Tuason Racing’s vision for the Giti-Formula V1 Challenge is for the series to serve as a stepping stone to develop Filipino talents into global racing champions. This season has shown rapid progress from several of the V1 drivers in line with that goal, but the most inspiring example would be series presenter Phoenix PULSE and its Young Driver’s Program winner Raffy Rabe grabbing a first-ever podium finish in the second race of Round 2! Here are the thoughts of the rising star about his race experience at Clark.
How did it feel to grab third place in Race 5?
It was a very surreal feeling and also a humbling experience! That was my first time to get a podium finish for the season and it feels really good since I didn’t have a lot of practice time. The week before, I got into an incident and damaged the car, so I only had around 1-2 practices before Saturday. Hopefully, this wouldn’t be my last podium!
Race 5 was dry, but 4 and 6 were semi-wet races, were they a first-time experience for you?
Actually, I was already able to race in the wet at CIS before–although not in the V1 but in my BRZ a year ago. So there wasn’t really a big adjustment because I know what I’m supposed to do when the track is wet.There is a lot of loss in terms of grip, so you’ll have to throttle later, and brake earlier than usual. The line will also be different because in Clark, for most of the corners, the apex is usually really wet with standing water–so you avoid that. Because of those, I had to be a lot more patient and wait for the perfect time to attack.
All the other drivers were being cautious as well, so it was a lot harder to attack because a small mistake can lead into spinning out or crashing. I finished 4th place in AM class but I accidentally overtook someone while the safety car was out, so I was brought down to 5th.
It seems like your racing knowledge has really improved, was there anything in particular about your Round 2 driving that you were happy about?
There was a huge improvement from the races before–the proper lines, braking, throttle control, and everything else! My best time in practice was 2:15 and it improved a lot to a 2:13 [during the actual race] so I knew I was doing a lot better, especially in terms of braking and going into multiple corners like the first turn.
Comparing it to the prior races, I was actually being left behind by most of the other drivers, but then, in races 5 and 6, it was evident that I was able to keep up with the competition and eventually was able to bag that 3rd place!
The racers will be heading back to Clark for Round 3, and now that Rabe has experienced actual V1 competition on the track, his progress and development will surely take another big step at the final round.
The Giti-Formula V1 Challenge returns to CIS on October 20-21!