The 4S1M Yamaha Racing Team powered by BRT and Racing Force was at the Batangas Racing Circuit last April 29 & 30, 2017 to participate in the first races of the 2017 season. With the full backing of their sponsors—MDS, Panda, Racing Boy, FDR, MP, and Racing Pro—the team was in very high spirits. They showed up full-force with veteran riders Herbert Lopez, Mark Djereck Ondillo, and Jeff Teopengco. The annual Eneos Philippine Motorsports Championships bring together some of the very best amateur riders across the country to compete in a series of races in different categories.
For this race, 4S1M brought with it fully-customized Yamaha bikes and scooters. From the branded 4S1M fuel-injected engine to the high-end FDR tires, from the MDS helmets to the custom racing mufflers, everything was geared towards speed and performance. Equally prepared was the team’s mechanics and crew who set about carefully tuning each ride prior to the race itself. Spirits and hopes were certainly high in spite of the hot Batangas weather.
The first day of the two-day competition featured qualifying time trials for the two events that 4S1M participated in: the 150CC Underbone for Lopez, and the 160CC PSR Scooter for Ondillo and Teopengco. While each rider posted good times in their time trial runs, several difficulties with their respective bikes and their parts emerged. This caused the supporting mechanics and crew to continuously look over the bikes and tweak their many different components. Rider Herbert Lopez remained determined, however, saying: “I have to win. I’ll find away to push myself to win.”
The second day of actual races, saw a spate of challenges which hit the team—normal for this type of event—but the racers certainly showed heart. Lopez was neck-in- neck throughout the race in his 150CC Underbone Race. He went on to bag the fastest lap time versus stiff competition. Ondillo and Teopengco also made good on their own 160CC PSR Scooter Race, posting a respectable finish. While not the top spots hoped for, it’s very early in the season to ultimately tell, and the team was confident it could conquer the succeeding legs of the series.
Ronald Uy, 4S1M’s team manager was highly optimistic, praising his team: “They all—mechanics, crew, riders—gave their all for the race. We’ll prepare again (for the next leg). We can’t be complacent—we should grow stronger with every race. We just need to keep helping each other out.” Chief Mechanic San Victores echoed his manager’s sentiment: “We got fastest lap. Next time, we’ll do even better—we’ll improve on the set up. Improvements never stop, anyway.”
With that, the team heads back to Manila to fine-tune their gear, practice harder, and prepare for the second leg of the 2017 Philippine Motorsports Championships. This leg will be run on June 3-4, 2017 at the Clark International Speedway.