AAP’s new Head of Motorsports, Rikki Dy-Liacco aims to uplift level of local racing

If we have any hopes of getting Philippine motorsports at par to international levels, we need someone who has reached international levels. And there’s only one man that comes into mind, racing stalwart Rikki Dy-Liacco. The newly-appointed Head of AAP Motorsports officially takes office on the 1st of January 2023 and has big shoes to fill to uplift the level of local motorsports.

A veteran of multiple racing disciplines, Rikki shifted gears to dedicate the last 15 years of his career working on the other side of the pit lane to serve the sport he loves. He was Operations Director of the Zhuhai International Circuit from ’07 to ’16, then the Tianjin V1 Circuit ’til ’18 in China. He also served as an International Race Steward for over a decade for events such as the Asian Le Mans Series, GT World Challenge Asia, Thailand Super Series, F3 Asian Championship, Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, and TCR Asia Series just to name a few. Some of the more impressive stints on his resume include the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Macau Grand Prix where he also served as a steward.

Now, he has come back to serve his home country. He was first called up by the Automobile Association Philippines (AAP) as a motorsport consultant just 12 months ago. We’d like to think that the relationship proved to be so fruitful that he was offered a more permanent post within the organization.

The role as Head of AAP Motorsports involves leading the National Sporting Authority (ASN) and get local motorsports to up spec to our regional counterparts.

“This is a multi-faceted task and needs to be addressed simultaneously. Closer working relations will be established with the circuit operator, event organizers, teams and drivers, and an enhanced set of race officials,” shared Rikki. “We will be addressing the needs of the current times while pushing the goal post towards aligning ourselves with international level competition.”

And how exactly does Rikki plan to achieve this? Well, he has four main focal points: Working Relations, Updated Licensing System, Improved Conduct of Events, and Revival of Rallying.

Working Relations | A vast improvement in working relations with all involved in motorsports will be established. As we lead, we will be a listening ASN that will address the individual needs of the times and see where improved levels of cooperation with the various parties can be achieved.

Updated Licensing System | The current licensing system will be reviewed and updated towards adopting the FIA International Code method and grading of drivers.

Improved Conduct of Events | In particular, officiation and team and driver behavior. At least three seminars will be conducted for race officials. This includes clerks of the course, race directors, and stewards. We would also want to include a seminar for team managers.

Revival of Rallying | Efforts have been made to support the revival of rallying and this is expected to continue. The ASN will be supportive of this effort .

“I feel we were left behind by our regional counterparts. Officiation at events, team manager, and driver knowledge of basic regulations are a few of what I see. These are all linked with one another. If we are able to come up with better quality events, the improved acceptance of motorsports as a medium of exposure will be recognized by advertisers to the benefit of the sport, in general,” he added.

Godspeed, Rikki. We know it’s a daunting challenge to shape up Philippine motorsports, but we’re here every step of the way to support you.

Vincent Floirendo rewarded with 2nd place finish at TSS season finale at Buriram

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What better way to end the 2022 season than to finish on the podium. And for Vincent Floirendo, the season finale of the Thailand Super Series (TSS) was made extra special when he managed to out-do his previous best of finishing 3rd. He, with co-driver ex-DTM and GT1 driver Markus Winkelhock, went on to a much-deserved 2nd place at the Buriram International Circuit, making it his new best result to-date.

The weekend got off to a relatively slow start when Vincent qualified in P15 in QTT1. Markus then improved their outlook by placing the #55 ENsport Audi R8 LMS Evo II on the front row of the grid in QTT2, giving a real fighting chance for Sunday.

But doubts regarding their lowly starting position in Race 1 was quickly put to rest when Vincent gained several positions just on the opening lap. His heroic drive would place them in P9, which the Filipino driver maintained until the driver change. With the pit stop bunching up the pack, Markus then started to reel in the others cars and picked them off one after another during his stint. Remarkably, their teamwork resulted in a 5th place finish and a spot on the podium, finishing just 33.623 secs behind the race winner.

Race 2 the following day was even more action packed for the duo as they were right in the thick of the championship battle. Their #55 ENsport Audi would start from pole position after the would-be pole sitter dropped out from the weekend the previous day. Markus held onto the lead throughout his stint and even opened up a 4.434 sec advantage by the time he handed the car over to Vincent. Despite all the chaos in the pit lane, they only lost a spot when they rejoined the track. While the Filipino couldn’t quite match the pace of the leading #27 B-Quik Absolute Racing Audi R8, we did well to maintain position and defend against a hard charging Lexus RCF GT3 behind him who was desperately trying to find a way to get past.

