LAST year’s overall runner-up Dondon Portugal showed much improved skills and emerged champion in the kickoff leg of the 2014 Philippine Grand Touring Car Championships Series recently at the Batangas Racing Circuit.
Portugal swept the GT300 titles of the 10-lap Sprint race and the 17-lap GT Main race of the event, part of the 2014 BRC Motorsports Championship season presented by Petronas and sanctioned by the Automobile Association Philippines.
He finished second overall in the Sprint race as he captured the GT300 crown over veteran celebrity racer Jomari Yllana and reasserted his supremacy over the latter in GT Main race.
Young Paolo Mantolino checked in second overall behind Portugal in the GT Main Race to emerge the GT200 champion after his runner-up feat in the Sprint Race.
In the GT150 class, Richmon de la Rosa emerged champion in the Sprint race over Bong Perez and Joel Portugal, who later ruled the GT Main Race over Ed Anguluan and Raymond Ronquillo.
Reigning PTCC champion Carlos Anton of Ethanworks Racing proved the early favorite as he ruled the Sprint race on a GT200 car against Portugal’s GT300 Evo8.
However, Anton’s hopes went up in smoke. He had just passed Yllana midway the first lap of the reversed grid GT Main when Yllana, trying to regain his post, clipped him from behind causing him to spin and stop at a dangerous spot right in the middle of the track.
Drivers immediately behind managed to avoid Anton’s car but those at the back of the 17-car grid were still unaware of the incident, including Richmon de la Rosa who hit Anton’s car.
Japan’s Takashi Ito won the 2014 Winds Formula Philippines race over Sung Joon Park and Jeremy San Diego, while Jimmy Sarsosa topped the Sparco Bracket Circuit Racing over Don Andaya and Al Jeffrey Lacambra.
The Philminicar Series saw Carlos Castaneda claiming the Open Pro crown over Rodney Caballero and Arvir Gervacio.
In the VW Kafer Cup, Daniel Castaneda copped the Class A plum over Rudy Bunag and Dino de Jesus, while Raffy Locson bagged the Class B title over Dindo Razonable.
The next leg is set July 26 and 27 also at Batangas Racing Circuit.