Three weeks after a dominant performance at the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix, China’s Danial Cao is the man to beat at the Clark International Speedway (CIS) in the Philippines.
The second round of the FIA Formula 4 Southeast Asia Championship (F4 SEA) fuelled by PETRON takes place this weekend.
Joining the fray is two up and coming talents from the Philippines while Malaysia will be represented by two experienced drivers.
Filipino brothers — Ben and Sam Grimes who know CIS like the back of their hands — are determined to put a dent on Cao’s march to the overall title.
Doing so would certainly please F4 SEA sponsor PETRON Corporation who has been a faithful partner of the Championship.
“I love racing here,” said Ben, who at 19, is two years older than Sam.
“My aim is to be the Event Champion and to do that, I need a couple of wins and podium finishes from all six races.
“I’ve been away from racing for nearly a year as I was focusing on my studies but I’m now ready to go all out.
“I need sponsors to continue my racing career and the best way to do that is by performing on my home circuit.”
Likewise, Sam also hopes to be on the podium but more importantly, “beat” his brother.
“It’s great to have someone like Ben to look up to but I definitely get a real pleasure in beating him,” joked Sam.
“I think I can get on the podium consistently. The advantage we have is that we have raced on the circuit before.
“We know the ins and outs and we hope to use our experience to keep the Pambansang Watawat (national flag) flying high.”
Standing in their way are Malaysian duo Adam Khalid, 19, and Timothy Yeo, 20.
Yeo, who has been competing in GT racing for the past few years, said: “I forgot how demanding single seater cars can be on a driver’s body.
“It was really taxing out there. It took me a while to get used to the conditions but I reckon I can put up a good performance tomorrow and Sunday.”
Adam is also making a return after taking time off to concentrate on his studies and admitted it wasn’t easy.
“It was great to be in the car again. I didn’t do too well in the morning practice sessions but I’m confident I’ll be alright before tomorrow’s qualifying and opening races,” he said.
F4 SEA consists of five rounds with six races each with an event champion crowded after each round.
The other three rounds of the second season of the FIA Formula 4 Southeast Asia Championship fuelled by PETRON Corporation are at Sentul, Indonesia (Nov 24-26), Buriram, Thailand (Jan 12-14) and finally Sepang International Circuit (Feb 9-11).