The Road To Formula V1: Phoenix Young Drivers’ Program Champ Raffy Rabe

After winning the Phoenix Young Drivers’ Program, FlatOut Race Series and Touge Battle class winner Raffy Rabe is now gearing up to represent the Phoenix team at Round 2 of the 2019 Giti-Formula V1 Challenge at the Clark International Speedway (CIS) on July 20 to 21.

Rabe bested almost 300 hopefuls who applied during the two-week search and impressed the panel of judges during the rigorous driving skill, personality, and media proficiency tests.

The poster that triggered the dream

“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,” Phoenix Petroleum Philippines AVP for Brand & Marketing Celina Matias said.

Still feeling the excitement of being named Phoenix’s first-ever Young Drivers’ Program winner, Rabe said, “It is an absolute honor to be working with Phoenixas their driver for the 2019 Giti-Formula V1 Challenge because without Phoenix and Tuason Racing, I wouldn’t be where I am right now—for me this is a very amazing experience.”

Rabe with new team mates Laconico and Dela Rosa

Just three days after the program’s awarding, Rabe was sent to compete to Round 1 of the 2019 Giti-Formula V1 Challenge at the Batangas Racing Circuit (BRC) on May 18. Despite the short preparation and practice period, Rabe proved his huge potential despite a setback.

“I was disappointed in myself at first, because before race 1 and QTT, my times in practice were pretty good—around 1:52 minutes. But when it came to the qualifiers, it went really high to 1:54 minutes. It gave me a bad spot on the grid. This resulted in me having to try and climb the ladder and get to at least 6th place, but unfortunately I spun out on the last lap and I wasn’t able to finish the race,” Rabe said.

Some last minute coaching before race start

“Afterwards, I made a lot of adjustments—with the car, but mostly on myself. I had to become more patient and more focused on what I really had to do, which was to finish the race first,” he added.

Rabe taking the inside line at BRC!

Rabe showed good fortitude and pushed beyond his initial goal of simply finishing and getting valuable race experience–he triumphantly crossed the finish line in races 2 and 3 ahead of several other competitors in the AM Class.

“It felt really good since I saw my improvement. I was able to finish both race 2 and race 3 without any damage which made me feel good and confident. I’m now hoping that I continue improving all the way up to the end of the season.”

Expect to see this car charging up the rankings at CIS!

Rabe is now looking forward to further improve his standing in the series at Round 2 of the competition. “I’m feeling really excited about racing in CIS because compared to BRC, Clark is more spacious and offers more overtaking spots, so I guess it would be easier and safer to overtake in Clark rather than Batangas,” he said.

Along with Rabe, runner-ups Tara Laconico, a young karting talent, and GT racing champion Patrichk Dela Rosa will be forming the Phoenix Racing Team’s endurance lineup in November.

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