April 30, 2023

Ongaro takes dominant Philippine Masters win

Back to back World Champion Davide Ongaro gave a master class performance today in Manila to become Champion of the Philippine Masters, Asia’s premiere Offroad race making its return this weekend after a Covid hiatus.  The Team Associated driver’s third trip to the Circulo Verde track, the win of today’s 1-hour final gives the Italian a 100% winning record in the Capital City.  Starting from the TQ, having topped all four rounds of qualifying, with Mayako’s Robert Batlle lining up  second, the huge crowd of onlookers were anticipating an intense battle between the two World class drivers based off Batlle’s faster pace but lack of luck in qualifying.  Unfortunately the finals day wasn’t to be a luckier day for the Spaniard.  Early into the race, his buggy stopped on track as if he had flamed out before throttling up again but this was the start of the failing of his throttle servo.  He would retire just as the race entered the second half.  While Ongaro was in control out front, despite having of moment himself when he flamed out during second fuel stop, it would be freshly crowned Truggy Champion Micha Widmaier who came through for second while a delighted Christian Wolhuter made it two Sworkz on the podium after a good battle with fellow Australian Aaron Dexter.

Summing up his race, today being the hottest of the event, Ongaro said, ‘It was good. It was also long’.  Switching to Matrix’s Nebula tyre for the final to give him a more comfortable car for the hour, he said the tread was the same as he used at the World Championships so he knew what to expect.  Explaining his flame out during the second refuelling he said, ‘My dad had a problem with the fuel gun but for the other stops it was all ok’.  While he always had a comfortable lead, the 22-year-old added ‘it was not easy, there was a lot of traffic’, the race having 15 starters.  Conscious of the high temperatures, he said he had established a lead he was driving safe and cruising so as not to risk overheating the servo or battery pack.

Commenting on his race, Widmaier said, ‘I always knew Davide and Robert were going to be faster than me so I just drove my own race’. Having had a late night as a result of going to the hospital following an insect bite that became infected, this meant he missed the A-Main practice as he tried to catch up on sleep after his overnight ordeal.   The German said this led to his flame out on his first stop as he hadn’t been able to calculate his run time for today’s noticeably hotter conditions.  Adjusting his timings for the rest of the final he said they had no issues after that.  While his ‘whole package worked great’, he said the second half of the race was somewhat of a physical struggle with his leg on which he got the bit starting to hurt and for the last 20-minutes he struggled with his concentration so he was pleased to reach the finish in second.

While his race didn’t get off to a good start, Wolhuter switched to playing the long game and it paid dividends.  Starting from 8th on the grid, he said he got caught in traffic and lost focus resulting in him finding himself quickly down in last position.  With his dad reminding him over the pit radio that there was a long race ahead, the 16-year-old said he focused on consistency rather than speed and this helped him climb back up the order to make the podium and finish top of the large contingent of Australians who made the trip to the Philippine Masters.

Missing out on the podium having finished on the same lap as Wolhuter, Dexter still summed up his race as ‘pretty good’.  Staring and finishing 4th, the Team Associated driver had a unfortunate tyre issue when he lost the insert from the front right tyre.  Running 8:45 between stops, meaning he had one less stop, the 21-year-old was in the battle for the podium until this but overall he was happy with his showing over the past few days.


1. DAVIDE ONGARO (1) – 90/1:00:31.702
2. MICHA WIDMAIER (3) – 86/1:00:01.964
3. CHRISTIAN WOLHUTER (8) – 85/1:00:17.448
4. AARON DEXTER (4) – 85/1:00:40.106
5. JACKSON BEALE (5) – 84/1:00:19.857
6. ZAC RYAN (12) – 84/1:00:31.393
7. JOMIL DELA CRUZ (9) – 84/1:00:34.718
8. DINO JACINTO (7) – 83/1:00:15.031
9. ADRIAN WICAKSONO (10) – 83/1:00:25.428
10.BEN PANIC (14) – 82/1:00:18.689
11.DANIEL MIRANDA (6) – 81/1:00:03.861
12.JASON NUGROHO (11) – 79/1:00:06.655
13.CLEMENTE PANCHO (13) – 76/1:00:45.236
14.HARRY SIMMS (15) – 75/1:00:11.973
15.ROBERT BATTLE (2) – 47/32:58.839

