Last man standing
Young hot shoe Luis Gono of Team Motul-Autoplus emerged as the last man standing as he pulled off a spectacular display of skill and confidence for Team Philippines at the recently concluded Judgement Day drift competition.
Held at the Clark International Speedway, Gono drove his 470bhp Nissan Silvia S13 powered by a hybrid design Neo SR20 DET 4 cylinder turbo to its limit, as he battled it out with 35 of the country’s best drift racers led by Atoy Llave, Alex Perez and David Feliciano. Atoy Llave who placed seventh overall, also had a commendable race considering that the country’s King of bodykits went to compete in the drift fest after a three-year hiatus from the sport. “He drove as if he drifts every week, amazing,” says one of the judges.
Gono was second overall in the two-day drift fest which saw Team Philippines compete against the best of Japan which was led by the World’s number one drift racer Daigo Saito. Saito drove his “Monster Energy” 700bhp 2JZ powered Toyota Chaser.
As competitors dropped like flies, the afternoon leg was the penultimate battle which saw Gono burning rubber with Saito at every corner of the track. With both cars clocking in at an entry speed of 205kph sideways at the Speedway’s first corner, foreign judges ruled a tie and decided for another run to settle the championship. It was during this deciding run that Gono’s Silvia blew a manifold and had to settle for second overall, same with Saito who also had to finish the race with a borrowed car due to mechanical problems with his Chaser. “My heart felt like it was going to burst right out of my chest and I had to calm myself down and focus on the race. It’s a learning experience for me to compete against the best of the best in this drift competition,” says Gono.
“The kid is fearless and calculating. He has a great future in drift racing and I wish for him to continue his streak in this sport,” exclaims Saito after his heated battle with the young drift ace.
Prior to his stint at Judgement Day, Luis Gono is also the first Toyota Vios Cup Champion. His Sylvia’s engine was rebuilt by famed tuner Pacho Blanco of Autoplus.