Monsoon Rains Made For An Interesting Second Round Of The Vios Racing Festival
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Monsoon Rains Made For An Interesting Second Round Of The Toyota Vios Racing Festival

The drivers were put to the test as the rains poured down over Clark.

Monsoon rains affected the normal dry track surface of the Clark International Speedway in Pampanga, which resulted in major changes in the standings of the 2nd round of the Vios Racing Festival Circuit Championship. Qualifying was held on Friday, August 29, while the main race event happened on August 30. Some racers were lucky enough to survive the challenge but some did not. Even the more experienced ones suffered misfortunes.

Take the case of what had happened to the defending champion of the Sporting Class John T. Dizon who placed 2nd in the podium in Race 4 on Friday, August 29th but got unlucky in Race 5 on Saturday, August 30th which is the main event of the Vios Racing Festival. The incident happened in the finish line when Celebrity Class Troy Montero bumped his rear causing John’s car to flip, resulting in severe damage that prevented him to take part in Race 6 due to DNS (Did Not Start) status, netting him zero points for the last race of the day. Aside from Troy Montero who dropped out of the race 6 too due to the damaged car, celebrity class female driver Chie Filomeno slid off-track due to hydroplaning causing her to hit the track wall and rendered her car ineligible too to race. Both celebrities were brought to the hospital for medical checkups but were cleared to go back in time for the awarding ceremonies. John T. Dizo, fortunately, was unscathed and was cleared by the track medics with no need for hospital confinement.

When the rains cleared, the battle for top 3 in the premier Sporting Class where professional racers compete resulted into veteran Red Diwa of JBT Racing – Toyota Isabela winning race 4 while Eggy Ong of JBT – Toyota San Fernando branch too 1st podiums in Races 5 and 6.

With the above developments in the standings in the overall championship points, Driver Eggy Ong accumulated overall 88 points while Red Diwa in 2nd has 82 points, both pulling away from the previous leader John Dizon who is far 3rd now at 54 points. The status of having a Mixed Grid race is something to consider too aside from the wet damp track. This year’s grid was consolidated into one entire mixed grid due to less driver participants  who joined the 2019 racing festival. Though it may have the tendency to give the drivers from celebrity and promotional class develop good driving  experience when they go head to head against the more experienced Professional racers in the Sporting Class, there is also an effect on the strategy and skills on the side of the more upper-class drivers since they need to manage the slow pace of the celebrity drivers and the lower class thus it has becoming an uneasy task to overtake the under-class drivers in case of overlaps or real-time track exigencies and urgent situations.

For the Promotional Class, Obengers racers duo Elysse Menorca (Toyota North EDSA) and Quattro Adriano (Toyota San Jose Del Monte) shares top spot in overall points with 83 points each followed by another Obengers Julian Tang of Toyota Otis with 71 points. The current standings were accomplished when Julian Tang won Race 4 while female driver Elysse secured 1st place in Races 5 and 6.

Celebrity racer Daniel Matsunaga claims top spot overall with 90 points when Troy Montero dropped out of Race 6 after his car got damaged in Race 5 netting him only 80 points good for 2nd place. Gretchen Ho rounded up top 3 in 3rd place with 77 points after placing 3rd in Race 4 and 2nd in Race 6.

In the AutoCross Challenge, the media class top 3 podiums were won 1st time by full-time journalist-writers in this 3rd leg. Jose Luis Altoveros of AutoIndustriya claimed his 3rd straight 1st place podium thus virtually winning the overall championships regardless of the outcome of the last leg slated for November. Journalists Earl Lee of Autodeal and Chewy Buhion of Manila Times, on their first stints in AutoCross, won 2nd and 3rd place respectively.   

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