The 2nd place finish marked Vincent’s third podium of the season to cap off the year 4th overall in the Pro-Am Championship.

Vincent Floirendo: “Finally the last race of the year. It has been very challenging from the start of season in June, but happy to end it on a high note with a strong 2nd place at Buriram. A big thank you to BQuick Absolute Racing and my teammate Marcus Winkelhock whom I learned from a lot. Now working on my plans for 2023 and return to the series with the same team. But before that, I’m considering an entry into the Sepang 12 Hours in March to get more seat time and further improve my drive. It’s going to be a big challenge to race against fast Bronze drivers, so I have to up my game and be more competitive next year.”

8 Hour Enduro rookies Toyota Team Cebu Beröl Racing pull surprise class win

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Sans for team coach Norris See, this was the very first time for Jarond Mesina, Francisco ‘Isko’ Maravilla, Ezra Decena, and Johndale Dy to all enter an endurance race. Yet, despite their lack of experience, they never lacked in speed, stamina, and spirit. This would ultimately allow Toyota Team Cebu (TTC) Beröl Racing to take a surprise class victory in the 8 Hour Endurance Challenge last November.

The squad was quickly put together by TTC Team Captain Lord Seno in a matter of weeks. Still fresh from the TGR Vios Cup, signing up Jarond Mesina was a no-brainer. Isko Maravilla, on the other hand, is an avid autocross enthusiast from Iloilo who organizes events back home since 2017. He is a product of the AAP’s Motorsport Development Program (MSDP) and has started dabbling in circuit events. Like Isko, Ezra Decena also got into motorsports thru autocross, then tried out drifting and rallycross with relative success. Then there’s Johndale Dy, who’s under the tutelage of Lord Seno, was called in last to complete the TTC Beröl Racing line up.

Fittingly, the most qualified of the 5 was in the driver’s seat during Qualifying. That role went to TGR Vios Cup Promotional Class driver Jarond Mesina who managed to set a 2:29.298 lap, putting the #43 Toyota Vios OMR Cup Car 22nd on the grid and 3rd amongst the C3 Class runners. But starting positions aside, the race strategy of TTC Beröl Racing was quite simple: aim for a consistent target lap time, make it to the finish, and most importantly have fun.

At exactly 8:00 AM on Sunday morning, 30 cars took off at the start of the 8 Hour Endurance Challenge. Jarond was first behind the wheel and drove the maximum allowable 120 minutes before handing the car over to Isko. The team was still in contention for both the 4 Hour and 8 Hour races after the first driver change with Isko setting quick, consistent laps for 90 minutes.

He could have stayed in the car for another half hour and challenged for victory in the 4 Hour race, but that’s not what they’re here for. TTC Beröl Racing wanted to give every driver equal opportunity and pitted him in so that Ezra could have more time on track. The decision ultimately cost them a lap to to Obengers Racing, but was still classified 2nd in the C3 Class for the 4 Hours.

Not bad so far.

No one could have guessed that this was Ezra’s first time to drive around the Clark International Speedway (CIS), especially how well he defended against their closest class rivals. It was just unfortunate that his stint was cut short due to a lengthy Safety Car period. TTC Beröl Racing was trouble-free up to this point, that was until Johndale encountered issues with his in-car radio.

While he could hear the pit wall, he was unable to radio back what was going on inside the car. The confusion forced the team to pit him short of his 90 minute stint and send Norris out earlier than expected. With 140 minutes still left on the clock, their Team Coach couldn’t simply drive all the way to the finish without incurring a penalty.

Norris now had to push every single lap just to make up for lost time from the extra stop, which was not easy to do as he had to make sure that the #43 Toyota Vios OMR survived all the way to the chequered flag. It was a big sigh of relief when their closest rival Obengers Racing retired in the closing stages, allowing Jarond to simply cruise to a class victory when he hopped back in the car for their final stint.

At the end of 8 hours of non-stop racing, Toyota Team Cebu Beröl Racing would complete 172 laps to claim 1st place in the C3 Category and finish 7th overall with a bunch of rookie drivers.

Toyota Team Cebu is sponsored by Beröl Lubricants Philippines, Toyota Mandaue South, Prestone, Staging Lines, and Bully Concepts.

