The 2017 Philippine Masters has grown over the years since its inaugural race back in 2011. It has become the nation’s largest race event on the calendar year. This particular year was quite special as the PM has attracted many international drivers to the event including 3 World Champions and multiple National Champions, along with the first original professional driver that started it all, Adam Drake. With many of the industry’s best drivers in attendance to highlight the event, the local interest was at its peak as PM2017 drew a record of 143 entries over April 28th – 30th.
The layout at the Philippine Masters was a favorite amongst the drivers as it was positively received and well liked by everyone. Event organizer and standout local Philippine racer, Edward Sio and the Circulo Verde Track crew did a fantastic job on creating a fun track that was technical and a delight to race on. The left side double, double, triple combination was a challenging string of jumps as the last triple set was slightly curved making entry and car positioning for the forthcoming turn very tricky. The overall track size is on the smaller side for 8th scale, but everyone that attended the race adapted quickly and had nothing but praise. Also the track was coated in molasses giving the track added grip and keeping it together with less dust and debris. Thanks to the QCRCCC crew for all of their efforts and for hosting the 2017 Philippine Masters.
Having freed up time in his busy schedule for the event, JConcepts own David Ronnefalk made the journey all the way from Sweden to compete in his first trip to the Philippines. The current IFMAR World Champion arrived Thursday to take on a little bit of practice along with a lot of Philippine culture. Throughout practice, the WC would try different tire combinations and setup changes to accommodate to the 96F weather. In the end, David would start with R2 Detox in qualifying and slowly work his way up to O2 by the mains.
Also making the trip from Singapore is JConcepts Ben Panic. The Australian-born, Singaporean resident was able to take the time off from his busy IT schedule to do some racing in the Philippines and definitely showed serious speed by the mains. Throughout the weekend, Ben felt comfortable with Reflexes and would stay with Reflexes most of the weekend.
After 5 round of qualifying and taking the best 2 rounds to sort the order for the A-Mains, JConcepts’ David Ronnefalk would earn the top spot in qualifying taking 3 TQ’s out of 5. While using the 2 other rounds of qualifying to test different tires and setup, Ronnefalk would still put himself in the top 3. Ben would struggle a little in qualifying not being able to put in clean runs and qualifying 1st in the B group. After 30 minutes in the B-Main, Ben would go on to win and bump himself into the A main.
Below is the group picture of all the A-Main Finalist in 1/8th buggy at the 2017 Philippine Masters.
After 1 hour of grueling racing in Nitro Buggy class, Xray’s Ty Tessmann would emerge victorious having to pit 2 fewer times than David giving himself a huge advantage in the final. David put in a great performance collecting fastest lap, top3, top10, top 15 lap times, but wasn’t able to overcome the fuel mileage deficit. Living Legend, Atsushi Hara was able to close out 3rd and make a photo appearance with the last spot on the podium.
Ben Panic would get things rolling on Sunday. While qualifying 11th and bumping into the A-Main, Panic would finish the race with a terrific effort to finish 7th.
In 1/8th Truggy, Xray’s Ty Tessmann would take another convincing win over 2016 PM Champion, Adam Drake. Mugen’s Aaron Stringer would put in an awesome performance to lock up 3rd.
Thanks to Red RC for their coverage and the usage of their photos. For more on the event, click and search the link for Philippine Masters.