23 teams go full-throttle in the rain at the 2018 Petron x 4 Oras ng Pilipinas and the inaugural Kalayaan Cup

June 26, 2018

June 12, 2018 was a day to remember indeed for the local motorsports scene. This is due to the successful staging of the Petron x 4 Oras ng Pilipinas 4-hour race and the inaugural Petron Kalayaan Cup 12-hour challenge. Both endurance events were held simultaneously at the 4.2 km-long Clark International Speedway (CIS) in Pampanga, with the former taking up the first 4 hours of the latter.

Touted as a historic event in Philippine motorsports, the merger of the 2 races presented a challenging feat for the 23 teams who signed up. Add to that the heavy rain caused by Typhoon Domeng and the southwest monsoon (habagat), which battered the track with poor visibility and slippery surfaces all day long.

To clear things up, both events have 5 classes; the Manufacturer (no competitors at the time), FM3, FM2, FM1, and RP. In addition, the 4 Oras ng Pilipinas served as a kind of prelude event to the longer 8 Oras ng Pilipinas which will happen later this year.

Petron x 4 Oras ng Pilipinas

The lights went green at exactly 5:45 am. Within just the first hour, 3 of the 23 cars slipped out. This signalled a series of safety car outings that would occur many times during the day.

As hours went by, it became clear that the #1 AutoPerformance Victor Hardware Motorsport BMW M3, #22 H Racing Honda Civic FD, #2 Parts Pro Racing Honda Civic EG, #14 GT Radial Honda Civic EK, and the #12 Shell Helix Ultra Honda Civic FD were on a fierce 5-way battle for the lead.

Consistency is paramount for most teams. This involves precise pit timing, refuelling strategies, driver changes, and so on. Capitalizing on this idea, the #12 car driven by Estefano Rivera, Paolo Santos, and Andre Tan came out on top, winning the 4 Oras ng Pilipinas overall and RP Class with a full lap lead to spare.

Behind them in 2nd RP Class was the #5 Mango Suites x BM Racing Toyota Vios driven by Red Diwa and Francis Dysico. Remarkably, Diwa’s team also won 4th overall, 3rd in FM1, 1st in FM2, and 1st in FM3 – a very strong show of force.

The #18 PartsPro x Car Porn Racing Mazda MX-5 of Errol Panganiban, Gabe Tayo, Kevin Tayao, Marc Soong, and Iñigo Anton was also a force to be reckoned with under the rain. That’s because the team clinched 2nd overall and 1st in FM1. On the other hand, the #2 car of Tyson Sy and Carlos Anton made it good with a 3rd overall and a 2nd place win in FM1.

The #21 BRE Ford Fiesta of Bubi Camus, Benjamin Ng, Ronn Catindig, Amiel del Mundo, Kevin Sugden, and John Diego managed to win 2nd in FM2. Meanwhile, the #13 Shell Helix Ultra Honda Civic EG of Gabie Desales, Mike Santos, Abet Reyes, and Peewee Mendiola settled for 3rd FM2.

Landing 2nd in FM3 was the #19 Cebu x M&M x MR Auto Toyota Yaris driven by the father-and-son tandem of Mike and Miguel Hortel who’re both first-timers in PEC. Rounding off the FM3 class in 3rd was the #17 GT x SB Salon x KYB SmartFuels Toyota Yaris of Robert Tan, Sherwin Bargos, Ferdie Sia, and Mars Ocampo.

Petron Kalayaan Cup

Some teams called it a day at exactly 9:45 am, following the conclusion of the 4 Oras ng Pilipinas. But a number of cars, including the #1 AutoPerformance Victor Hardware Motorsport BMW M3 were still on track to continue with the Kalayaan Cup. Piloted by George Apacible, Jeff Borja, Miguel Dizon, Enrique Hormillo, Sung Jun Park, and Stefan Ramirez, the #1 car was in close combat with the #14 GT Radial Honda Civic EK of Gerard Loy, Edward Dela Rosa, Uly Maninding, Don Pastor, and Michael Bryan Co for most of the remaining times.

Team AutoPerformance Motorsport would eventually win the 12-hour race by half a lap against team GT Radial. As regard, AutoPerformance Motorsport made history by being the first ever winner of the Petron Kalayaan Cup 12-Hour Endurance Challenge, taking home 1st overall, 1st in RP, and 1st in FM1. To know more about their struggles that led to their eventual victory, read our feature article.

The #6 Petron Blaze Racing ToraTora Honda Civic EK of Raymund Dimapilis, Thirdie Icasas, and Pepon Marave crossed the line 5 laps behind the front runners. Despite this, the team clinched 1st in FM2. Meanwhile, the #17 GT x SB Salon x KYB SmartFuels Toyota Yaris enjoyed a 1st place win in FM3.

For more info or inquiries, visit the Philippines Endurance Challenge page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/PhilEnduranceChallenge/)

The 2018 Petron Philippine Endurance Challenge is sponsored by Petron Corporation, KYB – New SR Special, RECARO, SmartFuels, Staunch Performance x DynoJet, Carporn Racing, Hazardboy Performance, Seiken Japan, Tes Advertising, and Tuason Racing School. It's supported by 2ndGen Insurance, Aeromed, Driftmob, Pro Simulation Karera (PSK), and Walter Lights and Sounds. Media partners include 2ner Magazine, 9tro Alliance, ABS-CBN Sports and Action, AutoCar Philippines, AutoDeal.com.ph, AutoIndustriya.com, C! Magazine, CarGuide.Ph, Carmudi.com.ph, Ignition.PH, JamesDeakin.Ph, JDM Underground, Manila Bulletin Drive, Motoring Today, Motortech.Ph, Pit Talk Asia, The Score, and Time Attack Manila.

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.