Team Philippines all set for Rotax MAX Challenge Asia Festival in Langkawi

Organized by Amprex Racing Services, distributor and promoter of Rotax kart engines in Malaysia, is culminating the 2022 season with a bang. They’re hosting the Rotax MAX Challenge Asia Festival (RMCAF) this December 9/11 at the MORAC Adventure Park in Langkawi where the best karters around the region come to compete. And the Philippines will be out to prove itself with 11 entries from our local pool of talent.

The country’s biggest contingent can be found in the Senior MAX Category. Newly-crowned Rotax MAX Challenge Philippines and Rok GP Super Karting Series champion Miguel Quiñones leads the way with his sister Shaniah Quiñones. Both have raced on this circuit on past occasions and are expected to do well this weekend. Joining them are fellow Senior karters Gabriel Carag and Gabriel Chan. Meanwhile, the reigning Rotax MAX Challenge Philippines Junior champion Bern Corpino is stepping up a class along with his closest competitor Josh Marquez. Then there’s Miguel Abaño who will be taking a leap of faith as he jumps from being a Petron Intermediate Clubrace karter straight into Seniors in an international event no less. Together, all 7 will be up against a strong 51-kart entry list in Langkawi.

The pairing of Ethan Ong and Ryan Sy will be taking their chances in Junior MAX. Sporting matching race suits, the teammates are running under Stratos Motorsports in hopes of taking a class podium.

Axel Nocom is the country’s lone entry in Mini MAX, but we expect great things to come from this young 10-year-old. A product of the Mercedes Young Driver Development Philippines, Axel is a multiple-time MiniRok champion back home. Last but not the least, Theo Zaragoza will slug it out against other gentleman drivers in the DD2 Max Masters class.

Except for a few, this will be the first time for these karters to race on the 1.243 km long MORAC Adventure Park in Langkawi. Adding to the challenge is the fact that most of them have never raced in an international event before with such a big entry list of such high caliber. Still, we have high hopes that our local pool of talent will have what it takes to bring home a few race wins and podiums this weekend.

(From top left) Miguel Albano, Miguel Quinones, Shaniah Quinones, Bern Corpino, Josh Marquez, Gabriel Chan (From bottom left) Gabriel Carag, Theo Zaragoza, Axel Nocom, Ryan Sy, Ethan Ong.

[Photos by Bong Boado]

Formula V1 entries claim double class podium at 4 Hour Enduro

This season, the GITI-Formula V1 Challenge wanted to push its drivers to their limits by signing them all up for an endurance race. Of the 5 teams that entered last November, 4 registered for the 4 Hour event while only 1 was brave enough to take on the full 8 Hours.

The #41 Giti-EdgeSport entry, shared between multiple-time slalom champion Milo Rivera and veteran Vios Cup driver Bryan Co, was the quickest of the bunch. Setting a 2:10.623 lap during Qualifying placed them P2 on the grid with the lone Radical SR1 taking pole. OTR-Obengers was in a strong P3 with a 2:11.546 best that was driven by ’21 FV1 AM Class champion Joaquin ‘Wakkeen’ Garrido and Oliver ‘Oyi’ Aquino. But as with all endurance races, starting positions don’t really matter if you can’t make it to the finish.

Lo and behold, the much more potent Radical SR1 took control of the race as soon as the lights turned green on Sunday morning. It was at least 8 secs faster per lap than all the the FV1s and won the 4 Hour event with ease, but not by a mile. Starting from the front row, the #41 Giti-EdgeSport gave its best to keep up and only fell 2 laps behind to finish 2nd in the Prototype Class.

Obengers Racing’s second entry, the #310 machine of ’18 Vios Cup champion and John Dizon and Julian Tang, also did well to hang with the 2 lead cars. After 4 hours of racing it crossed the line 3rd in class with 94 laps in the bag, securing another podium for the Formula V1 squad.

The pairing of Wakkeen and Oyi in the #63 OTR-Obengers car couldn’t quite keep the pace they had in Qualifying and slid back to 4th with 91 laps completed. Meanwhile, AUTOHOLIC Raceform was the only non-finisher of the Formula V1 cars where newly crowned FV1 AM Class champion Sebastien Soto and Raffy Rabe bowed out due to an engine failure after 2 hours of running.

