Well, that didn’t take very long. Phoenix Petroleum only needed a little over 2 weeks to go through hundreds, if not thousands, of applications for its Young Drivers’ Program. What they ended up with is a shortlist of 15 candidates, one of whom will be given a fully-sponsored drive in the 2019 Giti-Formula V1 Challenge.
The initiative was open to Filipino drivers, of 15 to 29 years of age, with at least a year of competitive racing experience either in karting, drifting, circuit, slalom, autocross, or rallying. They also emphasized that the said driver must know how to drive stick.
As expected, the finalists were plucked from events such as the FlatOut Race Series (FORS), National Slalom Series, National Karting Series, Philippine Touring Car Championship (PTCC), and Toyota Vios Cup. But they weren’t simply regular weekend participants. These esteemed drivers are proven race winners who came close or have won championships in the past.
Of the 15 candidates 3 also happen to be women in motorsports. Lady karter Tara Laconico is the youngest at 15 years old, followed by Vios Cup driver Julia de los Angeles, and FORS Bracket G Champion Gabie Desales who’s now 21.
After the initial selection process, all finalists must now attend the Young Drivers’ Program Test Day happening this week. Not only do they have to prove how quick they can drive a Formula V1 around the Clark International Speedway (CIS), but they also need to pass a series of exercises to assess their personality and proficiency.
At the end of it all only one (1) very lucky and very talented driver will be given a full-year scholarship to race with Phoenix Petroleum. Whoever that is gets to race in the Formula V1 AM Class for over three (3) race weekends, which includes three (3) practice sessions. The prize also throws in an official Formula V1 OMP Racing Suit so all the driver needs to shell out is a helmet, gloves, and shoes.