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After more than 8 months of silence, July 29, 2006 would be the day that our engines finally roared back to life as vintage sports cars took to the track for Rounds 1 & 2 of the 2006 Vintage Sports Car Racing Series at the Subic International Raceway.  16 race cars had made the journey to Subic to participate in the first races for the 2006 season.  It had been raining all week long, so we were pleasantly surprised to see a dry track before the Saturday morning practice session began.  A variety of cars took to the track to shake loose the rust that may have accumulated on our machines and maybe even our driving abilities.  Our friends from Japan sent a contingent of drivers led by the super fast Takatsugu Aoki driving his reliable Toyota Celica, Tashiro Koike driving a Porsche 356, Yotaro Asai driving an Isuzu Bellet and Tsutomu Okanami driving a Datsun 240 Z.  The old (and not so old) but dependable drivers of the MSCC were also present led by our resident Japanese translator OD Hasegawa driving an Alfa Giulietta Sprint, Louie Camus driving a beautiful Lola T70 Replica, Lito Ignacio driving his new acquisition a Toyota Celica formerly ran by John Camus, Matin Galan running in just his second race weekend driving an MGB and your's truly driving my Opel GT.  Carlos Castaneda was on hand with his friend Cesar Martinez, both of them driving modified VW Beetles.  We also had several new comers led by Mon Sison driving a Porsche 911 and a group of Karmann Ghias led by Sandy Coronel.  Unfortunately, the practice session claimed its first casualty as Lito Ignacio had to retire with a broken alternator.

 After the lunch time driver's briefing clouds quickly formed above the race track and soon the skies opened up and the rain fell drenching the race track and delaying our start.  After the rain eased off SVI gave us the green light and 10 out of the 16 cars present made their way to the track (5 drivers decided not to run because of the wet conditions).  Everyone got off the line safely with Aoki speeding away.  The conditions proved to be more difficult than I thought, as I could barely see the car in front of me.  I was soon passed by the Bellet of Asai and the Karmann Ghia of newcomer Jon Porto.  After several laps Koike in his 356 pulled to the side of the track just before turn 3 retiring with mechanical problems.  As the race went on and the conditions improved I started to close in on the Bellet.  I had a good run out of turn 1 and this enabled me to overtake the Bellet by diving on the inside of turn 3, I was now leading Group D.  I then focused my attention on catching the Group E leading Karmann Ghia.  But as he entered the bus stop Jon Porto's Karmann spun around and I went though into 6th place Overall.  Back at the front Aoki's Celica was leaving everybody behind a spray of water sliding into corners and registering an amazing 1:32.00 in the rain, nearly 6 seconds faster than anyone on the track!  Carlos Cataneda was having a tough race as he spun off and damaged the front of his VW Beetle.  He soon rejoined the race carving through the field and even passing Cesar Martinez for 4th place in what he thought was the last lap of the race.  What Carlos didn't know was that the checkered flag came out, ending the 8 lap race, just before he overtook Cesar as they entered turn 1.  So Carlos had to settle for 5th place behind his VW teammate.  Aoki easily finished in 1st place Overall also taking 1st in the GTS Class.  Tsutomu Okanami finished 2nd Overall and 1st in Class B/C followed by Mon Sison and then the 2 Beetles.  I maintained my position and finish 1st in Group D, while Jon Porto recovered from his earlier spin to take 1st in Group E.  Below are the results of Race 1:

Race 1            
             
Pos # Driver Car Class Class Placing Remarks Fastest Lap
1 17 Takatsugu Aoki Toyota Celica GTS 1st GTS   1'32"00
2 27 Tsutomu Okanami Datsun 240 Z B/C 1st B/C   1'44"20
3 171 Mon Sison Porsche 911 B/C 2nd B/C   1'45"03
4 18 Cesar Martinez VW Beetle GTS 2nd GTS   1'44"52
5 113 Carlos Castaneda VW Beetle GTS 3rd GTS   1'37"92
6 2 Bubi Camus Opel GT D 1st D   1'45"66
7 66 Yotaro Asai Isuzu Bellett D 2nd D    
8 19 Jon Porto Karmann Ghia E 1st E    
9 13 Martin Galan MGB D 3rd D    
DNF 97 Tashiro Koike Porsche 356 E DNF Mechanical Problem
             