Then there’s the brave crew of the #85 car entered by Tuason Racing themselves. Elysse Menorca, Quattro Adriano, Jiff Armas, Paul Monastrial, and Pathrick Bautista took turns to last the full race distance. They were the only Prototype Class entry left on track and went on to complete 160 laps around the Clark International Speedway (CIS) to finish 12th overall.

The 2022 Formula V1 Challenge is presented by Tuason Racing, powered by GITI Tires and West Racing Japan, supported by Oakley, FASA, OMP, Brembo, and Rota.

Obengers Racing’s all-star lineup take C3 class victory at 4 Hour Enduro

There were a number of fresh faces in the Obengers Racing garage when the team took on both the 4 Hour and 8 Hour Endurance Challenge last November. And while they would fail to make it to the chequered flag at the end, team still delivered a surprise class win in the 4 Hour race with their new recruits.

Flying in from overseas, Thomas Radolf and Yoshinari Fujiwara entered the #23 Toyota Vios OMR together with locals Pao Agregado and John Dizon in the C3 Category. Thomas is a veteran driver from Denmark who has made a name for himself competing in Asia. The a multiple-time touring car champion and was the Thailand Super Series Super Car GTC Champion in 2017. Fujiwara-san, on the other hand, shares a similar motorsports career path in Japan working his way up in the Super Taikyu Series to becoming a Audi R8 LMS GT4 driver in recent years.

Interestingly, it was Thomas who set the fastest time out of the 4 drivers in Qualifying despite this being his first time racing at the Clark International Speedway. He set a 2:27.454 lap, which was good enough to put them 2nd in the C3 Category and 21st overall out of 30 other entries.

But whoever said that starting positions in an endurance race wasn’t important obviously didn’t know who Thomas was. Because come Sunday morning at exactly 8:00 AM, the Dutchman immediately went on to take the class lead on the opening lap. He then got to work and picked off the other cars one by one to get Obengers Racing as high up as P8 overall and 3 laps ahead in class after his mega 2-hour stint.

Team Captain Pao Agregado was next in the driver’s seat who then extended their lead even further. The gap to 2nd in the C3 Category has now grown to 6 laps and they were now in P6 overall, rubbing elbows with much faster machinery.

Fujiwara’s turn came up just about the race’s halfway mark where he rejoined during the hottest time of the day. Driving under the sweltering heat was no easy feat, yet the Japanese driver maintained his composure and even managed to gain a spot in the overall ranking to put the #23 Vios OMR in P5.

It was finally John Dizon’s turn to bring the car home to the finish after the last driver change of the day. Although an overall podium spot was not possible, Obengers Racing was still en route to an easy class victory with a 6 lap lead to spare. However, they would never get to see the chequered flag. Only 30 minutes into his stint, the #23 machine’s engine decided to give up its ghost forcing the 2018 Vios Cup Champion into retirement.

While it was a bitter end to what was an impressive run, Obengers Racing still walked away with full smiles. Their efforts were rewarded with the C3 Class victory for the 4 Hour Endurance Challenge.

Pao Agregado, Obengers Team Manager and Driver: “It was a very good effort by the team. Everyone did their stints just as expected, never made any mistakes, and we never incurred any penalties. It was a great achievement by Thomas and Fujiwara-san to win their first 4 hour race in the Philippines on their first attempt and looking forward to see them drive for Obengers Racing again in the future. We then pushed on with hopes of securing another class victory for the 8 hour race, but sadly we never made it to the end. That’s racing, but the team’s performance shows a lot of promise and we hope to come back stronger next year.”

Obengers Racing Endurance Team is sponsored by Autovault Speed Shop, Modesta Ph, Autozkin Paint Protection, Autoshocker, Dr. Colorchip Philippines, Dynopro, Karpartzzz69, Motul, and VARTA Battery Center QC.

Toyota Team Cebu caps off TGR Vios Cup with wins and podiums at 2022 season finale

2022 was a rebirth for Toyota Team Cebu (TTC). The squad from the Queen City of the South made a grand comeback to the Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR) Vios Cup after a 2-year hiatus with 5 of its 6 drivers being new recruits. Yet, despite their inexperience in the one-make-series, they were able to wrap up the season with 3 race wins and 11 podium finishes.

Sadly, the final round of the year held last November 18/19 at the Clark International Speedway (CIS) was also the last on track appearance of one of its pioneer members. Lord Seno drove for the team for all 7 seasons and played a vital role as Team Captain. He will now hang up his #43 racing number at the end of the year as he heads into retirement.

