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October 10, 2018

Double Points Re-Ignite Title Chase in 2018 Petron FlatOut Race Series Round 7

After several hosting rain-hit rounds, the Petron FlatOut Race Series (Petron FORS) warmly welcomed clear weather and perfect racing conditions during the penultimate round of 2018 last September 29. 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 maximized 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 1,500-cc engine displacement, expect this category to grow a lot bigger in 2019.

Time Attack

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 1:43.830 time. Rafael la O’ in the Staunch Performance Honda Civic EK came in 2nd with a mere 0.879 sec slower lap. Meanwhile, Gabby Sohu’s Nawna Racing Honda Civic EG has grown massive aero to set a 1:48.844 lap good enough for 3rd.

Switching to street-spec tires for Bracket A, Gabby Sohu this time came ahead of Portugal and la O’ who were 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

His younger brother Raffy Sohu also dominated his class in Bracket B. Team Big Chill’s Paolo Santos could only muster 2nd with his Honda Civic FD, while Eduardo Pujol who returned to racing after a long hiatus was 3rd. Raymond De Pano barely edged Miggy Sohu to win Bracket C by a 0.009 sec 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 2nd and Errol Panganiban in the Car Porn Racing Mazda MX-5 ND in 3rd.

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 secs split the top 3 drivers in Bracket F. Jeff Pobadora barely squeaked past Steve Travers and Kody Ng for the win.

17-year-old Miguel Hortel bested lady driver Gabie Desales in Bracket G to take 1st place with Kevin Sugden coming in 3rd with a borrowed car. Lastly, the 86 Club Class saw Jermyn Sy set a 2:00.513 to claim the win.

Grid Race

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 2nd.

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 penalized for breaking out of their bracket and ended up last. The real winner was Paolo Santos who finished 2.195 secs ahead of Eduardo Pujol and Raffy Sohu.

Polo Bautista returned to his winning ways by finishing 1st in Recaro Grid C. Paul Santos had to settle for 2nd after he was given a 1-place penalty for overtaking under the yellow flag. Right behind the group was Raymond De Pano in 3rd.

The 14-car Grid D and 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 1st  to Andre Makkina Tan, who drove a superb race to win his fourth victory of the year in Grid D. Paul Ongcuangco finished 2nd with Armand Marcaida in 3rd.

Jeff Pobadora defended his position against Kody Ng to win Grid E. Ng then took 2nd followed by Steve Travers in 3rd.

The very first Super Compact 1500 race saw 6 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 3rd.

The Petron FlatOut Race Series will stage its final round of 2018 at the Clark International Speedway on October 27.

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