Young Bartolome Ebdane Offroad champBy June Navarro
Philippine Daily Inquirer
SAN FELIPE, Zambales—Noel Bartolome Jr. had repeatedly seen his father hurdle countless offroad obstacles and go up the podium when he was a little boy.
More than a decade later, the younger Bartolome took on that role as he ruled the 2nd Governor Jun Ebdane 4×4 Offroad Challenge yesterday in Barangay Sindol here.
Impressive in the sand-and-mud Track A but struggling in the less vicious Track B, the 25-year-old driver from Land Rover Club of the Philippines pulled off the fastest clocking of six minutes and 16.22 seconds in Track C which proved decisive.
Bartolome’s superb run in Track C, featuring a combination of the A and B courses’ technical difficulty, gave him a winning total of 34:44.23 counting his combined time of 28:28.01 in the two initial courses.
“I wasn’t expecting much to dominate here,” said Bartolome, who outshone even his father, a many-time national champion who also raced for Land Rover. “I’m very proud of this victory.”
Finishing second to last among 10 drivers in Track B in 21:38.16, Bartolome showed flashes of his brilliant pedigree after he tamed the more cruel Track A in 6:49.85.
Bartolome trailed Pampanga Offroaders Club’s John Sambo (11:07.04, 5:08.29 and 16:16.13 total) after completing Tracks A and B but was ahead of Arthur Sicat of Angeles City 4-Wheel Drive Club (14:12.62, 15:49.87 and 30:02.49 total) before stunning everybody in Track C.
Sicat went on to place second overall (46:57.12) while Sambo wound up third (52:16.13).