June 7, 2018

XRS South-East Asia Philippines – Report

The Philippines-based Bacolod Ceres Speedway recently played host to round one of the Xray Racing Series South East Asia. Racers from all over the country attended the race that was held in 13.5T and 17.5T Touring classes. Rain delayed the start, however that also meant racers would avoid the hot asphalt conditions, equalling faster lap times and even closer qualifiers. In the 13.5 class, Taka Yuichiro would take commanding 1st place finishes while Paolo Rojas would take 2nd and Gabby Vargas would take 3rd. In the 3rd round, Paolo Rojas would lead the qualifier over Taka but a small error would eventually cost him the position and awarded the overall TQ to Taka, after having taking 1st in three of the four qualifiers. In the last qualifying heat, Gabby Vargas would make a few set up changes to edge out Paolo Rojas which would prove sufficient to place him in 2nd on the grid over Paolo who finished 2nd in each heat.

In the finals, Taka would take a quick lead over the pack in the first few laps of the race. After struggling in the first lap and encountering some traffic, Paolo Rojas would break free from the rest of the pack and was able to take challenge to Taka. Slight set up changes after qualifying would find Paolo’s car to be faster than Taka’s on a per-lap basis. However, inferior grid position and being held back by traffic would cost him the possibility to mount serious challenge in the first leg. Leg 2 would turn out better and was a very exciting. Paolo would take the hole shot out of the grid and took 2nd position right after the 2nd turn with Taka in the lead. With a faster car, Paolo managed to push Taka to the limit for almost the entire five minutes. It took masterful and exact driving from Taka to hold off Paolo’s faster car. With tight defensive lines throughout, Paolo made multiple pass attempts over Taka but in the end, being on pole and exceptional defensive driving allowed Taka to hold 1st until the end of the 2nd leg with Paolo coming in 2nd again. Sitting out the last heat, Taka would let Paolo show off the serious speed he had in the finals when Paolo would simply blow away the competition in the final heat with Ralph holding off late charges by Gabby and Carlo.

13.5T Touring Stock top 5 results:
1. Taka Yuichiro
2. Paolo Rojas
3. Ralph Lorenzo
4. Gabby Vargas
5. Carlo Tinsay

In the 17.5 class, Taka Yuichiro would dominate all four rounds taking 1st in every run, but not that far behind were Jerome Supan, Noel Aldaba and Benjie Ecleo. But at the end of qualifying, Taka would be running close to one second faster than everyone else each lap.

In the triple mains format, racing would become very exciting. In the opening A-main Taka took the early lead, with cars Jerome, Noel and Benjie very close by. Multiple collisions between Noel and Benjie would allow Taka and Jerome to take command of the heat. At about the halfway mark, Taka would pull away taking the win in the heat with Jerome close behind. In leg 2, Taka would once again go unchallenged throughout but a cleaner start from the rest of the pack would allow Noel to take 2nd and Benjie 3rd in this final. With the win in the bag, Taka sat out A3 and the remaining two podium positions were now up for grabs. A very exciting and clean first lap did not translate into the 2nd lap as Benjie and Jerome would come in contact and result in a body tuck for Benjie which would effectively remove him from podium contention. Noel and Jerome would battle for the remaining race until a small error by Noel would allow Jerome to move ahead and give him the win and therefore the 2nd podium position while Noel took 3rd.

17.5T Touring Stock top 5 results:
1. Taka Yuichiro
2. Jerome Supan
3. Noel Aldaba
4. Benjie Ecleo
5. Rains Viola

Source: Xray [teamxray.com]


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