Super Sporting Class The season finale, however, wasn’t the sendoff Lord was hoping for. 5th fastest in QTT, the veteran was able to hold position for the entire 12-lap race on Friday afternoon to finish where he had started. But things didn’t exactly go his way on Saturday morning. Lord managed a clean getaway from 3rd on the grid and slotted into P6 after a chaotic opening laps. His charge was then interrupted by a lengthly Safety Car period before his #43 Vios OMR was forced to retire due to a technical issue a few laps later.

One last hurrah from the TTC Team Captain saw him battle hard for P5 in Race 9. Unable to keep up with the pace of the championship contenders on dark and damp conditions, he later settled into 6th place and cruised to the chequered flag to wrap up a colorful racing history in the TGR Vios Cup.

Sporting Class Russel Cabrera has been a revelation for TTC winning on his race debut back in August. He then showed the same level of performance during the season ender and delivered impressive results yet again. A slow Qualifying lap only secured him P7 on the grid, but that didn’t stop him from going on full attack mode in Race 7 on Friday.

The 18-year-old managed to gain 3 positions under 12 laps of racing to score valuable points in 4th. Now starting from P3, Russel slotted in to P2 on the opening lap and gave chase to the leader. However, it proved to be difficult to overtake as both drivers were equally matched, forcing him to settle 2nd place.

His hopes of finishing the season on a high, unfortunately never materialized. Russel struggled for grip on a damp Race 9 and while he managed to climb up to a podium position, he later fell back to finish in 5th where he started.

Promotional Class All hopes of a strong result for TTC rested with the trio of Jarond Mesina, Alan Palacios, and Ian Rosales. Their strategy was to shed as much success ballast off as possible in Race 7 by finishing no higher than 4th, 5th, and 6th. This should give them the best chance possible in Race 8 and 9 where double points are up for grabs. And that’s exactly what they did with Ian in 4th, Alan in 5th, and Jarond in 6th.

With their lightened cars, the trio were easily the fastest drivers on track in Race 8 and took control at the front. It was a dream result for TTC as Jarond, Ian, and Alan delivered a 1-2-3 finish across the line. But their celebrations were cut short when Ian was slapped with a 20 secs time penalty for repeatedly exceeding track limits, dropping him to 6th and promoting Alan to 2nd.

Race 9 was a winner-take-all showdown with Alan leading in the points and Ian in 2nd. However, Alan’s championship hopes slipped away on the slippery track as he could only keep 6th when the chequered flag dropped. This left Ian to fight for the title in the rain against fellow championship contender Jay Lao of OTR Racing. The 2 would swap places throughout the race with Alan losing out on the race and Promotional Class title win by a mere 0.670 secs. Jarond then wrapped up the weekend in 8th. Still, it was a strong showing for Toyota Team Cebu who finished their comeback season 2nd and 3rd overall in the Promotional Class Championship.

Lord Seno, Team Captain: “The team performed well on Toyota Team Cebu’s return to the TGR Vios Cup since the pandemic. We encountered a few issues along the way, but it’s a relatively young team with new drivers and we were out there primarily to learn. Delivering results was secondary, yet I’m proud of our drivers to have achieved race wins and podium finishes on their first season in the TGR Vios Cup. They are the next generation of Toyota Team Cebu and I’m proud to have raced alongside Russel, Ian, Alan, Jarond, and Felvin. We’re looking forward to see them continue racing the team’s colors, which we started back in 2014.”

Toyota Team Cebu is sponsored by Toyota Mandaue South, Standard Insurance, BCR Construction, Bethel Insurance, Daily Driven Transport Taxi, Solid Construction, BG Injector Cleaner, LG Farms, Staging Lines Cebu, Blueflame LPG Refilling, LTS Luminex, Suarez and Sons Inc., MMF Glass Factory, Bully Concepts, and MRA Performance Shop.

[Photos by James Morales Jr]

Daryl DeLeon Taylor wraps up 2022 as Radical Finals World Champion

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Competing on a different continent, on an unfamiliar race track, with a new much faster machinery, Daryl DeLeon Taylor has done what was thought to be impossible. The Filipino-British driver flew to the first-ever Radical Cup World Finals in Las Vegas last November to cap off a mega 2022 season as World Champion.

