Access Plus Racing thrilled to win in wet and wild PSBK Rd 3 at BRC

Admittedly, the Batangas Racing Circuit (BRC) is not Access Plus Racing’s best suit. Yet, despite the tricky weather conditions, both Timothy Joseph “TJ” Alberto and Lawrence Macalinao managed to deliver 2 wins and 2 podium finishes during the Philippine Superbike Championship’s (PSBK) return to the track last August 6/7.

However, disaster struck even before anything had started. The rain had been on-and-off leading up to the race and caught out an unsuspecting TJ during Friday practice. His #77 Ducati Panigale V4 left the track at speed and while the rider was unhurt, the bike was in pieces.

Fast action by the Access Plus Racing rebuilt the bike overnight, allowing TJ to make it to Qualifying. Siding with caution, the reigning PSBK champion just had to ensure a front-row start and set a time good enough for P3 on the grid. His teammate Lawrence, on the other hand, struggled with a clutch issue that only allowed him to end the session in P9 overall.

Starting Race 1 in the dry, TJ maintained position for most of the race trailing behind Dashi Watanabe on the Kawasaki and Marvin Mangulabnan on the BMW. But with only 2 laps to go, rain fell forcing them to continue on slicks. TJ found grip where others didn’t allowing him to move up a spot and finish in a strong 2nd place. Lawrence wasn’t as lucky. The sudden downpour confused the Ducati rider and slowed down thinking that the race had been red flag. He lost the massive gap he had opened up in the Intermediate Class by the time he realized his error, yet still salvaged 3rd in his category.

Race 2 in the afternoon was declared wet and shortened to just 7 laps. But all riders still ran on slicks on a drying track. It was a repeat of the morning race with Dashi and Marvin fighting at the front. TJ saw his chance to strike on the very last lap when the 2 leading riders went wide, allowing TJ to make his move. He would hold onto 1st place on the run to the chequered flag and deliver a well-deserved win for the team. Lawrence finally got payback for his earlier mistake to deliver a lights-to-flag victory in the Intermediate Class. He crossed the finish line 4th overall and 1st in the Intermediate Class with a commanding 4.174 secs lead.

The 2022 Philippine Superbike Championship now reaches the halfway point with Round 4 scheduled on September 3/4 and return to the Clark International Speedway. TJ Alberto currently leads the Overall and Expert Class standings with 144 points, while teammate Lawrence Macalinao is 2nd in the Intermediate Class just a single point behind the leader.

TJ Alberto, #77: “Great work by the whole team. I had a big crash on Friday and somehow they managed to rebuild the bike overnight. I chose not to take any more big risks, but was still able to deliver good results. Finishing 2nd in Race 1 in the rain on slick tires boosted my confidence. Then I had an amazing last lap battle in Race 2. While running in 3rd, both riders ahead of me went wide and took my chance to win. Taking 1st place after an eventful weekend was amazing. We have doubled our points lead and I am looking forward to the next race which should suit us.”

Lawrence Macalinao, #26: “I’m really happy the results even with the very tricky conditions and finished 3rd and 1st over the weekend. We were really able to close the gap in the Intermediate Class championship. A big thank you to Access Plus Racing and Ducati Philippines the best bike possible. Hopefully we’ll be able to take the points lead in the coming rounds, especially that the next race will be in Clark. The team has always been able to extract the Panigale V4’s full potential there so really looking forward to the next event.”

Toti Alberto, Team Principal: “That was a very eventful weekend for us all. The changing weather plus TJ’s crash on Friday, admittedly we took things a bit cautiously to make sure both our riders are safe. Coming out with good results or even a race win would just be a bonus. So what TJ and Lawrence were able to achieve was nothing short of a blessing from God. A big thank you to everyone at Access Plus Racing, our sponsors, and the Lord for allowing us to be victorious in BRC.”

Access Plus Racing is sponsored by Ducati Philippines, Angkas, Essenza, Frontrow, Katinko, Makati Diamond Residences, Italtrans, Aella, Apex, Extreme Components, Lv8, Macbeth, Ohlins, and STM, with Motoworld and Teagumps.

Oyi Aquino comes out of retirement, goes toe-to-toe with a karting champ in Rotax Max

2 expired painkillers, 1 multivitamin, and 1/2 a serving of pre-workout. That was the ‘secret formula’ that got Oliver ‘Oyi’ Aquino through 2 grueling rounds of the Rotax Max Challenge Philippines. And not only did this 40-year-old manage to survive the race weekend, but he almost beat a quadruple champion less than half his age.

