Despite the bad weather, it’s business as usual for the country’s premier grassroots motorsports event, the 2016 GT Radial FlatOut Race Series (FORS). The championship is now on its halfway point, with its 5th round happening last July 2 at the Batangas Racing Circuit (BRC).
The 3.7 km long course witnessed a torrential downpour early morning during the practice runs. But fortunately for the 82 drivers who joined, the track soon dried up in time for the start of the Time Trial and Grid Race events.
Kicking off the time trials is the Bracket A. It saw Rafael La’O in the Auto Magic Honda Civic EK Hatchback crossing the line with a 1st place-winning time of 1:50.142. Coming in 2nd was Eduardo Suiza onboard the Competition Clutch Honda Civic EG who clocked in just 0.094 seconds behind. He was then trailed in 3rd by Don Don Portugal who posted a best lap time of 1:50.308.
Bracket B, on the other hand, put Gabby Sohu and Robert Alvarez to the test as they went on for a head-to-head race. In the end, it was the 14-year-old Sohu who came out on top with his PAGCOR/Zenium/Gerco-sponsored Honda Civic Hatchback. Sohu clocked in a 1:56.582 lap time, just 1 second ahead of Alvarez’s time of 1:57.582.
Down in Bracket C, it was Paolo Lofamia who managed to clinch 1st place with his best time of 1:59.024. He’s then trailed in 2nd place by Aaron Lao who posted a time of 1:59.200. Lastly in 3rd place was Joey Howard with his best time of 1:59.453.
Meanwhile, Bracket D saw Miggy Sohu gunning it for the win aboard the same type of car as his brother Gabby. His fastest time of 2:02.449 placed him atop the podium. Polo Bautista and Mark Bayan joined him in 2nd and 3rd places, respectively.
In Bracket E, the top 3 finishers were John Benedict Carbonel, Marcus Timbol, and Jack Saquilayan who crossed the line in that order. Meanwhile, Anthony Richard Lanting took 1st place victory in Bracket F, followed by Michael John Enriquez in 2nd and Leo Candava in 3rd.
Bracket G ended with just 0.176 separating the top 3 finishers. When the dust settled, it was Robert Tan who got the upper hand. He’s followed by Al King Dela Cruz and Mark Macas in 2nd and 3rd places, respectively.
In Bracket R a repeat performance was seen between Bracket A winners La’O, Suiza, and Portugal as they crossed the line in that order.
The support races, on the other hand, saw Mark Macas taking victory in the Grupo Toyota and Zacharry Mendoza in The Perfect Lap.
The action continued in the grid races where Grids A, B, and C formed a 13-car field. In the GT Radial Grid A race, Rafael La’O took another spot in the winner's circle by crossing the line in 1st place. Don Don Portugal almost clinched that victory, if not for a spin that caused him to land in 2nd place. Ferdie Sia came in 3rd.
Sydney Sarmiento, on the other hand, went on to win 1st place in the Smart Fuels Grid B race. In 2nd place was Ed Christian Go who barely got away with penalties due to a hit with Gabby Suho. Meanwhile, despite that hit which caused him to spin out, plus a 4-minute penalty due to repeated hard breakouts, Sohu still managed to finish 3rd.
In the Competition Clutch Grid C race, Aaron Lao took home 1st place, followed by Joey Howard in 2nd and Paolo Lofamia in 3rd.
On the other hand, drama ensued in the Buddy Club Grid D race after Polo Bautista crossed the line in front of 21 other cars in the field. Why? Because he later faced a 60-second penalty due to a hard breakout, which pulled him down to the tail end of the finishing order. In the end, it was Neil Bryan Diaz, Allan Ararao, and Michael Suiza who stood atop the podium in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places, respectively.
Finally, Robert Tan capped the day off with a fine victory in the Works Bell Grid E race. He was joined by Anthony Richard Lanting in 2nd and Leo Candava in 3rd.
See the action again on August 6 as the 2016 GT Radial FlatOut Race Series stays at the Batangas Racing Circuit for Round 6.
The 2016 FlatOut Race Series (FORS) is sponsored by GT Radial – Philippines, Smartfuels, Competition Clutch, Staging Lanes, Buddyclub, Works Bell, Spy Eyewear, Tuason Racing School, BMC Air Filters, Gamutek, and Recaro. FORS is also supported by Gamotek Tarpauline Machine, Stoner Car Care & Glass Detailing, Tropicana Scents Car Freshener, Ninja Performance, MDU Coilovers, Target Motorsports, Aguila Auto Glass, Walter Lights and Sounds, A1 Advertising, Aeromed. Philgerma Mfg. Inc. Media partners include LGT Manila, Time Attack Manila, AutoIndustriya.com, AutoCar Philippines, Sportline Magazine, C! Magazine, JDM Underground, 2ner Magazine, and AutoDeal.com.ph.