The 17-year-old was part of a massive 36-car grid that consisted of the quickest Radical Motorsport drivers in the world. Daryl in particular was driving in the Platinum Class where the big boys run 425 hp Radical SR10s at the sharp end of the field.

Coming straight from the UK, he practically only had a day’s worth of running to get himself accustomed to the 5.20 km Charleston Peak circuit and his #2 grey-and-green liveried Radical SR10. And yet, despite having to learn 18 new corners and coping with massive jump in power, he was already quickest in Official Practice.

“It was an incredible feeling I had to adapt to the different feel and power modes of the SR10 and I was amazing by the acceleration of the flagship Radical. The circuit was another thing to be amazed by with all different types of corners, elevation changes and a lot of blind sectors,” he commented before heading into Qualifying.

Daryl was again the fastest driver on track for most of the 20-minute session on Friday setting a low 2:04.759 lap, that was until he was pipped by American driver Indy Al Miller by 0.064 secs in the closing stages. Still, it was enough to put him on the front row for all the Heats that weekend.

The first Heat started with a lengthy Safety Car period due to a first corner pile up. But once the action resumed, he immediately hunted down Miller in 1st place. His last ditch lunge on the last corner of the very last lap, however, proved to be unsuccessful and had to settle for 2nd.

He would get another shot during Heat 2 on Saturday morning. He again found himself stuck behind Miller for over half the race distance and couldn’t find a way past. But with only minutes to go, Miller suddenly lost power and dropped back, handing the lead and 1st place to Daryl.

Out to prove that his win wasn’t simply a fluke, Daryl got his head down in Heat 3. A good pit stop strategy allowed him to rejoin ahead of Miller where he then set a string of fast, consistent laps to open a 7.450 secs gap by the time the chequered flag came out.

With his pair of wins, Daryl would start the all-important World Final on Sunday from pole position. Though his lead only lasted until the first turn, he managed to regain 1st place a few corners later after a making a brave pass on Miller. By now the newly crowned Radical SR1 Cup UK Champion already had the world championship trophy in his sights. But the 35 cars behind him was the least of his worries. Strong gusts of wind made it difficult to stay on track and caught out several drivers including Miller. The 40-minute race was also plagued by 2 lengthy Safety Car periods, turning the last 2 laps into a sprint to the finish. Daryl thankfully survived all this to take 1st place and be crowned the Radical World Finals World Champion.

Daryl DeLeon Taylor: “It was a privilege to be given the opportunity to travel to Las Vegas and compete in the first-ever Radical World Finals. Driving the SR10 around the new Charleston Peak circuit in Spring Mountain was a crazy feeling, but to come away as World Champion is even crazier. I would like to thank everyone for this opportunity I’ve been given. I am forever grateful and I would like to thank everyone at Valour Racing for the unreal support. I wouldn’t of been able to achieve this without them.”

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.

TJ Alberto dominant at CIS to win second PSBK title with Access Plus Racing

Coming into the 2022 Philippine Superbike Championship (PSBK) season finale, Access Plus Racing managed to turn a 14 point deficit to win the overall title by a single point. Timothy Joseph “TJ” Alberto was on full attack mode all weekend, winning both races, and securing his second PSBK championship and Ride of the Year crown back-to-back.

TJ and teammate Lawrence Macalinao were both in contention for their respective classes, but were equally down on points. In order to help their chances, the team called up the services of official Ducati test rider Lorenzo Zanetti for the weekend to give the team an extra boost on track.

Despite it being his first competitive outing at the Clark International Speedway (CIS), Lorenzo showed just how good of a rider he truly is. He wasted no time to set pole position in Qualifying with a 1:49.408 lap, shattering the previous track record set by Alberto a year ago. Not to be outdone, the reigning PSBK champion also set a personal best stopping the clock at 1:49.780 to claim P2 on the grid. Lawrence, on the other hand, was 2nd quickest out of the Intermediate Class riders and would line up P7 overall.

All the Access Plus Racing riders would get off to a clean start on Sunday morning with TJ shooting off into the lead as the pack approached Turn 1. Unable to pull away, TJ remained focused despite the constant pressure from behind to reach the chequered flag in 1st place and score maximum points. Lorenzo followed closely behind in 2nd keeping points leader Marvin Mangulabnan on the BMW at bay in 3rd. Lawrence also had a good run in the Intermediate Class finishing 2nd in class and ahead of his championship rival RG Romero was several spots behind.