With over 20 years of experience under his belt, this karting veteran now spends more time racing in the sim (under his alias Oyi 87) than on track. But when the opportunity presented itself back in July, he grabbed it with no hesitation and immediately suited up.

Oyi was actually at the Carmona Race Track (CRT) to look after twin brothers Hendrik and Henzley Young who were there to compete in the Rotax 125 Senior Class with the Mercedes Young Driver Development Philippines. As Hendrik was unwell that weekend, Oyi drove his #87 kart instead to tune the setup and provide pointers for his brother Henzley with team technical director Richard Peek on watch. Wanting to scratch that racing itch, the old school karter took his chance and asked Hendrik if he could race his kart to which the youngster gladly obliged.

Although it has been a few years since his last competitive outing in Carmona, albeit the change in surface, the rhythm is pretty much the same Oyi shared with us. He managed to get into the 44 secs range during Time Trial in the morning, but still behind his student Henzley who was 4th fastest on the time sheets. By the Qualifying Heat  he got down into the 43s in the putting him 7th on the road. What you have to understand though is that he’s competing in the Masters Class for drivers 35 years and above, which shares the same grid with the Senior Class karters who are still in their teens. It’s also worth considering that  Oyi is lugging around an 8kg ballast around his nether regions.

To an extent, the rain during the Finals of Round 3 played in his favor mainly because the lesser G-forces are easier on his already-bruised ribs. Fighting past the pain, with the help from some pain killers, the veteran showed that he hasn’t lost any of his speed. He would cross the finish line 3rd overall behind a pair of Senior Class karters.

But this was not even his best drive of the day. That came later in the afternoon. Oyi kicked things up a notch for Round 4 and was out to prove a point. 3rd overall in Time Trial and just 0.247 secs off pole sitter Miguel Quiñones who happens to be the reigning Senior Class champion. After making some adjustments to the kart, he was back at it in the Qualifying Heat and again finishing 3rd – 0.744 secs behind Miguel and Gabriel Carag after 12 laps of racing in the rain.

Come the all-important Finals, all the pain simply went away and Oyi flipped the switched ON. He quickly disposed of Carag in 2nd then had his crosshairs set on Miguel. Utilizing every single trick in the book, he put the ‘school’ in old school and showed this grid full of young karters that this old soul hasn’t lost any of his speed. The #87 kart eventually found a way past and for the first time in a very long time, a Masters Class driver was leading the race.

However, after leading for a good number of laps, he held back. “He’s not in my class and I just wanted to test him,” he recalled. “Also, it was Blue’s kart.” Oyi relinquished the lead on the very last lap, and with a big smile on his face took the chequered flag 2nd overall and 1st in the Masters Category.

Hendrik came to congratulate his mentor by the day’s end and quipped I know you wanted to do it, but thank you for saving my kart.”

Want to get into karting with Oyi Aquino and the talented Richard Peek as your mentors? You can sign up with the Mercedes Young Driver Development Philippines on Facebook.

Watch the highlights from the Rotax Max Challenge, specifically on Oyi’s epic drive in the Finals on YouTube.

[Photos by Bong Boado]

Ryan Sy shines in the rain as Rotax Max Challenge ’22 passes halfway point

12-year-old Ryan Sy knows better than to fear the rain. Often misunderstood, it simply needs to be tamed with finesse and conquered with courage. And when these come together, great things happen such as Ryan’s win during the Rotax Max Challenge Philippines’ double header at Carmona Race Track (CRT) in July.

Much like the previous Rok GP event, the PCRC karter had his hands full with Rounds 3 and Rounds 4 both crammed in a rain-affected Saturday. Things would get off to a slow start with Ryan struggling in the morning, finishing 3.306 secs behind the Junior Class winner in the Semi Finals to take 5th. His fortunes only got worse in the Finals. With the race getting underway in the dry, Ryan drove brilliantly to climb from P5 to P2 in under 2 laps. But the red flags came out as soon as the rain started to fall so that everyone can switch to wets. His pit crew then had to hurriedly change the #79 kart’s setup before sending him back out on track. However, the stop took longer than expected and placed him at the back of the grid. It may have been a tall order to catch up to P1, but not impossible. What is impossible, on the other hand, is to finish with only 3 wheels. The right rear tire came undone on lap 8, which was probably not secured properly during the rushed tire change, forcing Ryan to watch the race unfold in the sidelines.

