by: Eric Manuel
With the majority of TM racers having crossed over to the Masters pool, competition is at its peak at this stage of the 2013 Masters’ Challenge. On the verge of ending its final season, the stage is now set for a final showdown amongst the elite for the title of Grand Master of the Arena!
Everyone bore witness to another dominant showing by front running Hajji Ocampo, as he once again ruled the tracks in last Sunday’s penultimate leg. Almost never missing the podium on each outing, the decided TM Racer of the Year has set his sight for the other most coveted prize of the 2013 TM season – the Grand Master of the Arena. And with another championship run last Sunday, little is to doubt that he is well on his way. Giving him a nerve-wracking fight that night was fellow Cavite-Fleet team member Nonits Borlongan – who made his best Finals showing so far in any TM race this year with a 2-3 finish. Nonits showed mastery of his units and of the course that was laid out, registering the best times in the eliminations and right through the semifinals, only to be overtaken by Hajji in the final frame. Still, the southern gun added valuable TM and Masters Points to his cause, further strengthening his chances of notching the season’s grand title.
In the Challengers class, 5 racers have graduated and welcomed as Masters. Rowena Conde (Team Galas), Arnie Ignacio (hpCORE), Ace Pagaduan (LURC), Haig Alexander Bautista (LURC) and Jeof Pulido (hpCORE). They will compete as Masters on the last Masters leg on January 19, 2014.
For those who have not been able to cross over yet, you will have your last chance to be one of the elite. Be there on the 12th and final leg (and most probably the last leg of the longest running TM race) on January 19, 2014. Race on, prove your worth, and be a Tamiya Manila Master! Masters Challenge 2013 – it’s all about pride! \m/
Champion – Hajji Ocampo, Team Cavite/Fleet
2nd Place – Nonits Borlongan, Team Cavite/Fleet
3rd Place – Nonits Borlongan, Team Cavite/Fleet
The Graduates (Batch 11)
Rowena Conde, Arnie Ignacio, Ace Pagaduan, Alexander Bautista and Jeof Pulido