The third leg of the Suzuki Asian Challenge (SAC) proved to be a success for Team Suzuki Pilipinas as they notched a couple of firsts for the nation, proving once again that the country’s grassroots racers belong right up there with the world’s best.
Taking place at the Suzuka International Circuit in Japan, the local team’s own April King Mascardo managed to get the pole position after a strong qualifier performance—a first for a Filipino in an international racing event. Besides getting the pole position for the main race, Mascardo also set the fastest course record among Suzuka’s SAC riders at 2:52.455, beating out last year’s record holder by 5.3 seconds.
Following this is Eane Jaye Sobretodo’s top podium finish, another first for a Filipino in the Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) series. Meanwhile, Mario Borbon, Jr. placed second making it a Philippine-first gold and silver finish. Mascardo was leading during most of the race, with Indonesian riders Jefri Tosema and Muhammad Sapril hot on his trail. Unfortunately, all three crashed during the last lap, giving way to Sobretodo and Borbon to take it all home.
Race 2 was more gruelling as Mascardo bowed out early due to another crash. Sobretodo took over the lead but was cut through by a big pack, leaving him sitting in 9th place. Borbon followed at 10th.
Currently, all members of Team Suzuki Pilipinas are in the overall standing’s top 10, with Sobretodo on 4th, Mascardo on 5th, and Borbon on 7th. With each race showing better and more refined performances from the country’s very own riders, Suzuki Philippines is hopeful that they have what it takes to make a permanent mark on the world’s racing scene. Sobretodo, Mascardo, and Borbon will once again hit the tracks for the fourth time this season on August 5 to 7 at Sentul, Indonesia.