There were a lot of lessons to be learned from the disappointments in the morning. First is to always tighten your wheels nut properly. Second is to relax, don’t overdrive, and enjoy the race.

Ryan was a completely different driver in the afternoon. He was untouchable in the wet, setting the quickest lap in Time Trials by over a tenth of a second. This would translate into a lights-to-flag victory in the Semi Finals with a slim 0.365 secs lead over championship leader Bern Corpino. He carried this momentum into the all-important Finals and delivered a repeat performance to claim 1st place, but this time Ryan was able to stomp his dominance in the rain and opened up a 5.527 secs advantage by the time the chequered flag dropped.

His mastery of slippery conditions didn’t happen overnight. Ryan recalls that he particularly enjoyed practicing on a wet track back in his MiniRok days, so dancing his kart in the rain all now comes naturally to him. Fingers crossed, the weather will again be in his favor next time the Rotax Max Challenge Philippines is back in action, on the 8th/9th of October for the final 2 rounds of 2022. With his most recent race win, Ryan is now 3rd in the Junior Class standings – 51 points behind the championship leader.

Ryan Sy: “I went from being nervous to wishing that all the races were in the wet in just a single day. I now find racing in the rain fun and somewhat relaxing. You’re constantly on the limit and drifting, giving you that adrenaline rush. I also learned that I should try to calm down more. My problem during Round 3 was that I was so ‘gigil’ which slowed me down. When I overcame this in Round 4 I was able to stay in front. I want to thank my parents for supporting me the whole time. My mechanics uncle Red and uncle Jesse, my coach Elson for teaching me since MiniRok how to drive in the rain.”

Ryan Sy is sponsored by MAX888, LF JOY Realty Inc., WrapTeck, Resultado, and Gardenia. For more info and updates, follow @ryangogogo_ on Instagram.

[Photos by Bong Boado]

Daryl DeLeon Taylor extends Radical SR1 Cup championship lead at Silverstone

Filipino-British driver Daryl DeLeon Taylor is now making a habit of winning races after another strong showing at the Radical SR1 Cup. 2 pole positions, 2 fastest laps, and a pair of race victories at Silverstone further extends his championship lead with only 2 races left in the 2022.

Round 4 of the series utilized the full 5.891 km GP circuit where Daryl set the quickest time amongst the SR1 drivers during Saturday qualifying. Good track positioning allowed him to have clean runs and easily claim pole position for both races.

He and the #2 Valour Racing SR1 got off to a clean start in Race 1 and maintain the lead. Daryl was practically unchallenged throughout the 10-lap race and enjoyed a dominant lights-to-flag victory finish with a 2.800 secs gap over his nearest rival. Aside from scoring maximum points, Daryl also earns an extra point for setting the fastest time of the race.

More work was required to stay in front in Race 2 with a pack of 10 other SR1s now giving chase. He had to make his gold-and-white liveried machine as wide as he can to ensure that no one could get past. Interestingly, a very lengthy safety car period played into the hands of Daryl. Keeping his tire temperature within range, he was able to easily break away from the pack at the restart and build a comfortable gap. In just a handful of laps Daryl was able to open up a 1.349 secs advantage to take the chequered flag in 1st place.

What’s different about this race weekend was that the Endurance Race on Sunday earned points towards the championship. But like before, Daryl was again on pole position for the 45 minute session. Things were looking good from the start with Daryl in the lead, that was until a torrential downpour soaked the entire track. He tried to stay out for as long as he could and fought to keep his car on the road. Eventually, the team decided it was time to bring him into the pits for wets and by the time he rejoined, was lapping around 10 secs faster per lap than any SR1 cup driver in the tricky conditions. It was just unfortunate that the combination of a drying track and being caught behind the safety car later in the race didn’t work in his favor. This dropped him down the order and in the end, could only fight for 5th place across the line.

With 6 race wins so far this season, Daryl further extends his lead in the Drivers’ Standings to 36 points with 2 more events left in the 2022 calendar. He and Valour Racing will be back in action after just 2 weeks on the 13th of August at Oulton Park.

