Ongaro takes PM18 Nitro Buggy!May 20, 2018
Event Name: Philippine Masters PM18
Event Location: Quezon City (Metro Manila), Philippines
Event Date(s): May 19, 2018 to May 20, 2018
In the eighth successive running of the Philippine Masters, PM18 once again returned to QCRCCC's home off-road track in Circulo Verde, Quezon City (Metro Manila). With racers from all over the world, this year's turnout neared the 150-entry mark. A number of pro and sponsored racers were in attendance for what is considered Asia's most prestigious Nitro Buggy and Truggy event. Three IFMAR World Champions, EFRA, ROAR, and FEMCA Champions, as well as a number of multi-National Champions from various countries participated.
In the Nitro Buggy, Robert Batlle and Associated's Davide Ongaro both ended up with the exact same points, with the tie-breaker going to Robert Batlle thanks to a slightly faster qualifying time. Third on the grid was current IFMAR World Champion, David Ronnefalk. AE's Kyle Mcbride managed fourth on the grid while fellow Aussie Aaron Stringer secured the fifth spot. As soon as world famous RC racing announcer Scotty Ernst called his trademark "Go! Go! Go! Go! Go!" to signal the start of the Final, an epic battle quickly ensued between Robert, Davide, and David, who started to pull away from the rest of the pack.
David Ronnefalk took advantage of a slight error by AE's Davide Ongaro early in the race to slip into second and eventually chase down the leader, Robert Batlle. The lead changed hands about three times between them before a few minor errors by Robert allowed David to pull away from the field. These same errors also allowed Davide Ongaro to hound Robert for second place, which Davide eventually secured after some clean and fair dicing between the two Europeans.
In the middle of the pack, 2008 IFMAR World Champion Atsushi Hara made his presence felt by getting ahead of both Aussies Kyle McBride and Aaron Stringer. Hara then eventually had a fantastic on-track duel with Robert Batlle for third. As bad luck would have it, tragedy struck race leader David Ronnefalk. A series of flame-outs unexpectedly hit the reigning World Champion which dropped him out of contention for a podium spot. Team Associated's Davide Ongaro inherited the lead, which he and his RC8B3.1 would never relinquish, achieving 128 laps and bagging the Philippine Master's 2018 Championship! Robert Batlle took second ahead of Atsushi Hara in third to round out the podium. AE's Kyle McBride finished in fourth ahead of fellow countryman Aaron Stringer.
Photos courtesy of Richard Yang of AsiaRC. Thanks to Ish Montilla for this report.
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