Yaptinchay takes Round 1 of autocross series

DANBY YAPTINCHAY served notice of his intention to retain the overall title in the Philippine Autocross Championship Series with a dominating performance in the opening leg of annual event at the Filinvest Avenue in Alabang.

But he found himself a fresh and worthy foe in novice driver Nino Garcia.

Yaptinchay navigated his Lancer perfectly en route to a clocking of 57.01 seconds and the Overall title, but Garcia gamely stepped up into the plate and nearly matched the effort of the defending champion.

He checked in his Subaru at 57.02, but incurred a two-second penalty along the way after hitting one pylon to settle for a still-impressive time of 59.02.

Veteran racer Lewey Manio finished third overall with a clocking of 1:01.27.

“It’s a good start obviously but I can’t let my guards down. It’s a long season,” said Yaptinchay, referring to the expanded season of the series supported by Phoenix Accelerate Vega, Federal Tyres, Filinvest Corporate City, Autotransporter, Grupo Toyota and Team Cult Classic.

There will be 25 races this year across the whole archipelago with the next race in Luzon slated on April 1 at the SM Marilao parking lot.

A total of 128 racers joined the kickoff of the event, which coincided with the product launch of Phoenix Accelerate Vega, a fully synthetic gasoline engine oil.

Yaptinchay, who between laps managed to take photo opportunities with the Phoenix Accelerate Vega Girls, also topped the Open Class with a time of 59.99 followed by Tristan Magbanua’s 1:03.57 and Aldrich Garcia’s 1:06.28.

Garcia ran away the title in the Novice Overall with his 59.02 followed by Don Andaya’s 1:04.74 and Garcia’s 1:05.06.

The other winners in the day-long race were Joseph Winrow in Open overall; Mars Delos Reyes in Experienced Stock A and Experienced Stock B; Manio in Experienced Modified B; Yaptinchay in Experienced Modified C; Robert Tan in GT Experienced; Sherwin in GT Novice; SJ Park in Novice Stock A;  Andaya in Novice Stock B; Francis Samonte in Novice Stock C; Butch Aniceto in Novice Modified A; Marlon San Pedro in Novice Modified B; and Garcia in Novice Modified C. Noli Cruz

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