Peyra, Dungca hurdle tough Zambales trackBy June Navarro
Philippine Daily Inquirer
SAN FELIPE, Zambales—The only way Omer “Do-Or-Die” Dungca can communicate is through visuals and sign language.
Despite his disability, the deaf-mute offroader loomed as one of the drivers to beat in the 2nd Governor Jun Ebdane 4×4 Offroad Challenge in Barangay Sindol here yesterday.
Dungca, the pride of Angeles City 4-Wheel Drive Club, conquered the cruel and tougher Track A in 21 minutes and 52.91 seconds, a bit off the 21:03.91 clocking of veteran Roger Peyra.
The 55-year-old Peyra of Bicol Offroaders Club and Dungca, 33, were the only survivors from an 11-driver field that tackled Track A, which features a series of deep, muddy obstacles, a five-foot high stockpile of tires and a 10-foot mass of sand and stone known as “Governor’s Hill.”
So tough were the obstructions in this track that even defending national champion Tonton Dungca, Omer’s elder brother, fell short of mastering it. Drivers were given 25 minutes to roll off both tracks or get DNF (did not finish) ratings.
“I noted all the traps and barriers and made sure to either speed up or avoid them,” said Peyra.
John Sambo of Pampanga Offroaders Club was the fastest in the tamer Track B, completing the course in 5:08.29, with Del Monte’s Ambet Nicolas placing second (7:31.90) during the qualifying race against the clock.
Resty Simbilad of Suzuki Club of the Philippines (12:56), Arthur Sicat of Angeles City 4-Wheel Drive Club (15:49.87), Rey Herrera of Del Monte 4-Wheeler (16:14.41), Ramir Nonato of Suzuki Club (20:24.19) and Noel Bartolome Jr. of Land Cruiser Club of the Philippines (21:38.16) also mastered Track B, a course many-time national champion Noel Bartolome and five others failed to hurdle.
Jep Magsombol, Jec Sason, Nonoy Magtuto, Bong Collado, Ado Cervo, Rimpy Bondoc, Man Man Bengco and Nico Magsumbol were the other casualties in Track A, while Jay David, Jojo Javier, Randy Sobrepeña, Joel Oliveros and James De Jesus weren’t lucky in the less technical Track B.
The top 20 drivers advanced to the finals where a total of P200,000 in prizes are at stake.
“So far, the tracks have been a big test for the offroaders, but eventually, their skills and machines prevailed,” said Ebdane, who has put Zambales in the country’s sporting map.
Aside from playing host to the Central Luzon Athletic Association meet last February, the province also organized the Zamba Multi-Sports Festival, a dragon boat festival, Zamba Amateur Boxing Open, Zamba Attack and Palooza surfing competitions, among others.