Sunday, June 12, 2016

Torrential Rain Makes for Exciting Round 4 of GT Radial FlatOut Race Series


The country’s premier grassroots motorsport event, the GT Radial FlatOut Series (FORS), recently held a wet and wild 4th Round at the Clark International Speedway last June 4, 2016.

A field of 110 entries competed in the day’s Time Trial and Grid races which utilized the full 4.2 km long course. But torrential rains drenched the afternoon sessions, forcing the Grid races to be run in wet conditions. Still, drivers and teams continued to battle for the season’s championship. This included brothers Gabby, Miggy, and Raffy Sohu of Team PAGCOR/Zenium/Gerco who are FORS' youngest racers.

This leg also saw the last  appearance of FORS co-founder racing director Marc Peter Thomann, who is moving to Germany. The FORS crew and racing regulars honored him with a proper send-off and gave him good cheer for his future endeavors.

The top-seeded Bracket A saw Eduardo Suiza in his GT Radial SX2-shod Competition Clutch Honda Civic EG achieve a fastest lap of 2:11.591, allowing him to claim back-to-back victories. He was around 0.7 seconds clear of his closest rival Niño Garcia in the orange JCT-Blanche Honda Civic Hatchback, who elapsed a 2:12.281 lap time. Rafael La’O in the Auto Magic Honda Civic EK Hatchback came in 3rd with a time of 2:13.427.

In Bracket B, 14-year-old Gabby Sohu in the PAGCOR/Zenium/Gerco-sponsored Honda Civic Hatchback finished 1st with a 2:16.569 lap. Ed Christian Go, who clocked in a close 2:16.760, had to settle for second. Sydney Sarmiento of the AEM Performance Electronics Honda Civic Hatchback completed the podium with a time of 2:17.072.

For Bracket C, Paolo Lofamia got the podium with a 2:21.065 run. Joey Howard’s 2:21.402 best could only get him 2nd and James Santiago's 2:22.148 lap earned him 3rd.

Over a field of 12 racers, the heavily contested Bracket D saw Sherwin Bargos, Miggy Sohu, and Nico Canete take home 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, respectively. Bracket E saw Raymond de Pano taking home 1st place with Lloyd Nicolo Puno in 2rd and Rommel Guevarra in 3rd close behind.

Lars Alonzo's 2:36.154 lap put him in 1st for Bracket F. Romualdo Vasquez clinched 2nd and Anthony Richard Lanting was 3rd. The fastest in Bracket G was Leo Candava. 2nd and 3rd places were awarded to Mark Nikolai Paras and Robert Tan.

Bracket R was topped by Eduardo Suiza, followed by Nino Garcia and Rafael La’O. Finally, the winners in the support classes The Perfect Lap and Grupo Toyota were John Boban and Greg Suing.

Grid A, B and C participants had to contend with a treacherous wet track in their combined 10-lap race.

The condition was well suited for Eduardo Pujol in the W-Autosports Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 5, taking the win over Rafael La’O in GT Radial Grid A. Nino Garcia had a contact with one of the front runners during the race and earned him a one place penalty down to 3rd.

In the Smart Fuels Grid B race, Sydney Sarmiento as able to walk away with 1st place, finishing ahead of Ed Christian Go and Dominique Bon, who finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Joey Howard dashed to victory in the Competition Clutch Grid C race over 2nd placer Paolo Lofamia and 3rd placer Aaron Lao.

Polo Bautista started from 3rd in the 8-lap Buddyclub Grid D race and passed Sherwin Bargos and Jonnie Pineda at the first corner of the opening lap. He opened a 4.537 sec gap to take the win. As Bargos and Pineda broke out of their bracket, it was Adrian Lampano who came 2nd and Buddyclub-sponsored Alex Perez in 3rd.

The Works Bell Grid E race had the largest number of drivers with 15 entries. Anthony Richard Lanting won 1st in the with Jack Saquilayan in 2nd and Patrick Manapat in 3rd.

For Round 5, the FlatOut Race Series (FORS) heads back to the Batangas Racing Circuit (BRC) on July 2, 2016.

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