Rafael la O’ clears 2018 FlatOut Race Series Round 1 with back-to-back wins

March 15, 2018

Last March 3, 2018, the 4.2 km-long Clark International Speedway in Pampanga became the battleground for the 2018 FlatOut Race Series (FORS) Round 1. Organized and sanctioned by the Automobile Association of the Philippines, the country’s premier grassroots racing series attracted 109 drivers with a multitude of skill levels in its Time Attack and Grid Race events.

This year’s FORS came in fresh with some regulation changes that beefed up the excitement. These include the regulation changes in Bracket R which was briefly explained in this 2018 season preview. As expected, the results proved to be a great taste of things to come.

Time Attack

The FORS 2018 opening salvo started off with the morning’s Time Attack runs. Off the bat, Rafael la O' came with a strong show of force by clocking in a best lap time of 2:10.477 in Bracket A. This record would also earn him 1st place in Bracket R. Next was Gabby Sohu who crossed the line with a best lap time of 2:11.420. Joining them on the podium was defending champion Eduardo Suiza who collected 3rd place.

In Bracket B, Andrew De Asis came out on top, followed by Raffy Sohu in 2nd and Paolo Santos in 3rd. Bracket C, meanwhile, saw Christopher Pimentel claiming 1st place. He’s trailed by Tonton Ramos in 2nd and Polo Bautista in 3rd.

Ten cars turned up to claim the fastest lap time in Bracket D. Of these 10 drivers, 17-year old Julian Paul Neri, a rookie on his first racing experience, proved the quickest. He’s followed in 2nd place by Jojo Lloren. Carlos Marzo rounded off the podium in 3rd. Bracket E, on the other hand, had Avin Villaseñor, Paul Ongcuangco, and Darrel Ceña claiming 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places, respectively.

In Bracket F, the top 3 fastest drivers were Anton David, Raymond Ryan Cudala, and Peter Amiel Del Mundo. Lastly in Bracket G, Gilbert Orpilla bested all 17 other drivers to claim 1st place.

Grid Race

Things heated up even more by midday with the Grid Race events. When the dust settled in Grid A, Rafael la O’ emerged the victor once more. Eduardo Suiza and Gabby Sohu would repeat their Bracket A winning order.

Paolo Santos, Andrew De Asis, Jun Cabrera, and Raffy Sohu found themselves fighting over the lead in Grid B. It was an intense 4-way battle throughout the 9-lap race. But Santos cleared the race ahead in 1st, followed by De asis in 2nd and Cabrera in 3rd.

In Grid C, Francis Roger Telan, Tonton Ramos, and Paul Santos crossed the line in that order. Grid D, on the other hand, saw Andre Makkina Tan clinching the lead over Carlos Marzo who ended up in 2nd place. Bernard Michael Santos went home with a 3rd place finish.

Finally in Grid E, Jeremy Jimenez won 1st by surprise. That’s because Felix Chua, though crossing the line ahead of everyone, was charged with a post-race penalty due to him breaking out of his bracket time. Joining Jimenez on the podium were Peter Amiel Del Mundo and Mars Ocampo in 2nd and 3rd places, respectively.

Catch the action again on April 7 as the 2018 FORS returns to Clark for Round 2. To know more about FORS, visit the official Facebook page.

(Photos by FORS)

The 2018 Flat Out Race Series (FORS) is sponsored by 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 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.