Team Cleanfuel, Formula V1 champs

November 23, 2018

OVERCOMING wet weather conditions, Luis Gono of Team Cleanfuel emerged as the titleholder in the third and final round of the 2018 Formula V1 challenge held at the Clark International Speedway. Under the unfavorable weather, 14 racers battled to snag a spot on the podium and get a chance to compete in the international Formula V1 cup in Fuji, Japan.

After earning pole position during the qualifying sessions, Luis Gono gained an eight-second gap over his rival Tyson Sy of Team Parts Pro racing. In the end, Team Cleanfuel finished the Pro Class with a time of 2:22.68, while his teammate Dominic Roque earned a 2:25.6 time in the Amateur Class.

Spectators were treated to three gripping battles that day. The usual suspects were at the forefront of the races. Parts Pro racing were on a slim lead over Cleanfuel Racing team after races 4 and 5. Planning to go all out on the 6th and final leg of the series is the young Gono but the unexpected happened, the leading racers of the Pro and AM class collided and both did not finish. Confident of bagging the overall championship, Luis kept a safe distance from the new race leader from Toyota Balintawak, and managed to get 2nd place at the last heat.

After all the points were computed, Cleanfuel Racing Team’s Pro class racer, young gun Luis Gono was hailed the overall champion of the 1st season of the Formula V1 race series. Emerging AM racer and actor, Dominic Roque, got a well deserved stand on the podium as well. It was a great weekend indeed. Congratulations, Cleanfuel-Motul Racing Team!

In an interview with Top Gear Philippines, Luis Gono shares, “It was slippery and I had to calculate my move especially during fast corners because I did not want to spin out or slow down. I kept telling myself I have to be consistent and always focus without being distracted by the elements around me. It was a team effort and I would like to share this win with them also for setting up the car perfectly for the wet race”.

Luis Gono was likewise the 1st season champion of the Toyota Vios cup in 2014, bagging the title at the tender age of 15. He is also an ace drift racer and the overall champion of the 2017 Philippine Endurance Challenge. He has engaged in several races both local and abroad. On the other wheel is the popular actor/ model, Dominic Roque. Dom or Nick as he is called, is a part of TV program and series Umagang Kay Ganda, Moon of Desire, La Luna Sangre, and Ang Probinsyano, just to name a few. One of the more viable actors today, he is also known to be an active sportsman engaged in both motorcycle and car races. Dominic is the 2017 Toyota Vios Cup overall champion in the celebrity class.

Formula One automobile racing finds its origins in the European Grand Prix championships of the 1920s and 1930s, though the foundation of the modern Formula One began in 1946 with the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile’s (FIA) standardization of rules, which was followed by a World Championship of Drivers in 1950. The sport’s history has evolved side by side the development of its technical regulations.

“Formula One (the formula in the name refers to a set of rules to which all participants and cars must comply and was originally and briefly known as Formula A) can trace its roots back to the earliest days of motor racing, and emerged from the buoyant European racing scene of the inter-war years. Plans for a Formula One drivers’ championship were discussed in the late 1930s but were shelved with the onset of World War Two” (Martin Williamson).

In the early 2000’s, the country’s motor sports industry reached its all-time pinnacle during the Asian Formula 3 racing season. However, Formula 3 and Asian Formula 3 were expensive forms of motor sports and were only enjoyed by a select few. In 2007, along with the country’s financial crisis saw the fall of the Asian Formula 3 and with it, the decline of Philippine motor sports. 2104 was the start of the rejuvenation of local motor sports with the introduction of the Toyota Vios Cup, having one of the biggest grids in Asia. With its origin from cart racing, Formula V1 is the next step of the evolution of Philippine automotive motor sports.

You might be wondering what a Formula V1 race car looks like. The optimum driver placement is in the middle of the car. As a result, this incredible custom single-seater formula car developed by West Racing Cars Co. Ltd, an independent manufacturer based in Japan, sits in the center of a conical reinforced steel framework with a mid-mounted 1NZ 1.5L 4-cylinder engine and 5-speed manual gearbox all sourced from the Toyota Vios. As for its weight, the race car registers at an astounding 530 kg only. That’s half the normal weight of a production Vios! Formula V1 is a pretty fast one. It only takes 4.5 seconds to reach 100 km/h with a top speed of 220km/h.

The TRS (Tuason Racing School) introduced the Formula V1 race series in the Philippines, which debut this 2018. The single seater, kit race car is assembled in the Philippines in partnership with West Race Cars Japan. The 530 kg tubular steel frame reinforced with aluminium panels for safety is fitted with a 1.5 litter four-cylinder engine which outputs 110 PS and reaches a top speed of 200 kph. So for this year’s winner … Congrats Team Cleanfuel.

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