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July 31, 2023

2023 SeaOil Radical Challenge Gets Off To An Exhilarating First Round

It was a thrilling season opener to the SeaOil Radical Challenge Philippines when the series kicked off its first leg of 2023 last 21st to 23rd of July at the Clark International Speedway (CIS). Standout drivers were Joaquin Garrido and Jason Choachuy who bagged a race win each, while reigning 2022 champion Iñigo Anton was flying on track with his superb qualifying performance.

The grid was filled with Radical SR1s piloted by renowned drivers that come from varying motorsport backgrounds. It included karting champions, drifters, touring car drivers, and even sim racers, who all stepped up to the challenge of the country’s fastest race series.

The season officially got underway on Saturday with Anton eager to defend his title after a strong showing during Qualifying. He set a best time of 1:57.299 to claim pole position and was 0.419 seconds clear of his closest rival Joaquin Garrido of PartsPro who lined up P2 on the grid.

However, Anton’s lead was short-lived. Garrido got the better start in Race 1 on Sunday and snatched the position away on the run to the first corner. Another driver making his move up the standings was Jason Choachuy, who despite starting dead last after missing out on qualifying, charged his way to P2 and relegated Anton down to P3. The next few laps would see Choachuy and Anton fight neck-and-neck, allowing Garrido to open up a gap by the time Anton found a way past up to P2. Anton then set quick, consistent laps to bring down the gap to Garrido to less than a second. But the Radical Challenge rookie did not let up against the defending champion and stayed in the lead until the checkered flag dropped, making it a dream debut for the 17-year-old to win on his very first race in a Radical car.

Anton would cross the finish line in 2nd followed by Choachuy in 3rd.

Grateful for the opportunity given by PartsPro and the team’s 2022 driver Brian Poe-Llamanzares, Garrido expressed his emotions after his first ever Radicals Challenge race saying, “To be honest, I just didn’t want to spin and I wanted to be on par with the front runners’ pace! What helped most in my performance has got to be the support of PartsPro, especially Tito Tyson, Tito Billy, and the mechanics!” His biggest takeaway was that “pace cannot beat experience” as he hopes to improve at every session.

A reverse-grid start in Race 2 saw Atoy Llave in the #55 blue-and-yellow SeaOil Racing SR1 take pole position. But it was Choachuy who led the pack going into turn 1 as he muscled his way through the field. Anton and Garrido then tailed behind as the top three drivers fought for the lead. The trio were inseparable and swapped positions at almost every lap. Things eventually reached a boiling point, first with Anton making contact with Choachuy as the pair went down the corkscrew side-by-side. Choachuy came out in front while Anton had to limp back into the pits with a puncture. Then, it was Garrido’s turn to make a move, but also making contact with Choachuy at the exact same spot as Anton. Although Choachuy was able to rejoin without losing position, Garrido stalled the engine on his SR1. This allowed Choachuy and his #78 blue-and-black TrackHos SR1 to cruise to victory at the end of 12 laps. Multiple-time karting champion Miguel Quiñones of DRQ Motorsports jumped on the opportunity to take 2nd place on his series debut, while Garrido was able to restart his car and cross the finish in 3rd.

Dethroning the frontrunners, Choachuy shared that, “To become the champion, you must beat the champion.” He achieved that goal this weekend saying, “What helped me in my performance was the winning mindset and trust in my capabilities as a driver.”

“We are delighted to see the 2023 season of the SeaOil Radical Challenge Philippines get underway at Clark International Speedway. It was truly an exhilarating race weekend that saw the return of familiar faces to the grid, but we are also equally excited to welcome new ones and be part of their racing journey,” commented Edward Cruz, Head of B2C Segment Marketing for SeaOil Philippines, Inc. “Just like in 2022, we are once again powering each team with world-class SeaOil Extreme-97 fuel with STP additives which is designed for high performance, and this is readily available to all Filipino motorists in our more than 750 stations nationwide. Together with Radical Cars Philippines, we can’t wait for the next race in BRC in September!”

Marlon Stockinger, Radical Challenge Philippines Race Director, commented on the successful return weekend of the country’s fastest race car series. “The season opener gave us a fantastic set of races. I’m also glad to see new drivers coming in from the karting scene. We have a good number of young drivers progressing through grassroots motorsports in the Philippines and it was exciting to watch them showcase their skills in the Radical.”

The Radical Challenge Philippines opened its second season in the midst of their new three-year deal with SeaOil Philippines Inc. that will run through 2025. As the championships’ title partner and official fuel supplier, the country’s leading independent fuel provider supplies maximum performance once again with their SeaOil Extreme-97 octane as the series’ approved fuel. With the 2023 season’s opening weekend in the books, the competition now shifts its focus for Round 2 in the Batangas Racing Circuit (BRC) from September 22 to 24.

The 2023 SeaOil Radical Challenge Philippines is powered by race-engineered SeaOil Extreme-97 fuel with STP additives, sponsored by Kumu, Kooler, and Porsche Design Manila.

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