After four months and five gruelling rounds, the battle for the title all comes down to the 6th and final round of the 2012 Lateral Drift Championship. It's a three-way fight in the Pro series among championship leader Alex Perez, last year's champ Audel Sison, and Boodie Dabasol. Meanwhile, it'll only be a two-man slugfest between Jet Mathay and Radrich Albano in the Amateur division. This is how the action unfolded last December 8 at the Clark Expo Parking Grounds in Pampanga.
The penultimate round of the 2012 Lateral Drift Championship was staged last November 24, 2012 at the Clark International Speedway (CIS). Held in tandem with Emperor Motorsports' 0 to 400 Challenge and Circuit Showdown's Time Attack, the high octane action started as early as 7 o' clock in the morning and stretched all the way to midnight. This gave the event's 2,000 plus spectators a one-of-a-kind motorsports experience.
This is only the series' second-ever night drift at the circuit - the first time being last year's Round 4 which was won by Atoy Llave. But we're sure that Atoy won't have a chance repeating the feat as he sits out this round with a fever. Also missing out on the action is title contender David Feliciano of DMF Drift who was also unwell. That leaves the top pro championship contenders - Audel Sison, Alex Perez, and Boodie Dabasol - to fight it out. The three entered the round with only 31 points between them, making this one hell of a battle. But it goes without saying that the odds are against five-time champion Alex Perez who has sadly never won in Clark.
The 2012 Lateral Drift Championship marks its return to the City of Marikina to stage Round 4 of the series last September 29. With the support of Mayor Del de Guzman, the parking grounds of the Marikina Municipal Hall was quickly transformed into a challenging high speed drift track. And rain or shine, the track was jam-packed with thill-seekers who wanted to watch the action live. Audel Sison won the championship at this very same venue last year, so all eyes were on the Drift Doctor to repeat the feat.
The boys and girls of the 2012 Hyundai Lateral Drift Championship returned to the Quirino Grandstand Parade Grounds in Luneta for the 3rd round in this year's season. And making the occasion even more special, Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. (HARI) chose it to be the official launch venue of their new 2012 Genesis Coupe.
The track was a repeat of Round 1's layout, with its large s-turns and a sweeping 180-degree turn at the end. While this should make it a bit easier for the drivers to master the track, the impending risk of hitting the sidewalk and changing weather conditions still made it a challenge for most. During the early practice sessions, race director Charlie Cruz, also made the Pro and Amateur division drivers drift in tandem to help the newbies shake off the jitters of going side by side with the big boys.
Words by Christopher Kho | Photos by author and Hans Gerald Chua
Instead of simply drifting for experience, show, and championship points, the competitors of the 2012 Lateral Drift Championship decided to lend out a helping hand to the flood victims of the Habagat in Pampanga. Dubbed as “Drift for a Cause,” Round 2 was held last August 18 at the Clark Expo open parking grounds and served as a fund raising event. All proceeds were donated to flood relief operations.
Photos by Lazdo Trinidad | Video courtesy of Sprocketph.com
The long break is finally over as the Lateral Drift Championship officially began its 2012 season last July 28, 2012. And what better way to start the drift calendar by blocking off the entire Quirino Grandstand Parade Grounds in Luneta and turning it into a drift park. Round 1's layout was patterned after Formula D Malaysia's Mardeka street battle, with large s-turns and long sweeping 180's to keep drift speeds high.
With Round 4's action concluding at the strike of 12 just the night before, all the teams and drivers barely had enough time to rest and get ready for more tire-burning mayhem the next day. In fact, only one or two cars made it on track for the 10am practice, while the rest of the grid was predisposed catching up on lost sleep. But as the sun shined high once more at the Clark International Speedway (CIS) on the morning of July 24, 2011, one by one, the competitors filled their respective garages in the pit lane in preparation for Round 5 of the 2011 Lateral Drift Championship.
The aptly named “Engine Killer Loop” will once again push man and machine to their limits running through the same track layout used in the Round 1. Persuaded that almost all the drivers are now more than ready to master this challenge, the judges decided to raise the bar a bit higher by increasing the minimum entry speed to 120 km/h. Bring it on!
After a two month delay, the 2011 Lateral Drift Championship finally got back on track at the Clark International Speedway (CIS) last July 23, 2011. Original plans commissioned the “Night Drift” to be situated within the confines of the city; however, several concerns came about along the way, forcing the organizers to bend over backwards and bring the action to the circuit. Although the venue might not be as favorable for some followers from the Metro, true fanatics braved the journey to watch tires burn live.
This round revisits the “Tank Slapper” track layout that was previously run in Round 2, taking the scene back to the CIS' distinctive chicanes. But to spice things up, the drifters now had to cope with the challenges of the night. And in spite of several flood lights already illuminating the track, it still left most competitors literally in the dark.