REIGNING four-time National Slalom King and two-time FIA-Asian Gymkhana Champion Milo Rivera resumed his winning ways as he topped the kickoff leg of the 2018 Philippine Autocross Championship Series at Meycauayan Commercial Complex in Bulacan.
Rivera, backed by Federal Tyres, AutoPerformancePH, Brembo, United Auctioneers, Inc., and Placewell Intl. Services, clocked a winning time of 52.31 seconds, a good 1.3 seconds ahead of Autocross champion Danby Yaptinchay. Coming in third was Carlos Anton of Mark Young Racing.
Rivera, who is aiming for his 5th straight National Slalom Crown this year, admitted that the race was one of the most grueling so far.
“This Autocross race was supposed to be an opportunity to fine tune and shake our car down in preparation for the 2018 Slalom Season, but we also wanted to win today in the process -- and it did not come easy at all,” said the multi-titled driver after the high speed track layout provided a thrilling and drama-filled battle between the Top 3 drivers throughout the day, as the event saw them exchanging best time after best time until the late stages of the afternoon. “Given we had one of the oldest cars on the grid, it became a huge challenge for us to keep up with the more dated and powerful cars of the others. We needed to make up ground on the corners and on the technical sections of the track, and we thank God that it was enough to give us the win in the end,” added Rivera, who pushed his green race-prepped 1970’s Toyota Starlet to its absolute limit.
Rivera now sets his sights on the season opener of the 2018 Phoenix National Slalom Series on March 11 at Robinsons Novaliches.
“It’s back to the drawing board for us as we continue to prepare for the 1st slalom leg, chasing a fifth straight title will probably be a steeper mountain to climb. This win was very sweet but we have to continue doing our homework since we know this year is going to be very tough. We’re happy with our start, but we can never be complacent. But nevertheless, we’re very excited with the year has in store for us,” added Rivera, who will still figure in some Autocross races in addition to running the 2018 Slalom season.
He will also join several circuit races and still represent the country in international races such as the 2018 FIA Asia Auto Gymkhana Series, among others.
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