DNS 33 OD Hasegawa Alfa Giulietta D DNS Driver's Decision  
DNS 8 Louie Camus Lola T70 Replica B/C DNS No Rain Tires  
DNS 93 Lito Ignacio Toyota Celica GTS DNS Broken Alternator  
DNS 180 Sandy Coronel Karmann Ghia E DNS Driver's Decision  
DNS 176 TJ Benitez Karmann Ghia E DNS Driver's Decision  
DNS 179 Jappy Pascual Karmann Ghia E DNS Driver's Decision  

Race 2 started an hour later and by this time it had stopped raining and the track began to dry.  There were however many wet portions making conditions a little tricky, but still better than the conditions we faced in Race 1.  OD Hasegawa, who sat out Race 1 because of poor visibility decided to participate in Race 2.  Louie Camus was however unable to compete as the racing tires mounted on his car lacked deep grooves that would have helped displace some water.  This made the T70 impossible to drive in the wet and it forced him to sit out Race 1 and 2.  This time we lined up on the grid according to the positions we finished in Race 1.  Once again everyone got off to a good start as we maintained our positions entering into turn 1.  Aoki once again took off ahead of everyone and started to pull away from the field.  However, after a few laps he pulled over to the side of the track with what appeared to be mechanical problems.  He tried to resume the race, but his problem proved to be terminal as he once again brought the car to a halt at the side of the track.  This left the race wide open as the lap times of the top 3 cars were no more than a second apart!  Mon Sison and Carlos Castaneda were able to find a way passed the Datsun 240Z of Okanami.  And this 3-way battle would continue throughout the 10 lap sprint.  I was able to pull away from the cars behind me and started to close on the 4th place Beetle of Cesar Martinez.  After following him for several laps he spun the car around as we entered turn 1.  This allowed me to get passed him into 4th place, a position I would maintain until the end of the race.  The race ended with Mon's Porsche 911 holding off Carlos' VW Beetle to take 1st Overall and 1st in Group B/C.  Aoki's retirement enabled Carlos to take 1st in the GTS Class followed by the 3rd place Datsun 240Z. I once again took Group D honors in my Opel GT.  Despite starting from the back of the grid, (because of not participating in Race 1) OD Hasegawa made his way through the field and finished an impressive 5th Overall and 2nd in Group D.  Below are the results of Race 2:

Race 2            
             
Pos # Driver Car Class Class Placing Remarks Fastest Lap
1 171 Mon Sison Porsche 911 B/C 1st B/C   1'32"49
2 113 Carlos Castaneda VW Beetle GTS 1st GTS   1'33"70
3 27 Tsutomu Okanami Datsun 240 Z B/C 2nd B/C   1'33"09
4 2 Bubi Camus Opel GT D 1st D   1'39"70
5 33 OD Hasegawa Alfa Giulietta D 2nd D    
6 66 Yotaro Asai Isuzu Bellett D 3rd D    
7 18 Cesar Martinez VW Beetle GTS 2nd GTS   1'40"02
8 13 Martin Galan MGB D 4th D    
DNF 17 Takatsugu Aoki Toyota Celica GTS DNF Mechanical Problem 1'31"49
             
DNS 97 Tashiro Koike Porsche 356 E DNF Mechanical Problem
DNS 19 Jon Porto Karmann Ghia E DNS Driver's Decision  
DNS 8 Louie Camus Lola T70 Replica B/C DNS No Rain Tires  
DNS 93 Lito Ignacio Toyota Celica GTS DNS Broken Alternator  
DNS 180 Sandy Coronel Karmann Ghia E DNS Driver's Decision  
DNS 176 TJ Benitez Karmann Ghia E DNS Driver's Decision  
DNS 179 Jappy Pascual Karmann Ghia E DNS Driver's Decision  

Hope you can join us for our Oct. 22 leg at the Batangas Racing Circuit.

 Bubi Camus

 
 
    
    

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