Daryl DeLeon Taylor: “A good weekend at Silverstone. Although circumstances in the endurance race didn’t give me the perfect weekend, I still managed to increase my championship lead in the Radical SR1. With 2 rounds still to go still at Oulton Park and Donnington Park, I am looking forward to the remaining races at tracks that I have done days and days testing for with hopes of taking the title.”

Daryl DeLeon Taylor is supported by Train Maintenance Services (TMS).

For news and updates, Like the Daryl DeLeon Racing page on Facebook, follow @daryldeleon on Instagram, or visit daryltaylorracing.com.

Access Plus Racing braces for wet PSBK showdown on return to BRC

After an eventful race last month, Access Plus Racing is coming back stronger to assert their position as a team to beat in the Philippine Superbike Championship (PSBK). And adding to the challenge of the Batangas Racing Circuit (BRC) is the thread of rain, which will make things very interesting for Timothy Joseph “TJ” Alberto and Lawrence Macalinao over the weekend.

Both riders had mixed results during the series’ last visit to the 3.700 km track. Alberto scored the team’s first win of the day in Race 1, but suffered a frightening tire failure in Race 2. Luckily he managed to stay control of his #77 Ducati Panigale V4 and fight back to 2nd. Macalinao, on the other hand, had a great tussle to win Race 1 by a slim 0.028 secs margin across the line. However, like his teammate, he too struck trouble and stalled at the start of Race 2. But his determination would allow him to catch up despite dropping down to last to finish 2nd in class.

Round 3 of the 2022 championship will only be the PSBK’s second event at BRC in 2 years. Admittedly, even a team as experienced as Access Plus Racing needs more than a single weekend to master the circuit. That’s why they’ve tested extensively leading up to the race to further hone both bike and rider.

Qualifying is again scheduled on Saturday (August 6) with Races 1 and 2 taking place on Sunday (August 7). But the weather will be hard to predict over the next few days. The rain has already been on-and-off on Friday and it’s going to be hard to predict whether the races will be wet or dry. Nevertheless, the team is well-prepared for whatever the weather throws at them and is confident that they’ll be at the front of the back rain or shine.

TJ Alberto, #77: “I’m looking forward to the second race in BRC. So far we’ve been doing well in testing both in the wet and dry and I’m confident that we can be competitive regardless of the weather conditions. It feels good to be back on the Ducati Panigale V4 and we tested some new things over leading up to the race weekend. The changeable weather conditions will make the races interesting, but we come prepared.”

Lawrence Macalinao, #26: “We are looking to bounce back from the previous round. We’ve put in time to practice and improve our pace in BRC and more importantly, learn from our mistakes. The weather forecast seems to be rainy this Sunday. Although our testing were mostly done in the dry, we’re prepared for both dry and wet conditions. Hopefully we can regain the championship points lead in the Intermediate Class this round.”

Toti Alberto, Team Principal: “We just arrived a few days ago from Italy attending the World Ducati Week and to support Troy’s race in WorldSSP300. Still we were able to get enough track time to prepare for the race weekend. The team was able to do a lot of work with Lawrence to make him even more competitive and we’re happy to see how much he has improved. TJ has also learned new things that should help him stay at the front. Access Plus Racing and Ducati Philippines is excited to race and we’re confident that both our riders will deliver strong results.”

Access Plus Racing is sponsored by Ducati Philippines, Angkas, Essenza, Frontrow, Katinko, Makati Diamond Residences, Italtrans, Aella, Apex, Extreme Components, Lv8, Macbeth, Ohlins, and STM, with Motoworld and Teagumps.

Shell V-Power is raffling off an all-expense-paid trip to Singapore

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It seems that Binotto isn’t the only one making bad strategy calls on the pit wall. Shell, who was originally giving away tickets to watch the ‘pinnacle of motorsports’ live, has had a change of heart. And we’d like to believe that they’re doing this to spare us from seeing Leclerc and Sainz have another disappointing finish. So now, their new Shell V-Power “Power Up to Experience Singapore” promo ‘only’ includes an all-expense-paid trip for two (2) to the Lion City.

Here’s what you need to do to win a FREE vacation to Singapore.

Get one (1) raffle coupon for every single receipt purchase of P2,000 worth of Shell V-Power for 4-wheeled customers, or P250 worth of Shell V-Power for 2-wheeled customers, on or before the 29th of August 2022 at participating Shell stations nationwide.

