Allan Ararao bested good friend and teammate Vanni Garcia in a thrilling final showdown between two entries with the strongest souped-up machines to rule the premier Quick 8 class and secure the Southern Series title in the 2019 National Drag Racing Championships at the Batangas Racing Circuit recently.
Having given the previous leg a miss so he could attend his son’s school graduation, Ararao made sure his return counted decisively as he upended Garcia by more than a car length over the eighth-mile track in an 800-wheel horsepower Mitsubishi Evo.
It was the same car Ararao had lent to Garcia in the latter’s track record-setting victory in the previous leg over dethroned Southern Series champion Jonathan Tiu, who did not race this time due to previous commitments and settled for second overall with 30 points to Ararao’s 35.
On the way to the finals, Garcia in a 900-whp Honda EK whipped Alvin Abrigo, who later won a face-off for third over Melvin Pamplona in the class among the leg’s quickest eight cars.
Abrigo, in a Honda Civic, ruled the fourth and last M&H Super Pro leg over Ararao and Pamplona to seize the series championship with 36 points over Tiu (30) in the two-area national competition sanctioned by the Automobile Association of the Philippines.
But it was Pamplona who struck the hardest in the division that counted toward the Drag Racer of the Year title by overwhelming Raymond Gaerlan, 9.618 to 11.661, in the M&H Pro leg final and bagging the series title with 31 points, 4 clear of Gaerlan.
The other leg winners were Chris Jayson Millet in the Expert class, Grey Marion Marquez in the Sportsman division, Marc Martin Pituc in the crowded Hotstreet races and Ywell Manio in the Diesel duels. Millet and Pituc bagged the Southern Series titles in their respective classes, with Herbert Gutierrez lording it over in the Sportsman bracket.