Editor’s Note: This article will focus on getting to know the league. We’ll do the race reports in our next coverage.
The massive growth of automotive recreations in the country formed a broader community including the motorsports segment and joining these events are undeniably the best choice to spend your weekend, push your car and skills to the limit or simply just have fun in a proper environment. A month ago, we have been invited by Mr. Edward Dela Rosa to cover the 8th and final round of 2017 FlatOut Race Series (FORS) held at the Clark International Speedway (CIS). What is FORS? FlatOut Race Series or FORS is known as country’s premier grassroots motorsports event formally established at the last round of Circuit Showdown (The Final Showdown) in 2015 and comprises run a total of eight rounds every year. Each one consists of a Time Attack and a Grid Race, where competitors are separated into brackets based on lap time which creates a proportion playing ground allows drivers to race within their limits and improve their skill.
Our team arrived at the CIS around 8 in the morning to early cover the preparation of each respective competitors and their practice session. The poor weather condition throughout the afternoon prevented the top players to set new records but didn’t stop them to keep their paces.
Streetcustomsph had an interview with Lester, one of the organizers of FORS to learn more about the league and to answer the questions of aspiring contenders out there.
Streetcustomsph: What was the story behind FORS?
Lester: FORS or The FlatOut Race Series started as a casual trackday event by car-crazy friends who were addicted to track driving. From the start it was all about hanging out at the track with friends and enjoying driving at the limit in a relatively safe environment. As the number of participants grew, a professional race driver friend who goes by the name of Enzo Pastor took it to the next level and started Circuit Showdown, which not only featured hot lapping and time trials but also a more accessible version of wheel-to-wheel circuit racing. The same organizing body that ran Circuit Showdown for several years then took over with a new brand name and upgraded regulations and logistics when Enzo Pastor passed away. Since then the crowd has continued to grow and the organizers have adapted the event to accommodate the bigger numbers and faster speeds encountered.
Streetcustomsph: What was the goal for making FORS exist in the motorsport industry?
Lester: After the closure of the Subic International Raceway, entry-level circuit drivers and aspiring touring car racers and time attack drivers had very few options with regards to racing events that they could join. The group Flat Out Motorsports stepped in together with Enzo Pastor to share the joy of racing to more fans and enthusiasts. From the onset, the vision was always to give people a venue to “be good, have fun, and enjoy racing.”
Streetcustomsph: What are the necessary qualifications in order for an interested car guy to be able to join FORS?
Lester: Any driver with a road-worthy car and a helmet can join the lower time brackets of our time attack competition. Minors below 18 years old are allowed with permission from parents/guardians and a short assessment by the organizers. Your daily-driver is welcome at FORS along with exotic sports cars or modified machines — we do not discriminate as long as your machine is built well enough to withstand high-speed track driving.
Streetcutomsph: It is quite undeniable how FORS is doing well in the motorsport scene, how were you able to maintain the solid reputation that FORS is known for?
Lester: The organizers of FORS always believed in the spirit of fun, enjoyment and camarederie — we are more akin to a “barkada” or more like an extended family than a business organization. Some of our participants actually end up becoming organizers and vice versa. The atmosphere at the track is almost always casual and friendly even between racing rivals. We try to promote a fun and drama-free vibe during all our events.
Streetcustomsph: Given its existence for quite a while now, are there any more plans to further improve FORS?
Lester: The only way to go is up, and we are happy to see the drastic growth. Philippine motorsports is arguably at its highest peak in history with international racing bodies organizing multiple events in our country, and any aspiring driver has the widest variety of racing options to choose from at the moment. We want to carry this momentum forward and accommodate more enthusiasts to enter the sport at the grassroots level while supporting those who are “moving up” or trying new disciplines in the motorsport arena. Lastly as a new vision for motorsports, we want to continue to bring in our friends from the corporate world to this exciting stadium of racing. Our sponsors have been very happy with the results of their promotions in motorsports, and we want to show other companies that investing in the racing world is not only exhilarating but also very rewarding and uniquely engaging.
Streetcustomsph: What is your best message for those who aspire to become a legitimate racer one day?
Lester: Work hard, keep practicing, bring in the money (a big part of racing is being able to afford it!), and never forget to have fun!
It’s stimulating to witness how local motorsports mature through the years with these visionary people, and how cars brought them together to uplift the proper community as one.
Streetcustomsph would like to congratulate the organizers and participants of FlatOut Race Series. It was indeed remarkable experience to cover and support our local motorsports scene. We are looking forward to be part again next season!
Editor’s Note: A highlight video of FORS Rd. 8 will be published soon. Stay tuned or Subscribe to our YouTube Channel.
Photo: Vincent Capili
Words: Vincent Capili
Interview: Juan Miguel Mendoza