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14 June 2013

2013 Winds Formula Philippines Leg 2: Yoshida dominates the field

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The 2nd leg of the 2013 Winds Formula Philippines series was held last June 1 and 2 at the Batangas Racing Circuit (BRC), sharing the track with the Philippine GT Championship, Classic Mini Racing Series, and the VW Kafer Cup.
A total of seven drivers join the grid including our very own Jeremy San Diego, Sung Joon Park, and Roby Benito who was the Philippines ROK 125cc Karting Champion. They were joined by veteran Japanese drivers Takumi Kuroiwa (2012 Super-FJ Tsukuba Series Champion), Teriyuki Yoshida (2012 Super-FJ Tsukuba Series 1st-Runner Up), Yousuke Yabushita (Formula Junior 1600 Pilot), and Gen Yamaguchi (Super-FJ pilot).
The session was dominated by the top two Japanese drivers Takumi Kuroiwa and Teruki Yoshida. Yoshida benefited from the slip stream of another car which allowed him to take pole position and set a new course lap record of 1:45.275. Kuroiwa, on the other hand, missed pole by a mere 0.057 seconds and had to settle for second. Sung Joon Park was able to clock in some consistent laps, but his best was only enough to put him in third; 1.49 seconds adrift from pole.
Qualifying in fourth was Yousuke Yabushita, followed by first-timer Rafael Benito in fifth. Sadly, Jeremy San Diego only managed sixth after an electrical problem limited his track time. Gen Yamaguchi filled up the seventh and last position on the grid at the end of qualifying.
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When the lights went off, Rafael Benito made a fantastic start and jumped into first with Takumi Kuroiwa right on his tail. Meanwhile, pole sitter Teruki Yoshida missed a gearshift and dropped down to fourth. Sung Joon Park quickly inherited third as they make their way into the first corner.
Benito’s lead, however, was short lived as he was forced to retire on the first lap after suffering from a gearbox problem. This left Park and Yoshida to battle for second place who were trailing Kuroiwa in the lead. The pair were inseparable through ever corner and even banged wheels on the main straight. By the end of the second lap, Park and Yoshida caught up with Kuroiwa and turned it into three way battle for first place. Behind them, San Diego overtook Yabushita after the latter spun out and rejoined the race in last place.
On lap three, Yoshida's constant pressure forced Park into a spin which dropped Park two places into fifth. Now in second, the charging Yoshida made easy work of Kuroiwa to take the lead. Recovering from his earlier spin, Park chased down San Diego and Yamaguchi and overtook both drivers to regain third.
After 10 laps of intense racing, Yoshida took the checkered flag in first with Kuroiwa right on his tail. Park followed in third, San Diego in fourth, Yamaguchi in fifth, and Yabushita in sixth.
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