Shell Go+ members and Shell Citi VISA customers will also get two (2) raffle entries (instead of just one) for every qualified transaction. What’s more, Shell Go+ users also get 2x the amount of points for every qualified Shell V-Power purchase during the promo period.

The prize is an all-expense-paid trip for two (2) to Singapore with round-trip airfare tickets, hotel accommodations, and a curated Singapore experience worth P1.0-million. That’s broken down to P200,000 worth of tours, food, and entertainment, and P800,000 in pocket money.

“We want to give the best experience to our customers and make them feel the difference every time they gas-up with Shell V-Power, so we’re taking a few lucky ones out for a fun and memorable journey to Singapore,” says Arvin Obmerga, Pilipinas Shell Head of Mobility Marketing.

Russel Cabrera’s win in Phil GT a sign of things to come from Toyota Team Cebu

The local motorsports community really ought to pay more attention to Russel Cabrera. This 18-year-old has been quietly building a solid reputation on track, be in sim racing or the real world. And more recently, he found himself on the top step of the podium in the Philippine GT Championship by driving a Vios OMR cup car faster than everyone else in GT100.

Russel followed in the footsteps of his father Jun Cabrera and got into racing at an early age. He was competing as early as 2017 and was a regular in the FlatOut Race Series (FORS). He then entered the 8 Oras ng Pilipinas in 2018 and finished 5th in class. What’s unusual about Russel is how, contrary to how the motorsports ladder intended, he raced cars first before getting into go karts. Still, he managed to find success on his karting debut where he became the Intermediate Class champion in the 2020 Petron Motorsports Karting Academy. The pandemic would later force Russel to take his races online. And as expected, he had no trouble keeping to his winning ways even in the virtual world taking the GR Supra GT Cup Asia Ph Junior Class title twice in a row.

His first outing in the Philippine GT Championship came in 2021. Testing the waters, he entered a single event in GT100 and surprisingly did very well on his first attempt. Russel took home 2nd and 1st over the race weekend, which is a strong sign of things to come from this young driver.

A year later, Russel decided to give the series another go and entered Round 3 of the 2022 season last July held at the Clark International Speedway (CIS). Despite missing the first 2 events due to schoolwork, he had no issues getting up to speed and placed the #95 Vios OMR cup car P2 on the grid just 0.047 secs shy off pole. But that didn’t last very long in Race 1. He managed to find a way past the pole sitter early on to take the lead and more importantly, take control. Russel was unchallenged throughout the 9-lap race and finished 1st in class with a comfortable 2.847 secs lead.

It was a similar story in Race 2 where he shot into the lead after starting P3 on the grid. Although he crossed the finish line 1st, he was later dropped to 2nd place in GT100 due to a penalty incurred for making contact with another driver as he was passing for the lead. Impressive results nonetheless from this 18-year-old.

All this eventually got Russel noticed by Toyota Team Cebu (TTC), prompting them to give him the break that he needed. So come the 19th/20th of August, Russel Cabrera will become a full-fledged TGR Vios Cup driver as he lines up on the Sporting Class grid.

Russel Cabrera: “It was a fun experience getting back to racing after a 1-year hiatus. I am extremely grateful to Toyota Team Cebu and Visayas Racing Group Iloilo for giving me the opportunity to represent them in the coming Vios Cup races. I’m excited for this new challenge. I will do my very best to get good results for the team and at the same time, I look forward to racing with the best racers in the country.”

Aside from Russel, there was another TTC driver that weekend that wound up on the podium on multiple occasions. Ian Rosales, while on break from the TGR Vios Cup, thought that it would be a good idea to race a humble Honda Civic EG in literally EVERY SINGLE RACE possible. The driver from Iloilo signed up in GT150, the time attack event, the grid race, the bracket race, and the Super Touring Festival using the exact same car. And lo and behind, Ian finished no lower than 2nd in every event he signed up for. What he achieved was nothing short of mind-blowing, which sums up his performance every time he’s out on track.

Petron named official fuel and engine oil supplier of the TGR Vios Cup 2022

Petron Corporation has renewed (and strengthened) its motorsports partnership with Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) for the third year running. In a recent announcement, the 2022 edition of the Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR) Vios Cup has named Petron XCS as its official fuel and Petron Blaze Racing as its official engine oil.

