Meet The Phoenix Pulse Young Drivers Program Winners

Phoenix Pulse, Formula V1 series presenter, has found their next-generation talent to drive for the Phoenix Racing Team this 2019 season!

Phoenix firmly believes in the importance of supporting Filipino racers, which is why they decided to take a deeper role in racer development with their latest initiative: The Young Drivers Program. After putting out a call for candidates from 15-29 years old with at least one year of competitive racing experience, the Young Drivers Program attracted almost 300 applicants during the two week search, consisting of young racers from various motorsport disciplines.

These hopefuls were eventually narrowed down to nine contestants who took part in a rigorous one-day testing at Clark International Speedway on May 2.

  • Tara Laconico, 15, Rotax Max Asia and ROK Karting
  • Raymond Cudala, 20, Philippine National Karting Series
  • Carlos Marzo, 20, F.O.R.S. grid and time-attack
  • Mika-J Baniqued, 19, Phoenix Pulse National Slalom Series
  • Gel Napat, 23, Vios Cup Sporting Class
  • Patrichk Dela Rosa, 19, Philippine GT
  • Julia Delos Angeles, 18, Karting and Vios Cup Promotional Class
  • Paolo Aguas, 21, Touge Battle
  • Raffy Rabe, 20, F.O.R.S. and Touge Battle

After undergoing rigorous exercises that covered their driving skill, personality assesment, and even interview proficiency, their results were deliberated on by a screening panel consisting of JP Tuason, Tuason Racing CEO and founder, Ms. Ma. Celina Matias, Phoenix Petroleum Philippines AVP for Brand & Marketing, and Lloyd Manaloto, TV5’s Vice President for ESPN 5 and e-Sports. The results were formally announced last May 8 at the Formula V1 season launch.

During the unveiling of the finalists, Ms. Matias shared Phoenix’s inspiration for the program, “We aim to highlight the fact that Phoenix fuels are high‐performing products fit not just for regular driving, but also for professional racing. This campaign came as a great opportunity to prove that. The Young Drivers Program is also in line with our thrust to empower millennials and support next‐generation drivers.”

The top three consists of Tara Laconico

Tara already has an FIA/AAP Junior International Karting License despite being one of the youngest contestants

and Patrichk Dela Rosa. Both finalists are promising talents and we’ll see more of them when they drive for the Phoenix endurance team in November!

Along with his brother, Richmon, the Dela Rosa’s have made a splash in local GT racing

And the champion, Phoenix Racing Team’s new Formula V1 driver, is Raffy Rabe!

Raffy follows in the racing footsteps of his dad and uncle–as well as close friend, and 2018 FV1 champion, Luis Gono

Ms. Matias shared that “After a battery of tests and interviews, Raffy emerged as the best among the crop of young drivers as he possesses a good balance of excellent racing skills and the ideal attitude.” Rabe has also won class championships in both the FlatOut Race Series and Touge Battle and is eager to prove himself in Formula V1.

We wish him luck in his first race and see you all on May 18 at BRC!

Phoenix Pulse together with Tuason Racing presents the Giti-Formula V1 Challenge
Sponsored by: West Race Cars Japan, OMP, AEG Powertools, Phoenix Accelerate, Rota
Media Partners: Philippine Daily Inquirer, Autocar, Wheels PH, James Deakin, C! Mag, AutoIndustriya, ESPN
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