Batangas, Philippines – After hosting several rain-hit rounds, the Petron FlatOut Race Series (Petron FORS) warmly welcomed clear weather and perfect racing conditions during the penultimate round of 29th September 2018. This allowed competitors to go all-out in their year-end championship battles at the Batangas Racing Circuit (BRC).
Double points were up for grabs for the top finishers, which all 86 competitors that day maximised to keep their title hopes alive for the end of the season. The newly-launched Super Compact 1500 Class also added to the event's excitement. Open to all compact vehicles with a maximum of 1,500cc engine displacement, expect this category to grow a lot bigger in 2019.
As the FlatOut Race Series' official fuel and lubricant, Petron Blaze 100 Euro 6 and Petron Blaze Racing once again provided Time Attack and Grid Race drivers maximum performance and engine protection for their machines.
Dondon Portugal, who currently holds the fastest lap record of BRC, skilfully wheeled his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7 to set the fastest time of the day. He sealed the Bracket R victory with a 1 minute 43.830 seconds. Rafael la O' in the Staunch Performance Honda Civic EK came in second with a mere 0.879 seconds slower lap. Meanwhile, Gabby Sohu's Nawna Racing Honda Civic EG has grown massive aero to set a 1 minute 48.844 seconds lap good enough for third.
Switching to street-spec tyres for Bracket A, Gabby Sohu this time came ahead of Portugal and la O' who were second and third, respectively.
His younger brother Raffy Sohu also dominated his class in Bracket B. Team Big Chill’s Paolo Santos could only muster second with his Honda Civic FD, while Eduardo Pujol who returned to racing after a long hiatus was third. Raymond De Pano barely edged Miggy Sohu to win Bracket C by a 0.009 seconds advantage. Paul Santos then came in third.
AAP Motorsport Development Program (MSDP) graduate Armand Marcaida did well to outpace the older drivers in Bracket D. That includes Robert Tan and his newly-rebuilt GT KYB Toyota Yaris in second and Errol Panganiban in the Car Porn Racing Mazda MX-5 ND in third.
It was a head-to-head battle in Bracket E between Mark Anton David and Royce Sarmiento with David getting the upper hand. A mere 0.151 seconds split the top three drivers in Bracket F. Jeff Pobadora barely squeaked past Steve Travers and Kody Ng for the win.
17-year-old Miguel Hortel bested female driver Gabie Desales in Bracket G to take first place with Kevin Sugden coming in third with a borrowed car. Lastly, the 86 Club Class saw Jermyn Sy set a 2 minutes 00.513 seconds to claim the win.
Sanctioned by the Automobile Association Philippines (AAP), the combined 10-lap Grids A, B and C race had 20 entries battle for the win. Rafael la O' enjoyed a lights to flag victory to further extend his points lead in Petron Grid A while top qualifier Gabby Sohu crossed the line in second.
Dominque Bon and Paul Henderson Perez pulled miles away from the rest of the KYB Grid B drivers and looked to have secured the top spots. But both were later penalised for breaking out of their bracket and ended up last. The real winner was Paolo Santos who finished 2.195 seconds ahead of Eduardo Pujol and Raffy Sohu.
Polo Bautista returned to his winning ways by finishing first in Recaro Grid C. Paul Santos had to settle for second after he was given a 1-place penalty for overtaking under the yellow flag. Right behind the group was Raymond De Pano in third.
The 14-car Staunch Performance Grid D and SmartFuels 2 Race Grid E race was also as action-packed and delivered non-stop excitement. Like in Grid B, top finishers Erwin Manaog and Errol Panganiban were stripped of their victories for breaking out. This handed first place to Andre Makkina Tan, who drove a superb race to win his fourth victory of the year in Grid D. Paul Ongcuangco finished second with Armand Marcaida in third.
Jeff Pobadora defended his position against Kody Ng to win Grid E. Ng then took second followed by Steve Travers in third.
The very first Super Compact 1500 race saw six drivers vie for the win. Robert Tan took the top step of the podium who was followed right behind by Gilad Krein. Mike Hortel then took the last step on the podium in third.
The Petron FlatOut Race Series will stage its final round of 2018 at the Clark International Speedway on 27th October.