• Filipinos bring up the ante

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    MIKE POTENCIANO

    MIKE POTENCIANO

    (Conclusion)

    Battles royale
    Race 4 saw the grid based on the second fastest times of Race 3. This made Cabrera only 5th in the grid even though he won the previous race. With the rains still falling, it would be hard to challenge Martono, Malwalla, Kahia and Gowda ahead of him.

    Right at the start, Martono had a poor start and dropped to P4. The race leader came from the 3rd row, Oman’s Al-Wahaibi who was beside Cabrera. The Safety Car came out after the first lap when Malaysia’s Hoong made a mistake and was stranded in a dangerous portion of the track. On the third lap, racing resumed and Al-Wahaibi took the lead again. He then made a mistake and beached his car on the sand trap while leading the race. After fierce battles during the entire race, Indonesia’s Martono finally won over India’s Gowda for his first win of the season. New Zealand’s Kahia and Cabrera battled for third and Cabrera had to settle for fourth.

    The fifth race saw pole taken by Cabrera after posting the best time in Race 4. However, right at the start, both Kahia and Martono overtook Cabrera for the lead. The trio continued battling it out until the last three laps when the race was red flagged because of the torrential rains. It was Kahia’s turn to take his first win of the season and Martono and Cabrera got second and third places, respectively. After a long wait on the grid, race 6 was canceled when the rains fell down again and the light started to fade.

    In the end, the drivers with the most number of points were honored with Petron’s Star of the Weekend award. India’s Akash Gowda took first overall after his 2 wins and one second place, New Zealand’s Faine Kahia second and Gabe Cabrera third.

    Hats off
    The whole paddock erupted in celebrations when Cabrera was announced as one of the three recipients. The points of the top 6 were so close that anyone could have been up there. There is now a very good chance that Cabrera could win the championship in the future and looks like doors are opening up to make that happen.

    We should all take our hats off to these 2 drivers—Cabrera and King- for showing the international Asian racing community that the Filipinos are a great force to be reckoned with. We will continue to monitor their progress in the F4 series with 4 more rounds and 25 races to go till the end. Congratulations to Team Philippines and Godspeed to you all!

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