Thursday, November 8, 2018

Champions Crowned in 2018 Petron FlatOut Race Series Season Finale


A whole year of adrenaline-filled racing has now come to a close. The Petron FlatOut Race Series (Petron FORS) returned to the Clark International Speedway last October 27 for the eighth and final time this 2018. Although it still attracted a healthy group of 97 entries, the main highlight of that day were the drivers who sealed their championship titles in the Time Attack and Grid races.

FORS regulars were also joined by the 86 Club, multi-million peso supercars, Asian V8 Championship, and the new Super Compact 1500 Class.

Time Attack

The fastest man of the day was Dominque Bon in the Porsche 911 GT2 RS. His blistering 2:05.452 lap was more than enough to earn him wins in both Bracket R and the Super Car Class. But he was unable to take the class title away from Rafael la O’ who secured the Bracket R championship by finishing 2nd. Right behind them in the time sheet was Jess Garcia in the CRG Toyota Celica ST185 in 3rd.

In a very rare occasion, both la O’ and Bon were outpaced in Bracket A when Anthony Songco in the Subaru WRX STI set the bar with a 2:10.475 lap. La O’s consistent performance, however, earns him another title in Bracket A.

Paolo Santos wrapped up a very successful year in Bracket B by taking 1st place in class and securing the championship in the season finale. 2nd and 3rd were Edurardo Pujol and BRE driver Ronn Cantindig.

Don Frew in the SmartFuels2Race Honda Civic EG barely edged Hernel Castillo to win in Bracket C by a 0.155 sec margin. Behind them in 3rd was Paul Santos of Team Big Chill who also snagged the class title in the process.

After a string of podium finishes, Robert Tan finally earned his first win of the season which was a fitting end to his 2018 campaign as he also picked up the Bracket D crown. AAP Motorsport Development Program (MSDP) graduate Armand Marcaida was 2nd while Steve Travers in the Toyota MR-S was 3rd.

Patrick Manapat, 15-year-old Russel Cabrera, and Mark Pascual rounded up the top 3 spots in Bracket E and were only separated by less than a second. But it was Mark Anton David, who with his steak of podium finishes, clinched the class championship by 34 points.

Anthony Raymond Santos was the fastest man in Bracket F, trailed by Adrian Agcamaran in 2nd and Jeff Pobadora in 3rd. The overall title, on the other hand, went to 15-year-old Kody Ng.

Lastly, Miguel Hortel enjoyed back-to-back victories in Bracket G, while lady driver Gabie Desales was crowned champion.

Grid Race

Following his Bracket A and B title wins, Rafael la O’ added another championship to his collection. He cruised to victory in the Petron Grid A race to top the drivers’ standings. Kevin Sugden in the Impreza WRX STI Wagon did a stellar job to hold onto the KYB Grid B lead for more than half the race distance. However, he was later overtaken by Eduardo Pujol and Sherwin Bargos who crossed the finish line in 1st and 2nd places. Still, 3rd place was a strong result for the Subaru driver. Despite suffering a DNF, Paolo Santos had more than enough points to take the Grid B title.

Anthony Martin successfully held off Paul Santos and Julian Diego for 9 whole laps to win in Recaro Grid C. The overall title eventually went to Santos who had amassed 2 wins and 6 podiums in 2018.

Sanctioned by the Automobile Association Philippines (AAP), points leader Andre Tan and Paul Ongcuangco were miles ahead of everyone in Staunch Performance Grid D for good reason. Both were heavily penalized for breaking out and dropped down the order, yet Andre Tan still managed to secure the class championship. Armand Marcaida was eventually awarded the victory after Erwin Manaog was handed a 1 position penalty for causing a collision.

Kody Ng emerged as one of the rising stars of the year. Not only did he win the overall points race in Bracket E, but also secured the SmartFuels2Race Grid E championship by finishing 1st in the final race of 2018.

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