge ahead of Richmon Dela Rosa in GT150 to take the win, while Walter Zamora cruised to a third place finish. Finally, Ivan Diaz made up for his earlier DNF to win in GT100. He was followed by Joginder Sin in second and Edwin Rodriguez in his Mazda Philippines-sponsored Mazda 2 in third who limped all the way to the chequered flag.
Don Don Portugal’s strong performance throughout the season showed everyone why he rightfully claimed the GT300 title with one leg to spare. Richmon Dela Rosa can also begin to celebrate as it’s now mathematically impossible for anyone to challenge his 96 point lead in GT150. Likewise, Edwin Rodriguez’s 127 point lead in GT100 has earned him the class title.
In the Philminiracers Championship, Rodney Caballero once again claimed 1st place, followed by Borgy Zoleta in 2nd, while Aries Padiermos in the Junior Class finishing 3rd overall.
The sixth and final round of the 2014 Yokohama Philippine GT Championship will be held on December 13 and 14 once again at the Batangas Racing Circuit.
The races are sanctioned by the Automobile Association of the Philippines (AAP), presented by Petronas Energy Philippines, Inc. and sponsored by Yokohama Tires Sales Philippines, Inc and Speedlab.