Without a doubt, the Singapore GP night race is the crown jewel of the Formula 1 calendar. It has been so since its inaugural race in 2008 and to refresh your memory, was the first ever night race in Formula 1. While we can only hope that a Filipino driver will someday make it into Formula 1, we don’t have to wait that much longer to see one of our countrymen race at the famed Marina Bay Street Circuit.
Or should I say two, one of them being a woman.
In a lucky twist of fate, both the Thailand Super Series (TSS) and W Series has made sudden revisions to their 2022 calendars and for the first time in history, will act as support races to the Singapore GP.
The TSS originally only planned for four events this year. But with a long break in between Round 2 and Round 3, they were able to squeeze in Singapore into their schedule. Meanwhile, the all-female single-seater series had to shelve their original plan to race at Suzuka alongside the Japanese GP due to “unforeseeable operational challenges” and opted to race at the Singapore GP instead. And it just so happens, we know of two drivers who are currently racing in TSS and the W Series.
Vincent Floirendo is back with his Audi R8 LMS, entering the Super GT3 class of the Thailand Super Series. He finished 4th during the season opener at the Bangsaen Street Circuit in July and looks to be a strong contender in the championship with co-driver Pierre Kaffer. His #55 entry now sports the iconic colors of the Philippine flag including the eight-rayed golden sun, which we should see race at the Marina Bay Street Circuit this coming October 1/2.
17-year-old Bianca Bustamante, on the other hand, was one of the few drivers chosen to race in the W Series. She received a fully-funded drive with the W Series Academy Team that will see her compete in 10 support races with Formula 1. Her best result so far is a 9th place finish at the inaugural Miami GP and currently sits 15th in the drivers’ championship.
The detailed race schedule for the weekend has yet to be released by Singapore GP, but we’re expecting at least two 30-minute races from Vincent and a lone 30-minute race from Bianca. However, with so many races going on in a single weekend, don’t be too surprised if both drivers get very little track time with their sessions most probably taking place in the day.
Aside from the likes of Verstappen, Leclerc, and Hamilton, we Filipinos will now have two other drivers to cheer for at the upcoming Singapore GP. Be sure to show your support for Vincent and Bianca whether you get to watch the race live on track or from back home.