All the Vios One Make Race (OMR) cars will be powered by Petron XCS, a 95-octane premium gasoline formulated with a high-performance additive system containing a unique combustion catalyst and excellent detergent additive for optimum performance. The additive technology used in Petron XCS ensures quicker engine response, excellent engine protection, and optimal fuel efficiency. Competitors are assured of enhanced engine power and responsiveness, which is needed by any race car to perform at 100% on track.

It’s interesting to know is that Petron XCS is the most widely used gasoline in the country. And if it’s powering the biggest motorsport event in the country, imagine what it can do for your personal daily drive.

Meanwhile, with the departure of MOTUL from the series, Petron Blaze Racing now takes its place as the championship’s new official engine oil. It perfectly complements the performance benefits of Petron XCS as its formulated with a Thermal Stress Stabilizing System (TS3) that keeps the oil stable even at extreme temperatures.

The TGR Vios Cup 2022 consists of thee legs, running from July to November at the Clark International Speedway (CIS).

Having served the fuel needs of the country for almost 90 years, only Petron has a deep understanding of the unique driving conditions on Philippine roads. Created by Filipinos for Filipinos, Petron fuels and lubricants are designed to meet the motoring needs of everyone, whether for everyday road use or on the highly-competitive racetrack.

Romain Grosjean explains why life in IndyCar is better than Formula 1

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179 race starts, 59 points finishes, and 10 podiums. Stats-wise, it really seems like Romain Grosjean enjoyed a rather colorful career in Formula 1 that lasted 10 seasons long. But in 2021, the year after his infamous crash at the Bahrain GP, the ex-Lotus F1 and ex-Haas F1 Team driver decided to make the big switch and move stateside to race in IndyCar.

GoF1 Show and Matthew Marsh got the chance to catch up with the Frenchman to see how he’s adjusted to racing (and life) in the USA. What’s makes this interview interesting is how Romain is able to speak his mind, unrestrained by the ultra-strict PR bubble once set by Formula 1. Here he gets to talk freely on the differences of the machines underneath him, the approach to racing, and driving style. Unsurprisingly, the Andretti Autosport driver shares his newfound love for the top American racing series and how different life is compared from the seriousness of Formula 1.

Watch this casual chat of the GoF1 Show with Romain Grosjean and understand why he enjoys his new life in IndyCar.

Subscribe to the GoF1 Show on YouTube to watch live-streamed debriefs after every Grand Prix with current and former drivers, technical experts, and experienced journalists.

MS-A by Motul is a new MUGEN oil specifically designed for Honda

With their rich and successful racing history together, Honda and MUGEN has again teamed up to bring their success on the track to the road. They’ve co-developed a new line of high-performance 100% synthetic lubricants called the MS-A by Motul, specifically designed for Honda road cars.

This new product is specially formulated with lessons learned by MUGEN race teams from years competing with Motul oils. If you don’t know the name, MUGEN is a performance aftermarket manufacturer for Honda automobiles. But they’re better known for their pursuits in motorsports. MUGEN race teams have been using Motul to lubricate their engines in Super GT and Super Formula for the past few decades (which have also produced some very iconic race car liveries).

The formulation for the MS-A by Motul has been modified uniquely for the Asian market in terms of viscometric and additive technology. It’s available in two viscosities, 5W30 and 5W40.

Naturally, the MS-A by Motul is best suited for modern Honda engines, providing class-leading protection and superior performance. It has been developed to provide high HTHS protection for the engine with excellent shear stability for extended protection and longer durability. Another feature of the MS-A by Motul is that it also prevents Low Speed Pre-Ignition (LSPI) for the latest generation of turbocharged Honda engines to avoid premature hardware failure. This product has proven to have outstanding detergent and dispersant properties as well as anti-sludge and anti-wear features to keep the engine clean of any debris.

MS-A BY Motul is now available in the Philippines through Autoplus Sports with contact numbers 0908-723-2395 and 0920-410-3893.

This is how Ryan Odi scored a podium at the SCCA Enduro in a VW Golf

Our friend Ryan Odi has been busy over in the USA. As we found out, the Filipino-American driver and a bunch of his friends recently entered the Sports Car Club of America’s (SCCA) Enduro National Tour when it visited the Nelson Ledges Road Course for its inaugural event. While their race weekend was filled with ups and downs, we’re happy to report that they managed to finish on the podium in a VW Golf Mk5.

