Who Will Be The Champion? Media Predictions for Round 3 of the Giti-Formula V1 Challenge

We have a title race that is as tight as it can possibly get heading into Round 3 of the Giti-Formula V1 Challenge on Oct 19-20 at Clark International Speedway! While there’s room for several challengers at the top of the points table, there’s only one champion’s seat waiting at Suzuka. We asked our media partners to weigh in on the season so far, and their bold predictions on who will be taking the grand prize.

Christopher Kho, Time Attack Manila

The title leaders are currently separated by 1 point. Are you bold enough to choose a champion before the races start?
I’m putting my money on Estefano Rivera as he has more experience racing in CIS than Ryo Yamada. You can also count on Estefano’s teammate, Alex Brown–who is as quick as both title contenders–to help him out on track if needed.

With a double points and reverse grid system in play, do you think we’ll be looking at a very different points table after the weekend?
Only a few drivers have delivered consistent results so far this season, so I expect the same faces to be battling upfront with a reverse grid format or not. But you can always count on other drivers making mistakes that could throw the championship on its head.

The AM Class has developed two extremely promising talents in Alex Brown and Phoenix’s Raffy Rabe, what do you think this says about the young drivers of the Philippines?
There’s definitely a lot of young talented drivers in the Philippines. They just need to be given the opportunity to shine in a program as well put together as Formula V1.

Graduating from go karts, Alex is quickly moving up the motorsports ladder and I wouldn’t be surprised if he races in a regional Formula series next year. Raffy, on the other hand, is already an experienced racer in cars but with the scholarship from Phoenix Petroleum, he was able to progress a lot faster in Formula V1 than he would have in another series.

Aside from the battle at the top, the midpack has also seen lots of pitched battles. Who has impressed you this season?
Red Diwa has stood out amongst the AM Class drivers. This is only his debut season in Formula V1, but was able to outrun other more experienced entries and is now 2nd in the class championship. You also have to remember that he’s racing in both Formula V1 and the Vios Cup this year. These are very different disciplines yet is excelling in both championships.

Randolph De Leon, Jamesdeakin.ph

The title leaders are currently separated by 1 point. Are you bold enough to choose a champion before the races start?
The last two legs of the Giti-Formula V1 Challenge 2019 have been intense, especially the rain battle in Round 2. As per my observation, I’d predict Estefano Rivera to clinch the title, given his apparent fighting spirit to come out on top during the closing laps of each race.

With a double points and reverse grid system in play, do you think we’ll be looking at a very different points table after the weekend?
A double points and reverse grid rule on Round 3 will definitely make things all the more interesting. That said, I’m looking at Stefan Ramirez to get a podium position since I’ve always seen him as a resilient person who would defend his position cleanly until the end.

The AM Class has developed two extremely promising talents in Alex Brown and Phoenix’s Raffy Rabe, what do you think this says about the young drivers of the Philippines?
I see great potential in Alex and Raffy. I do hope these kids would maintain their racing spirit once they come across tougher opponents as young Filipino racers today have a lot going for them. They have the spirit and the heart to make it big locally and internationally–they just need the right support from the right people to come out strong. The advent of sim racing is also a big help to fine tune their skills a little more. The racing world is theirs for the taking!

Aside from the battle at the top, the midpack has also seen lots of pitched battles. Who has impressed you this season?
As for the mid pack, I’ve seen Dominic Roque as a true force to be taken seriously. I’ve seen him evolve as a rookie and celebrity racer since his Vios Cup days. I feel he has the potential to break into the top runners’ circle come the next season. He will be a champion.

John Rey San Diego, Autocar and Wheelsph

The title leaders are currently separated by 1 point. Are you bold enough to choose a champion before the races start?
With double points up for grabs for the third leg, that would be too hard to predict. The champion could be anyone at this point especially with the talented grid that the 2019 Giti-Formula V1 Challenge has for both race classes.

With a double points and reverse grid system in play, do you think we’ll be looking at a very different points table after the weekend?
As a fan of the racing series, I do hope so. That will definitely make the closing parts of the season more exciting. With the heightened pressure bringing out the most of the racers, you’ll get to see who can stay composed and focused with all the intensity going around. That would be exciting to watch!

The AM Class has developed two extremely promising talents in Alex Brown and Raffy Rabe, what do you think this says about the young drivers of the Philippines?
We have Brown who battles even with the Pro class racers and Rabe who consistently puts up impressive performances since the first leg. I guess this goes to show both that there are actually young racers in the country and also the quality of these young drivers. I’m always looking forward with more motorsports events that would bring out more young Filipino talents like these young gentlemen.

Aside from the battle at the top, the midpack has also seen lots of pitched battles. Who has impressed you this season?
I have been a fan of Gaby Dela Merced and watching her race in Formula V1 and making impressive performances in the midfield of the grid is nothing but awesome. Also, seeing the likes of Red Diwa and Raymond Ronquillo both having a smooth transition from Vios Cup to Formula racing is impressive. Both drivers were able to adjust well to Formula V1 and even garnered podium finishes in some of the races.

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