La O' leads Petron FlatOut Race Series winners
The Petron FlatOut Race Series (Petron FORS) returned to the Clark International Speedway with an even bigger field of competitors at 151 entries for Round 2 of the 2018 season last April 7 and Rafael la O' continuing his dominance.
The highlight of the event backed by Petron Corporation as the FORS' official fuel and engine oil supplier, were the exotic machines in Bracket R and the newly-formed Supercar Class.
La O' in the Staunch Performance Honda Civic EK was once again the quickest in Bracket R, setting a new 2:03.899 best lap.
Meanwhile, the supercars filled the 4.189-km circuit with roars from V6 and boxer engines of the Nissan GT-R and Porsche 911 GT3 RS, the fastest of which was Aga Tomawis in the Autoholic Garage R35 that recorded a 2:09.945 best.
Now on GT Radial SX2 tires, La O' again topped the time sheets in Bracket A, followed by Eduardo Suiza in 2nd in his newly-rebuilt W-Autosport / Staging Lanes Honda Civic EG. Gabby Sohu of Team Nawna Racing landed another podium spot by taking 3rd.
Gabby's younger brother, 15-year-old Raffy Sohu bagged a well-deserved 1st place in Bracket B with a near-perfect 2.16.142 lap. Dominique Bon was 2nd and Russ Agapito, in his new Honda Civic EK race car, placed 3rd.
Fourteen drivers vied for the top spot in Bracket C, making it the biggest group of the day, with Paul Santos in the Big Chill Racing Honda Civic FD managing to pip 13-year-old Miggy Sohu by a mere 0.061 sec to claim 1st. Third spot went to a returning Sydney Sarmiento of Blanche Racing.
Alvin Bince outpaced all the other entries in Bracket D with his 2:24.557 best, while Robert Tan in the Grupo Toyota Yaris and Mike Hortel then ended up 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
Avin Villaseñor scored back-to-back wins in Bracket E, while Mars Ocampo fought his way to the top spot of the podium in Bracket F. Lastly, while Gilbert Orpilla repeated his performance from the previous round with another win in Bracket G.
Sanctioned by the Automobile Association Philippines, Grids A, B, and C were combined into a 10-lap, 19-car race.
Eduardo Suiza jumped to an early lead and built a sizable gap from the rest of the field. But a rare mistake saw the reigning champion throw away an easy win. Rafael la O' inherited 1st place and crossed the finish line to win the Petron Grid A race.
The KYB Grid B race saw Paolo Santos, Jun Cabrera, and Russ Agapito locked in a fierce battle for the lead. Santos in the Mitsubishi Evolution 6 went on to collect his second consecutive win by a mere 0.631 advantage, with Cabrera glued to his rear bumper. Agapito then earned his second podium of the day by ending up in 3rd.
Emerson Ocampo, Jonmark Ong, Paul Santos, Justin Neri, and Daryl Flores were the top contenders in Recaro Grid C, with Ocampo, who won the 8 Oras ng Pilipinas in 2016, showing that he can also win sprint races as he defended 1st place from Ong and Santos who finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
It was another 5-car train that lead the Staunch Performance Grid D race. Paul Ongcuangco, Erwin Manaog, Sherwin Bargos, Errol Panganiban, and Robert Tan constantly swapped positions at every corner. Ongcuangco would eventually take the win after 8 laps of racing as Manaog came 2nd and Bargos ranked 3rd.
With the on-track action heating up, the Petron FlatOut Race Series will visit the Batangas Racing Circuit on May 12, 2018 for Round 3.