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May 30, 2018

Summer Heats Up as FlatOut Race Series Resumes Track Battle at BRC

The Petron FlatOut Race Series (Petron FORS) welcomed the extreme summer heat by going racing at Round 3 of the 2018 season. Like the sizzling temperature, the on-track battles reached a boiling point as rivals faced off last May 19 at the Batangas Racing Circuit (BRC).

High temperatures put both man and machine to the test. Thankfully, all 48 Time Attack and 32 Grid entries were able to power through the day’s runs with help from Petron Blaze 100 Euro 6 fuels and Petron Blaze Racing engine oils. This included Dondon Portugal who was able to a new lap record around the 3.7-kilometer track running in Bracket R. There was also plenty of action the the Staunch Performance Grid D race where 16 drivers fought for the lead in the 10-lap race. In the chaos, Andre Makkina Tan would eventually take 1st place despite crossing the finish line in 3rd.

Time Attack

Portugal made a strong comeback to the series by setting a 1:42.573 lap in his Mitsubishi Evolution 7. This broke the previous lap record by a slim 0.077 sec margin and earned him the Bracket R win. Rafael la O’ in the Staunch Performance Honda Civic EK, on the other hand, set the pace in Bracket A with a 1:46.652 lap running GT Radial SX2 tires. Portugal came 2nd while Eduardo Suiza in the W-Autosport / Staging Lanes Honda Civic EG was 3rd.

Christopher Co in the Toyota 86 missed out on 1st place in Bracket B by only 0.089 secs. That victory went to Emerson Ocampo in the Centrum Fuel x GT Radial Honda Civic who set a 1:56.207 best. 3rd was Jero Consing with his 1:56.406 lap.

The twin widebody Honda Civic EGs of Sonny De Torres and Julian Diego claimed the top spots in Bracket C. De Torres won with his 1.59.856 lap while Diego managed a close 1:59.925. Luke Mendoza was 3rd in the Ethanworx Racing Team x Speedtuner Engineering Subaru WRX STI.

Despite a broken turbo, Dominique Bon ran his detuned Honda Civic in Bracket D and won. Robert Tan in the Grupo Toyota Yaris was 2nd while AAP Motorsport Development Program (MSDP) graduate Armand Marcaida came 3rd.

Avin Villaseñor scored his 3rd straight win in Bracket E, proving that he’s a master of both BRC and CIS. Young 15-year-old driver Kody Ng was quickest in Bracket F. Then, lady driver and MSDP graduate Gabie Desales showed an impressive performance by taking the top spot in Bracket G on only her second FORS event.

The quickest drivers in the 86 Class were Christopher Co, Jermyn Sy, and Edwin Sarmenta.

Grid Race

Sanctioned by the Automobile Association Philippines (AAP), Dondon Portugal was on a mission right and pushed hard throughout the 12-lap Petron Grid A race. He enjoyed a lights to flag victory with a 24.518 sec lead. Rafael la O’ and Eduardo Suiza tried to play catch up but could only manage 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

Emerson Ocampo was miles ahead in the KYB Grid B race for good reason. He broke out of the bracket time and dropped to 3rd after serving his penalty. This gave the win to Paolo Santos in the Honda Civic FD followed by Jonmark Ong in 2nd. It was a similar story in Recaro Grid C where Paul Santos took an easy win. This came after Julian Diego and Sonny De Torres were both given hefty time penalties for breaking out while fighting for the lead.

With 16 cars on the grid, the Staunch Performance Grid D race was by far the most action-packed event of the day. The battle for 1st stretched all the way to 10th place where John Benedict Carbonel in the Honda Civic EK and Errol Panganiban in the Carporn Racing Mazda MX-5 controlled the race from upfront. But results showed that both drivers broke out and were dropped down the order. Keeping his cool, Andre Tan was rewarded with a hard earned 1st place, followed by Erwin Manaog in 2nd, and Carlos Marzo in 3rd.

The SmartFuels 2 Race Grid E race went to Mars Ocampo in the Toyota Yaris. Jeff Pobadora was 2nd and Jun Cabrera, who drove a Yaris instead of usual Civic EG, finished 3rd.

It’s going to be a quick break before the Petron FlatOut Race Series resumes on June 9, 2018 at the Clark International Speedway for Round 4. The Philippine Endurance Challenge’s Petron 4 Oras ng Pilipinas takes place right after on June 12.

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