TJ already had one hand on the 2022 trophy as they all lined up on the grid for the last time this season. If he finishes 1st and Marvin is 3rd or lower, the title was his. Now starting from pole, TJ bolted off the line and never looked back. He had his eyes set on the championship as the laps went by and after 10 laps of racing, TJ crossed the line in 1st with Lorenzo again in 2nd and Marvin in 3rd.

Lawrence ended his debut season with Access Plus Racing with a 1st place finish in the Intermediate Class and 4th on the road. The team’s new recruit enjoyed an impressive year, claiming 5 wins onboard his #26 machine. His best efforts would allow him to finish 2nd in the category, ending the year as Intermediate Class vice champion.

TJ Alberto and Access Plus racing concluded the 2022 season with 9 wins, a pair of 2nd place finishes, and an unnecessary DNF out of 12 races. This was enough for the #77 Ducati Panigale V4 rider to win the Overall and Expert Class Championship, plus the Rider of Year by a single point for the second year in a row.

TJ Alberto, #77: “Really happy to become Philippine Superbike Champion back-to-back. It was a perfect weekend. Good to have Lorenzo around to help the team develop the bike as an official Ducati test rider. We learned a lot from him even it was just for a single race weekend. The last leg was really an all out effort to catch up on points and secure the title. In the end it was really close and we won by 1 point. We did a good season this year happy to now have two PSBK titles under my belt. Excited what 2023 has in store for us.”

Lawrence Macalinao, #26: “What a season it has been with Access Plus Racing. I am very thankful to Toti, TJ, and the whole crew in welcoming me in 2022 and helping me adjust faster. It was not easy learning to ride a new bike and changing my riding style, but there knowledge and inputs helped me adapt quickly and as the season progressed I was able to understand the bike more. There were some challenges during the year, but overall it was a success. I learned a lot working with a champion team and rider. I couldn’t have asked for more. Thank you Ducati Philippines!”

Toti Alberto, Team Principal: “Good job TJ, Lawrence, Lorenzo, and everyone who worked hard in Access Plus Racing to bring us the championship. We had some some ups and downs over the season, but every challenge we faced only made us stronger. So much effort went into 2022 for testing, turning, and honing our race craft. That’s why it really hurt when the points lead was taken away from us in an instant. But we never gave up and came back even harder at the season ender and win Rider of the Year by 1 point. Always thanking the Lord for making this possible”

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.

GT4 driver Yoshinari Fujiwara completes Obengers Racing’s lineup for 8 Hour Enduro

All eyes will be on Obengers Racing as they confirm an all-star driver lineup for the upcoming 8 Hour Endurance Challenge this November. Their single Toyota Vios OMR entry will be headlined by former champions, plus a special new recruit that comes all the way from Japan.

Yoshinari Fujiwara has been announced as the team’s 4th driver who will share the Vios OMR Gen. 2 race car with former Vios Cup Champions Daniel Miranda, John Dizon, and Team Manager Pao Agregado.

The veteran brings with him over 18 years of racing experience, competing on multiple levels from local track day events all the way to full-fledged GT4 endurance races. He got his start in the HKS Hiper Challenge, which is an amateur event organized by aftermarket tuner HKS. Fujiwara-san then moved up to the ultra-popular Super Taikyu Series where he entered several categories on different years. He enjoyed success driving a variation of machines from small hatchbacks such as a Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, and a Nissan 370Z in ST-2, ST-4, and ST-5.

Since 2020, the now 45-year-old ace has been uprated to an FIA Bronze driver as he races the #505 Red Seed Audi R8 LMS GT4 with Audi Team AS Sport.

Fujiwara san is no stranger to endurance events. He has entered and finished several 5-hour and even 24-hour events over the past few years, finishing on the podium in several occasions. This, however, will be his first overseas outing and first time to race in the Philippines.

The 8 Hour Endurance Challenge will take place on the 26th/27th of November 2022 at the Clark International Speedway (CIS). Qualifying is scheduled on Saturday, then lights go green at 8:00AM on Sunday. Obengers Racing’s entry will make an attempt to win in Class 3, which is made from production-based cars, and hopefully secure the championship where they currently sit 2nd in the points.

Yoshinari Fujiwara: “The challenge of endurance racing has always fascinated me. Even if you’re in 1st for most of the race, but fail to make it to the finish line, all your efforts will be of no use. That is so cruel yet so beautiful, which makes the whole experience worth it. My goal is to help Obengers Racing win. But more than that, I want to enjoy racing in the Philippines.”

