(UPDATE: Entry list updated as of November 29, 2018)
Now on its 9th edition, the Petron x 8 Oras ng Pilipinas is slated to get the green light this December 1/2 at the Clark International Speedway (CIS). And when it does, we might just see 34 cars line up on the grid which will make this year’s race the biggest in history.
The entries come in all shapes and sizes with 2 cars run by a team all the way from Australia. 13 cars will compete in the top RP Class. Open to all race-prepped machines, expect the battle for the overall lead to come from this group. A tier below are the FM classes for factory-modified cars and segregated according to horsepower. There will be 6 cars in FM-1, 10 in FM-2, and 11 in FM-3.
Note that cars may run multiple categories hence the number don’t quite add up to 34.
All entries have between 2 to 6 drivers each who’ll share driving duties throughout the 8 hour race. This includes pit stops, driver swaps, tire changes, and re-fueling with the official race fuel Petron Blaze 100 Euro 6.
This year’s favorites are the #5 AutoPerformance Victor Hardware BMW M3 and #9 Team Shell Helix Ultra Honda Civic FD. The BMW won the 12 Hour Kalayaan Cup while the Honda finished 1st in the 4 Oras ng Pilipinas last June. (READ: Why there are 2 sets of winners in the 2018 Petron x Philippine Endurance Challenge) As long as nothing goes horribly wrong, we’re expecting these 2 cars to slug it out upfront.
But there are also other wildcards that could crash their party.
SmartFuels2Race has a pair of Australian-run Honda Civic EGs driven by Trent Gruber and Tony Martin in the #4 car while Don Frew and Emily Duggan share the #19 machine. Autostrada x PartsPro Racing also has a brand new Mazda MX-5 Global Cup Car that can put down quick laps in the hands of a capable driver. Then there’s the BMW 325i of Raceform – Ethanworx x Garage 2233 driven by Don Pastor, Enrique Horrmillo, and Jason Choachuy. Given their racing history, just about anything could happen when you put these 3 together which may or may not be a good thing. Another entry to watch out for is the #32 Nissan Sentra of Team ATA that packs an SR20DET engine and AWD.
Other late entries are Team AutoForce with a diesel-powered Hyundai Accent and Tuason Racing School (TRS) who’s running a single Formula V1.
Sadly, 2-time winner Centrum – GT Radial is absent from this year’s roster.
The Petron x 8 Oras ng Pilipinas will take place on December 1 to 2, 2018 at the Clark International Speedway (CIS). Practice will be on Saturday while the race will begin at 8:30 AM on Sunday.
The 2018 Petron Philippine Endurance Challenge is sponsored by Petron Corporation, KYB – New SR Special, RECARO, SmartFuels, Staunch Performance x DynoJet, Carporn Racing, Hazardboy Performance, Seiken Japan, Tes Advertising, and Tuason Racing School. It’s supported by 2ndGen Insurance, Aeromed, Driftmob, Pro Simulation Karera (PSK), and Walter Lights and Sounds. Media partners include 2ner Magazine, 9tro Alliance, ABS-CBN Sports and Action, AutoCar Philippines, AutoDeal.com.ph, AutoIndustriya.com, C! Magazine, CarGuide.Ph, Carmudi.com.ph, Ignition.PH, JamesDeakin.Ph, JDM Underground, Manila Bulletin Drive, Motoring Today, Motortech.Ph, Pit Talk Asia, The Score, and Time Attack Manila.