April 30, 2023

Widmaier crowned Philippine Masters Truggy Champ

Sworkz’ Micha Widmaier has been crowned Truggy Champion at the Philippine Masters.  Taking the TQ honours having topped all four rounds of qualifying, the German dominated the 30-minute final despite loosing a front wheel.  One driver expected to push Widmaier for the win, unfortunately young Australian Jackson Beale’s challenge was over before it had really ever had a chance to happen.  The only driver to match Widmaier’s 40-second lap time in the final, the 17-year-old suffered very early troubles, an electrical lead issue eventually leading to his retirement.  With fellow Aussie Jordan Van taking over as the leading challenger behind the German, he too would have issues eventually dropping down the order to finish 9th of the 15 starters.  In the end, having opened up a comfortable lead, Widmaier cruised home for the title.  Behind, local racer Daniel Miranda took his HB Racing Truggy to second with the similar chassis of Kiwi Shane O’Connor completing the podium on the return of the Philippine Masters following a Covid forced hiatus.

Commenting on his win, a very pleased Widmaier said, ‘the car was on point, we just a small problem with loosing a wheel’.  Asked what happened, he replied, ‘I think it stripped the hex which made it loose and then the nut came off.   Luckily I had a big gap so I drove slow to get back to pit lane and make sure I didn’t damage the car.  I also wanted to complete the lap’ – the loop positioned just before the pit lane entry.  Still managing to rejoin in he lead with four wheels back on his Truggy, he said for the rest of the race he ‘didn’t push too much’ so as to have ‘no mistakes’.


1. MICHA WIDMAIER (1) – 43/30:37.107
2. DANIEL MIRANDA (6) – 41/30:00.224
3. SHANE O’CONNOR (5) – 40/30:08.064
4. APEX KIM (4) – 40/30:20.766
5. BEVAN BURNEy (11) – 39/30:39.717
6. JACKSON LOVELADY (7) – 38/30:21.391
7. MARK JOHNSTON (8) – 37/29:11.575
8. OGGIE TIU (14) – 37/30:20.024
9. JORDAN VAN (3) – 36/30:33.127
10.ANDREW GILLESPIE (13) – 36/30:40.874
11.RICKY TANGAN (10) – 35/30:03.012
12.RITCHIE SIA (15) – 26/23:57.510
13.SCOTT YANG (9) – 11/9:15.573
14.JACKSON BEALE (2) – 4/3:20.859
15.VINCE EDWARD FLORES (12) – 0 laps

April 29, 2023

Q4 Update – Ongaro clean sweep

With the overall TQ having been decided in Q3, Davide Ongaro securing pole position for the Philippine Master’s 1-hour A-Main final,  the fourth and final qualifier saw the Team Associated driver complete the clean sweep.  Once again it was Robert Batlle who had the fastest outright pace being for the only driver to put in a 38-second lap but the Mayako driver had two bad laps compared to one bad lap from Ongaro leaving them separated by just over 2-seconds at the end of the 5-minutes.  Behind Sworks’ Micha Widmaier completed the Top 3 for the round, a result that will see the Truggy Top Qualifier line up third on the Buggy grid.  Behind the Europeans, Australia’s Aaron Dexter will lead the challenge from the rest of the world.  The Team Associated driver had had a difficult second half to qualifying but two P4 runs in the opening two rounds secure him 4th on the grid.  Fellow country Jackson Beale, who had an impressive P3 in Q2 starts 5th with his Tekno.  Leading the home challenge, P6 in Q4 together with a P5 in Round 2 sees Daniel Miranda complete the Top 6 on the grid.

View final qualifying ranking here

April 29, 2023

Widmaier is Philippine Masters Truggy Top Qualifier

Micha Widmaier is the Truggy Top Qualifier at the Philippine Masters.  The factory Sworkz driver dominated qualifying topping all four rounds at the challenging Circulo Verde track in the capital city of Manila.  The German will start tomorrow’s half hour A-Main ahead of the Tekno of Jason Beale, the Australian posting three P2 runs after a difficult opening qualifier on Friday.  With the Philippine Masters his first ever race outside of Australia, Jordan Van will line-up third also at the controls of a Tekno chassis having produced Top 3 runs every round.  Korean driver Apex Kim will start 4th ahead of Kiwi Shane O’Connor and Philippines diver Daniel Miranda.  Set to be a 15 Truggy A-Main starting grid, 12 directly qualifying, the final 3 driver are set to bump up from the B-Main.