Pao Agregado, Obengers Team Manager and Driver: “It’s a privilege to have a Fujiwara san compete with us at Obengers Racing for the 8 hour endurance race. We’re excited what a pro driver can do with our car and on our local track. Despite this being his first time to drive the Vios OMR around the Clark International Speedway, we’re quite confident that he will do well. The team also has a very strong driver lineup for the event and we hope to get good results.”

Obengers Racing Endurance Team is sponsored by Autovault Speed Shop, Modesta Ph, Autozkin Paint Protection, Autoshocker, Dr. Colorchip Philippines, Karpartzzz69, and VARTA Battery Center QC.

Miguel Quiñones all set for Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals at Portimao

Flying all the way to the Kartodromo Internacional Algarve in Portimão, the now 5x karting champion Miguel Quiñones will be making his Rotax MAX Challenge (RMC) Grand Finals debut this weekend. He’ll be up against some of the best karters in the world for the annual showdown to see who really is the fastest of them all.

A total of 396 entries from more than 60 countries are expected to take part in the week-long event that stretches from the 19th to the 26th of November 2022. Miguel in particular is competing in the ultra-competitive 125 Senior Max category as the lone Filipino entry amongst the 71 other drivers.

While this is going to be his first official competitive outing at Portimão, Miguel is no stranger to world championship events. He took part in last year’s IAME Warriors Final last year in Italy and has earned an invite to the Rok Cup Superfinal for 2 years in a row. It was only last October when the 18-year-old last raced overseas at the South Garda Karting Circuit in Italy where he placed in a respectable 17th in the Finals.

Miguel has been training heavily on-and-off the track in preparation for the RMC Grand Finals. His recent experience at the Rok Cup Superfinals also helped improve his race craft, specifically on data analysis thanks to his team Zanchi Motorsports.

In the RMC Grand Finals, however, everyone will be racing on a level playing field. The event adopts an ‘arrive-and-drive’ concept so that only driving skill (not machine or team advantage) will shine. All the engines are provided by BRP-Rotax while Sodikart supplies the chassis in the Rotax 125 Senior MAX category.

The Portimão Circuit is one of the longest kart tracks in Europe stretching 1.600 km long and provides plenty of opportunities for overtaking, which means the racing will always be exciting. Free Practice officially kicks off on the 21st of November (Monday) with the Qualifying Heats starting on the 23rd (Wednesday). Pre-Finals are on the 25th (Friday) followed by the all-important Finals on the 26th (Sunday) where Miguel aims to finish on a high note.

Miguel Quinones: “As this will be my first race at Portimao, my goal is to learn the track as quickly as possible. I’ll try to do my best and get better at each session to hopefully getting a good spot in the Finals. I want to thank all those who supported me, especially the hard work of everyone who helped me in becoming a 2-time karter of the year.”

Daryl De Leon Taylor to contest Radical Cup World Finals 2022 in Las Vegas

The reigning Radical SR1 Cup UK champion, Daryl De Leon Taylor, has been called up for driver duty once again. This time he’s racing against the fastest Radical drivers in the world at the first-ever Radical Cup World Finals in Las Vegas.

Happening from the 10th to the 13th of November 2022, a total of 36 cars will take to the grid of the Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch for a one-race shootout style event. Daryl is lucky enough to have been given a slot in the top-tier Platinum Category where he will make an attempt to be world champion in a Radical SR10 run by Valour Racing. Though it shares some similarities to the SR1, its 425 bhp 2.3L turbo RPE-Ford engine is a far cry from the 182 bhp Daryl is more accustomed to. Still, we expect the Filipino-British driver to put up a fight despite this being his first outing in unfamiliar machinery and on a track he’s never driven before.

The 17-year-old will be the lone driver to race the Philippine flag over the weekend. He will only have a few practice sessions on Thursday to familiarize himself with the 5.20 km circuit before Qualifying and Heat 1 takes place on Friday. Heats 2 and 3 are scheduled on Saturday, followed by the all-important 40 minute Radical World Final on Sunday.

Daryl De Leon Taylor: “I’m going to the Radical Cup World Finals in Las Vegas with anticipation of a good result against the best drivers in a Radical. I’m happy that I will be racing an SR10 in the top Platinum Class, so fingers crossed I should be running at the sharp end.”

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

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