The newly formed team consisted of Nathan Pring, Steven Strickland, and Ryan. As none of the drivers has ever driven around the 3.2 km circuit before, they took things a bit easy during Friday Practice. However, no amount of precaution could have prevented their #77 Conover Motorsports entry from leaving the track in tricky conditions at speed.

Their Mk5 Golf took a nasty trip to the barriers and required hours to repair. Parts had to be sourced from other teams and even required a quick trip to the nearby junkyard. But despite the track time lost and missing out on Qualifying, what’s important was that the car was repaired in time for Saturday.

At exactly 9 o’clock in the morning, a total of 11 cars took to the start of Race 1 for 8 hours of non-stop racing. The #77 Golf, on the other hand, spent more of those hours in the pits than on track. First it was to replace a problematic gauge cluster that caused the brakes to lock up. The transmission then failed shortly after and needed almost 2 hours to get swapped out. As if that wasn’t enough of a setback, the spare was missing 5th so the team was forced to run it with only 4 gears.

With all the time wasted in the garage, Nathan, Steven, and Ryan would only get to drive 1 stint each. The #77 Conover Motorsports VW Golf also completed just enough laps to be considered a finisher, in 9th place, and 147 laps behind 1st.

Come the next morning, the team put everything behind them for another go at the SCCA Enduro 8 Hours. This time they came back with a fully repaired Mk5 Golf and ready to fight.

The grid was a good mix potent machinery with the likes of Boxters, Covettes, M3s, and Mustangs all fighting for victory. Then there was the Conover Motorsport VW punching way above its weight. Nathan drove first then Steven jumped in next under clear skies. But by the time it was Ryan’s turn it started to rain. While it wasn’t a downpour, going from wet to dry to wet again was tricky.

Consistently quick laps, problem free pitstops, and a good strategy courtesy of Crew Chief slash Team Owner Cameron Conover got the #77 car up the rankings. His data also showed that the Mk5 Golf was a bit thirsty, which meant everyone had to conserve fuel – drafting or lifting wherever possible – to make each stint last up to 2 hours long. In the end, everything ran without a hitch and after 8 hour of driving Nathan, Steven, and Ryan would cross the finish line with 320 laps in the bag to take 4th overall and 1st in class. It was just a shame that there was no photo of the podium.

The SCCA Enduro National Tour will be visiting the Virginia International Raceway next in August where Conover Motorsports is expected to return to fight for class victory. It’s still unknown whether Ryan will be part of the team’s lineup next month.

For the latest updates, follow Ryan Odi at @ryan.odi on Instagram.

Pegasus LED V2 is a better, cost-effective upgrade for your car headlights

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Instead of installing LED bars that may or may not be legal (depends on who you ask), Pegasus is offering a better and more cost-effective solution to brighten up the roads at night. Best of all, it’s plug-and-play.

Utilizing the latest LED technology, the Pegasus LED V2 Headlights is good upgrade from the stock OEM halogen bulbs. Not only do they emit a brighter output to improve visibility in the dark, but the perfect beam pattern ensures that it won’t produce a nasty glare that will blind oncoming drivers.

Pegasus LED V2 Headlights also draw lesser energy as compared to OEM halogen bulbs. The energy-efficient LEDs run on only 30 Watts as compared to the stock 65 Watt bulbs. Because of this, the LED V2 Headlights also tend to last longer and operate at its optimum performance. Adding to that, the integrated heat sink and fan on the metallic casing keep temps low.

Note that this upgrade is not for aesthetic reasons only. While its 6500K pure white color temperature does look good on any car, switching to LED V2 Headlights can improve driving safety as it better illuminates the road.

Water resistant and dust-proof, Pegasus LED V2 Headlights are available in different OEM sizes (H1, H3, H4, H7, H8, H11, H16, 9006, 9012, and more) to suit almost all vehicle makes and models. It’s a direct fit to most headlight housings and can be installed DIY in 30 minutes or less. Each pair carries a very budget-friendly retail price of only P2,000 and comes with a 1-year replacement warranty.

They’re now available through authorized distributors nationwide Partspro, VGT, Korean Auto Parts Banawe, and Automafia. Or you can also order direct online via www.zerostainautomotive.com with FREE shipping nationwide. And be sure to add matching LED park, brake, and reverse lights to your cart before checking out.