It was a great feat for Team Suzuki Pilipinas finishing off with impressive performances at the first round of the Suzuki Asian Challenge during the Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) last April 17-19, 2015 at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.
The team, made up of Enzo Rellosa, Mario Borbon, and April King Mascardo were chosen by Suzuki Philippines after being given 3 slots to the highly anticipated race based on their performances in 2014 and during a qualifying event last March. The delegation was headed by Suzuki Philippines Racing Specialist Noel Villapando assisted by the riders’ team managers and mechanics – Yoyong Buncio of the YRS Racing Team, Bobby Mencias of the BMR Racing Team, and Rico Caraan of the VMAN Racing Team.
After showing improved times during the practice day, Team Suzuki Pilipinas did not settle for less and demonstrated improved lap records at the Raider R150 One Make Race ending the first day with 1:28, a remarkable leap from the team’s original average time of 1:30. Pushing to do better after his crash on the qualifying round which landed him on the last grid, Mascardo pushed harder finishing at the 10th spot. Rellosa and Borbon followed through at the 11th and 12th spots respectively.
The three boys continued to heat up the tracks on the 2nd day of the race as all of them landed on the top 10 with Mascardo crossing the finish line at the 5th spot (1:27.558). Bicol’s pride Rellosa finished at the 7th spot (1:27.941) and Cebu’s Borbon on the 9th spot (1.28.480).
Overall, Davao racer Mascardo placed 6th with Rellosa at 10th and Borbon at 12th. Indonesia’s Andreas Gunawan and Adhi Chandra took the 1st and 2nd overall spot with Thailand’s Patis Chooprathet on 3rd place.
It was not an easy race for the Suzuki riders as the three were all street-track trained and were not used to racing in a big circuit like the Sepang speedway. This accomplishment however showed that with hard work and discipline, they can race side by side other riders who are more accustomed to big race tracks. Team Suzuki Pilipinas will again race on Round 2 of the Suzuki Asian Challenge at the Asia Road Racing Championship in June at the Sentul International Circuit in Indonesia.