2018 GiTi Formula V1 Race Challenge boils to an intense championship-deciding 3rd round

October 30, 2018

In contrast to the wet and wild Round 2, the 3rd and penultimate round of the 2018 GiTi Formula V1 Race Challenge was set last October 27 under the unusually hot October sun. It took place at the 4.2 km-long Clark International Speedway in Pampanga, and was organized by Tuason Racing School (TRS), the country’s premier racing school.

Before anything else, here’s a little info about the Formula V1 itself. The Formula V1 is touted as the next level of racing after such grassroots racing events as the FlatOut Race Series and the Toyota Vios Cup. It features an equal playing field as drivers battle against each other for the win using lightweight single-seat racecars powered by 1.5L engines. As such, the event also marks the return of single-seat racing in the Philippines.

As per what transpired during Round 2, the entire schedule of Round 3 was tweaked. The event’s official Qualifying Time Trial was set a day before. This allowed an entire Saturday’s worth of high-speed action featuring Race 4 of the 2nd round, and Races 5 and 6 of the 3rd round.

Qualifying Time Trial

Fresh from his Asian Formula Renault stint, Daniel Miranda (team Obengers/Toyota Balintawak) floored it in Pro Class with his best lap time of 2:09.763, earning him the pole position. Close behind in 2nd was Luis Gono (team CleanFuel Racing) who registered a 2:10.341 lap time. Rounding of the top 3 fastest men in Pro was Tyson Sy (team PartsPro Racing) who clocked in a very close best lap time of 2:10.529.

In Am Class, Shane Henderson (team PartsPro Racing) topped the charts with his best lap time of 2:11.862. Qualifying 2nd was Jussi Hoikka (team Growl-Thule Racing) who registered a time of 2:12.656. In 3rd was Paolo Mantolino (team PartsPro Racing) with his best lap time of 2:13.592.

Race 4

Race 1 started off in style with the pack going head-to-head coming into turn 1. Miranda, Gono, and Sy tried their best to outclass each other in Pro. In the end, the 3 drivers crossed the line in that order.

The Am Class, on the other hand, saw Sean Smith (team PartsPro Racing) prevailing against Hoikka who settled for 2nd place. Henderson, meanwhile, finished the race in 3rd.

Race 5

Apart from minor taps and scrapes between drivers, Race 1 was virtually incident free. However in Race 2, things turned out not quite the same with few incidents leaving some drivers scratching their heads.

One such driver is Am Class contender Bryan Co (team FORS FB Racing) who spun out of control at the big loop corner midway into the race. This caused fellow Am Class contender Red Diwa (team OTR Racing) to hit Co’s machine. Unfortunately, Diwa’s car was deemed too damaged to continue racing.

In the end, Miranda, once again, bagged 1st place in Pro Class. Behind him were Sy and Gono who placed 2nd and 3rd, respectively. There was even a small incident halfway into the race between Sy and Gono as the 2 men hit each other, almost causing the former to run off track.

In Am Class, Smith, Henderson, and Hoikka were still the top 3 finishers.

Race 6

Finally, the last race of the day went underway, just in time for the setting sun. Similar to Race 2, there were a few incidents that stirred the competition. The most notable of which is the shunt between Pro and Am class championship hopefuls Sy and Smith, respectively. As regard, the two came into contact with each other near the Acacia corner during the first few laps of the race.

The incident rendered both drivers unable to resume due to their damage machines. Moreover, both drivers also lost their bids to claim their respective Classes’ championship titles and the chance to be sent to Japan to compete at the Regional race.

Beyond the drama, there were reasons to celebrate as well. Dominating the Pro Class for the third consecutive time that day was Miranda. He was joined on the podium by Gono and Mantolino in 2nd and 3rd places, respectively.

In Am Class, Hoikka took home top honors, followed by Henderson in 2nd and Dominic Roque (team CleanFuel Racing) in 3rd.

It’s not over yet, though as the 4th and final round of the 2018 GiTi Formula V1 Race Challenge will commence later this November. To kick things up a notch, this round will be a 4-hour endurance race, an action-packed season-ender for what was an exciting inaugural year. Before that, the champions in their respective classes will be sent on a mission to Japan to represent the Philippines in the Regional Race. We'll keep you posted on the final championship results. 

The 2018 GiTi Formula V1 Race Challenge is made possible by its sponsors; Giti Tires, Clean Fuel, ROTA, Motul, AEG Power Tools, West Racing Cars Japan, and Philippine Airlines.

Photos by Randolph de Leon

About the Author

Randolph de Leon
Randy is a person with disability (PWD), a partially-blinded person with only his left eye functioning. Since childhood, the automobile has always been his passion, and is able to express it through photography and most recently, through writing as well. Outside the motoring beat, Randy spends time manning the media aspect of his business which he co-founded with his sister/college classmate. It's called Dragonlight Wellness and Solutions, a multi-business venture centering on improving peoples' lives through earning.