Well, the first ever Drift Muscle Philippines was an epic event to say the least. How else can you make a drift event more awesome than to have the Drift King himself – Keiichi Tsuchiya, judge the event and give pointers to the drivers for improvement? The result was some of the most spectacular performances in Philippine motorsports to date.
Read on to see our account of 2013 Drift Muscle Philippines. Enjoy!
Yes, you heard that right. I mentioned that Tsuchiya had given pointers to the drivers for improvement. Among those pointers was encouraging them not to use the handbrake a.k.a e-brake…
…which made for some interesting drift initiations.
But once the drifting started, the action was incredible…
…and made for some intense tandem runs.
One of the most interesting battles in the event was between two veterans trying to get into the top 4 – David “DMF Drift” Feliciano in the Nissan S13 Silvia, who has represented the Philippines in international drift competitions; and Alex Perez in the Nissan RPS13 with an S15 front, who has been crowned Lateral Drift Champion multiple times in the past.
The two veterans put on an awesome show…
…but Tsuchiya had noticed some understeering from David, and handed the win to Alex, who moved on to fight it out in the top 4.
Another interesting tandem was in the top 4 when teammates Gio Rodriguez in the Atoy Customs Nissan A31 Cefiro to R35 GT-R conversion, and Ralph Tan in the Atoy Customs Mercedes Benz 190E had to go against each other.
The two pushed hard even in the clipping points that Ralph lost his front bumper against a cone.
In the end, Gio won the tandem, and went on to battle it out for the championship, and Ralph had to battle it out for third.
But if I were to pick which battle was the most intense in Drift Muscle, it would have to be the battle in top 4 between Luis Gono, and Alex Perez. Luis, in the Nissan RPS13 was the youngest driver in the field, even too young to have a driver’s license, at 15 years old…
…while veteran Alex, in the Nissan RPS13 with S15 front end, as I’ve mentioned earlier, has already won Lateral Drift multiple times over.
But Luis held his own against Alex, which impressed Tsuchiya. I lost count of how many “One More Times” they did, but it became a battle of consistency between the two. Someone had to either make a mistake, or have a break-down. And with Luis having one of, if not the most powerful car in the event, he has sprayed Alex with red smoke from those Achilles tires…
But though none of their cars failed, it was Alex who prevailed in the battle of consistency, and moved on to challenge Gio Rodriguez for first place.
Which means Luis Gono and Ralph Tan had to battle it out for Third Place.
Both these guys put their hearts out, and you could feel the intensity in the air as they fought for that last podium position.
But a mistake from Luis cost him that final podium spot, and Ralph was declared the victor.
I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of Luis in future drift events. Starting at such a young age, I wouldn’t be surprised if in the future, he represents the Philippines in international drifting competitions.
Now the final tandem battle for First Place was between Gio Rodriguez and Alex Perez. Both of these top drivers put down an amazing show…
…but it was Gio of prevailed in the end. It’s been a great year for Gio, who was also crowned champion in the recently concluded Lateral Drift Championships.
Alex came in a close Second Place.
Third Place went to Ralph Tan…
…who edged out Luis Gono for the final podium spot.
Awarding the trophies to the winners were our very own Japanese-Pinoy Drifter Toni Arakaki who is the man responsible for bringing Drift Muscle to the Philippines, and the Drift Muscle Founders – Keiichi Tsuchiya, and Option Magazine and Tokyo Auto Salon founder Daijiro Inada. With the great reception and fantastic outcome of this event, I’m sure these guys will be back next year for more.
And to whoever was flying that Quadcopter Camera Drone, we look forward to seeing some of your awesome areal footage.
– See more awesome coverage of Drift events here