The 2011 Lateral Drift Championship series, year ender hails new drift champ

Drift Series Round 8

The 2011 Lateral Drift Championship Series held last October 8-9, ended its season with a big bang at Parang, Marikina City. From Angeles Pampanga at Clark International Speedway and now off to a city, wherein spectators were treated to a weekend of excitement and a lot of sideways drift action. This was the first time wherein Marikienos witnessed real drift thrill right in front of their own eyes. Rain or shine the people stayed and watched the cars roar its engine, smoke tires and showcase individual driving skills. Yet another treat to the people was the sight of their favorite celebrity drifter and Round 7 Champion at Clark International Speedway no other than Ryan Agocillo, the ultimate Talentado Pinoy, and Eat Bulaga’s noontime tv host.

Since the existence of Lateral Drift, 6 years ago, only one man captured the overall crown of being the Lateral Drift Overall Champion for 5 straight years – Alex Perex . He is the 5 time champion of Lateral drift and Team Yellow Cab’s top driver alongside with Kevin Tayao, and Ryan Agoncillo. Every year he wins, it has not been a walk in the park for him. Especially this year as we go to the 2 final rounds, he trailed 66 points behind this year’s overall championship leader Audel Sison. A local from Pampanga, Sison leads this year and has his eyes on this year’s crown. It was an advantage for him as most of the series were held at his hometown, at Clark International Speedway. It would be a tough battle for these two drivers as only one man will be hailed this year’s 2011 Lateral Drift Champion.

Round 8 drift series started with heavy rains, and most of the drivers didn’t get a chance to practice due to the jammed traffic at the event venue. As the competition began, the weather started to shine and slowly dried the track for better traction for the competitors. The track layout was a fast 2nd gear right hander sweep that they have to enter in a drift to drift the whole course.

After the qualifying the Top 8 drift drivers are Gio Rodriguez, Boodie Dabasol, Ralph Tan, Pao Agregado, Mike Tuason, Alex Perez, Pancho Blanco and Alive Dayrit. Season Championship point leader failed to make it the top 8. Giving a chances for Alex Perez to catch up to his points lead. In the end Perez failed to capitalize due to engine problems and led him to 4th place, and handed the 3rd place to Pao Agregado of Team ARG. The battle for first versus Gio Rodriguez, Rockstar Energy drink with 190E Benz powered by a Nissan Rb25 engine, and Mike Tuason Castrol Rx7 Rotary engine was a cat and mouse battle. Rodriguez a proud Marikenio, executed a better drift around the course vs. Tuason as he captured his 2nd championship round of the year and giving him a better chance at the year overall points. With that, Gio Rodriguez bagged the Round 8 Champion of Lateral Drift Championship Series at Parang , Marikina City.

Drift Series Round 9

The next day, Sunday Round 9 was another wet and wild morning which dried up in the late in the afternoon of the event. A total of 21 drivers showed up for qualifying with combination of new and old faces showed up at the same venue. New comer Josh Tan, a Motorcycle rider of team Suzuki tried his luck in drifting. On his third day of driffting, he was able to drift at par with the other drivers. He might consider a career change since the motorycle races in the Philippines is having a difficult schedule next year. Another old timer, Jason Choachuy of Team Autoindustriya, came back in action since he last joined round 2 this year, and Pia Boren of Team Toy-Cool, the only female drifter in the series.

The battle for overall championship between Alex Perex and Audel Sison looks like a passing of the touch as Alex failed to capitalize on round 8 and still trials Sison by almost 60 points. All Sison had to do is just score on this round to secure 2011 Lateral Drift Championship. Truly the spirit of sportsmanship was shown as Perez congratulated Sision of Team Fern-C Vitamins before the round 9 ceremonies as he joked “don’t hold on the title too long cause I will take it back again from you next year”. This two drifters are the pioneers of the sport when Lateral Drift start in 2005 at Expo parking grounds still at Clark Pampanga.

The Honorable Mayor Del De Guzman graced the event, congratulated and wished all the drivers well. After the qualifity rounds the top 8 drifters that made it were Alex Perez, Audel Sision, Gio Rodriguez, Ralph Tan, Kevin Tayao, Jason Chuachuy, Jon Boban, and Mike Tuason.

Gio Rodriguez in his Benz RockStar energy Mercedes Benz battles with Alex Perez in his teammates Rayan Agoncillos Yellow Cab S13 car, it was one of the best runs as each driver tried to stick close to one another. Rodriguez edges Perez in the judges’ score card and Perez failed to advance again to the finals. Championship leader Audel Sision battles this years Rookie of the year Ralph Tan, to close to call for the judges that, they had a few more one more times. In the end result, Champion Audel Sison edges Tan to earn his spot at the finals to battle with the wonder boy Gio Rodriguez. The battle for 3rd between Jason Choachuy and Kevin Tayao was exciting to watch as the two played the cat and mouse game. Technical error by Choachoy hitting the foam barriers at the exit gave wherein Kevin Tayao bagged the 3rd place. Battel for first between Gio Rodriguez and Audel Sison was another exciting match to the finish, but this year overall champion falls short to win the final round of this year. But still celebrates the team’s success of this year’s season. Rodriguez the Marikenio wins back to back rounds in Parang, Marikina City.

Lateral drift would like to thank Honorable Mayor Del De Guzman, Kapitan Levy de Guzman, and Kagawad Ronald Zulueta of Marikina City.

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