Filipinos show their pace at Clark Speedway

6.7 mins


That is the word Filipino driver Ben Grimes attributes to his success in last weekend’s FIA Formula 4 Southeast Asia (F4 SEA) Championship fueled by PETRON Corporation.

Racing on his home track at Clark International Speedway, Grimes claimed two victories, two runners-up positions, one third spot and one did not finish in the second event of the season.

Ben’s younger brother Sam, who was returning after nearly a year away from the sport due to studies, had one runner-up spot and one third-place finish.

The brothers were wildly cheered on and off the track and they certainly gave the home fans plenty to celebrate in an action-packed event.

“To be successful in motorsports, one must be able to adapt to any conditions,” said Ben, 19.
“I was racing in Formula Masters a month ago and then had to quickly adapt to the F4 cars. It was different but I managed to perform beyond expectations.
“In fact, in the second race, if I did not make a mistake on the second last corner of the seventh lap when I was comfortably ahead, I may have even gone on to win the Event Champion title.
“We also had to adapt to the wet conditions in the final race of the weekend after five dry races.
“Overall, I’m feeling excited for the remainder of the season.”

For the event championship, points are awarded in order of a driver’s finishing position.

This means first place gives you one point, second place two points, third is three points and so on.

The objective is to get the lowest number of points.

Grimes’ failure to finish hurt his chances of becoming champion as the eight points he collected gave him a total of 17.

China’s Daniel Cao, who was struggling to keep up with Ben before the Filipino’s crash, took advantage to win that race.

He went on to claim the Event Champion title with eight points.

“It hurts. One mistake was all it took to prevent me from having a shot at the title. My car was damaged and it took the mechanics some time to fix it,” said Ben.
“As a result, I had to drive a new car in three of the final four races.
“Once again, I managed to ‘adapt’ to the conditions and am thankful that despite driving a new car, I got another race victory and two runner-up positions.”

Using his original car, Ben finished third in the sixth and final race of the weekend.

Asked what he learnt from Clark, he replied: “To never take anything for granted.
“And also, I really need to work out harder in the gym as the races are so demanding!”

Sam, meanwhile, had mixed emotions about his weekend.

He was delighted to have had two podium finishes but struggled in the other four races.

“I was away from racing for a very long time. My target was to get one podium finish and I got two which was great,” said the 17-year-old.
“The bonus was in Race 5 where my brother and I were both on the podium, him first and I third. And dad was there to watch us too!
“I still have much to improve on but I can take heart from the weekend’s results.
“I just have to look forward and remember the good I did.”

Race Results

Race 1

  1. Ben Grimes (Phi) 25:07.065s
  2. Daniel Cao (Chn) 25:08.265s
  3. Kane Shepherd (Tha) 25:22.380s
  4. Adam Khalid (Mas) 25:24.318s
  5. Timothy Teo (Mas) 25:40.148s
  6. Shivin Sirinarinthon (Tha) 25:43.230s
  7. Luke Thompson (Irl) 25:43.622s
  8. Sam Grimes (Phi) DNF

Race 2

  1. Daniel Cao (Chn) 25:10.832s
  2. Sam Grimes (Phi) 25:19.971s
  3. Kane Shepherd (Tha) 25:24.309s
  4. Adam Khalid (Mas) 25;32.443s
  5. Timothy Yeo (Mas) 25:34.222s
  6. Luke Thompson (Irl) 25:34.698s
  7. Shivin Sirinarinthon (Tha) 25:51.648s
  8. Ben Grimes (Phi) DNF

Race 3

  1. Daniel Cao (Chn) 25:10.781s
  2. Ben Grimes (Phi) 25:20.546s
  3. Adam Khalid (Mas) 25:24.679s
  4. Kane Shepherd (Tha) 25:24.955
  5. Timothy Yeo (Mas) 25:29.870
  6. Shivin Sirinarinthon (Tha) 25:37.555s
  7. Luke Thompson (Irl) 25:37.698s
  8. Sam Grimes (Phi) DNF

Race 4

  1. Daniel Cao (Chn) 24:55.847s
  2. Ben Grimes (Phi) 25:07.857s
  3. Kane Shepherd (Tha) 25:15.410s
  4. Timothy Yeo (Mas) 25:16.475s
  5. Shivin Sirinarinthon (Tha) 25:18.327s
  6. Luke Thompson (Irl) 25:21.267s
  7. Adam Khalid (Mas) DNF
  8. Sam Grimes (Phi) DNF

Race 5

  1. Ben Grimes (Phi) 25:26.528s
  2. Daniel Cao (Chn) 25:30.483s
  3. Sam Grimes (Phi) 25:31.201s
  4. Kane Shepherd (Tha) 25:36.702s
  5. Adam Khalid (Mas) 25:43.553s
  6. Shivin Sirinarinthon (Tha) 25:48.092s
  7. Luke Thompson (Irl) 25:48.582s
  8. Timothy Yeo (Mas) 25:51.594s

Race 6

  1. Daniel Cao (Chn) 12:33.808s
  2. Kane Shepherd (Tha) 12:36.791s
  3. Ben Grimes (Phi) 12:44.507s
  4. Shivin Sirinarinthon (Tha) 12:46.779s
  5. Adam Khalid (Mas) 12:47.311s
  6. Luke Thompson (Irl) 12:47.893s
  7. Timothy Yeo (Mas) 12:50.402s
  8. Sam Grimes (Phi) 13:23.038s

(Red flag. Race stopped due to bad track conditions)

* DNF = Did not finish

Event Champion

  1. Daniel Cao (Chn) 8 points
  2. Ben Grimes (Phi) 17 points
  3. Kane Shepherd (Tha) 19 points
  4. Adam Khalid (Mas) 28 points
  5. Timothy Yeo (Mas) 34 points
  6. Shivin Sirinarinthon (Tha) 37 points
  7. Sam Grimes (Phi) 37 points
  8. Luke Thompson (Irl) 40 points