The Asian Formula 3 Series travelled south to the Batangas Racing Circuit for the Addict Formula 3 Grand Prix featuring the 3rd and 4th rounds of the Asian Formula 3 Championship. Eight cars ran in both the International and Promotional classes. Local drivers were led by first and second round winnres Pepon Marave (International R1), Mark Goddard (International R2), and Mike Potenciano (Promotional Class). Other drivers included Richard Joson, Jojo Silverio, Roland Hermoso, Enzo Pastor and JP Tuason. It was a festive setting at the Batangas Racing Circuit as Addict Mobile banners lined from the road heading towards the track to the jampacked grandstands.
In the qualifying session, it was Jojo Silverio of Castrol Casino Filipino Team Goddard who set the fastest laptime on his 13th lap with 1:25.819, again setting the track record. Silverio now holds the fastest lap record for both the Subic International Raceway and the Batangas Racing Circuit.
Running one-tenth of a second behind at 1:25.933 for the second grid spot was the youngest driver on the F3 grid, Enzo Pastor of Casino Filipino Fujitsu-ten Team Tom's Petron. Running just under two-tenths of a second away from the pole-sitter was teammate Mark Goddard. AF3 rookie Roland Hermoso of Petron Speedtech Asia set a blazing 1:26.421 for 4th grid spot ahead of DENSO-JF3's Richard Joson who clocked in at 1:27.885. Completing the grid from 6th was Mike Potenciano of Shell Casino Filipino FILA Team Tom's, followed by JP Tuason of Speedtech Asia.
It was a very disastrous qualifying session for Pepon Marave of Shell Casino Filipino FILA Team Tom's as he broke a gear early in the session ending his hopes of making a good grid position. "When I heard that loud mash behind me, I knew it was over. I thought of continuing on, but I didn't want to destroy my whole transmission so I slowed down and free-wheeled to the pits," said Marave. Marave starts from the back of the grid due to the mishap.
It was a spectacular start for both Enzo Pastor and Pepon Marave as both made quick starts gaining positions quickly. Pastor managed to get a headstart taking the lead in the first turn. Marave, from the back of the order immediately went into 4th position as the cars exited the first turn ahead of Mike Potenciano and Richard Joson. However a mistake by Pastor would allow Silverio to recapture the lead.
By the 3rd lap, Marave would manage to close in on Goddard and eventually dispatching the British driver on the next lap at the main straight and immediately went after Pastor. Marave managed to dispatch the young Pastor on the straight going into the first turn. It was not long before Marave was hot on the tail of race leader Silverio whom he overtook with little effort.
Meanwhile, just behind the frontrunners was a fierce battle between Mike Potenciano and Richard Joson who were trying to outdo each other. Midway through the race, a loose camera bracket from Potenciano's car darted through Joson's car. Apparently a wakeup call for Joson. "At that point, I knew I had to get ahead of Mike (Potenciano). I didn't want anything else to dart on to my car," Joson said. Joson saw a small opening going into the first turn and gunned it down overtaking Potenciano whilst making contact damaging his front wing.
Just ahead of the two, Pastor makes a mistake going down the second turn overshooting and sends his car to the grass. Goddard takes the opportunity and gets ahead. The order was now, Marave, Silverio and Goddard as Marave continued to dominate. Pastor's slowdown allowed Joson to close in but would later back off. "I decided to back-off because he was running a different division. I just conserved my tires for the next round," said Joson.
With Joson slowing down, Potenciano quickly closed in and attempted an overtaking attempt on Joson at the double apex in the back portion of the track. Potenciano overshot sending his car far off to the gravel pit ending a well run race and a possible podium finish. At the back of the order was JP Tuason cruising himself for a podium finish with Potenciano's retirement from the race. Having himself a terrible race was Roland Hermoso who was still hounded by ignition problems which suddenly came out during the morning practice session. "We couldn't identify the problem. We did everything that could be done. The team is clueless on why the car is acting up," commented Hermoso. The final finishing order was Marave (1st), Jojo Silverio (2nd), Goddard (3rd), Pastor (4th), Joson (5th), Tuason (6th), Potenciano (DNF), Hermoso (DNF).
Final classification for the International Class: Pepon Marave - Shell Casino Filipino FILA Team Tom's (1st) , Mark Goddard - Castrol Ambi Pur Team Goddard (2nd), Richard Joson - DENSO-JF3 Racing (3rd); Promotional Class: Jojo Silverio - Castrol Casino Filipino Team Goddard (1st), Enzo Pastor - Casino Filipino Fujtsu Ten Team Tom's Petron (2nd), JP Tuason - Speedtech Asia (3rd).
Marave's round 3 win sends him up to pole position for round 4, followed by Silverio, Goddard, Pastor, Joson Tuason, Potenciano, and Hermoso. At the start, Goddard takes opportunity from another rather bad start by Silverio getting behind Marave entering the first turn. Making a quick start from the back, Roland Hermoso manages to get ahead of Tuason, Joson and Potenciano. Approaching turn two, it was Marave, Goddard, Silverio, Pastor and Hermoso. Three car lengths behind was again Potenciano and Joson locked on an early tussle.
A tenacious Mark Goddard, pressed on getting ahead late brakes turn three to overtake Marave to capture the race lead. Marave quickly recovers momentum and gets hot on Goddard's tail, but he would soon find out that Goddard never leaves a door open for him.
Not so far behind, Joson finds an open door dispatching Potenciano on lap 3 going down the second turn and quickly goes after Hermoso. Just ahead of them was another battle between Silverio and Pastor. But it would not be Silverio's race as a determined Enzo Pastor takes away Silverio's advantage and third position.
Meanwhile back in front, Marave continues to chase after Goddard with literally inches separating the two. But Marave soon finds himself going on a slide and getting stuck on the ramble strip on the chicane at the far end of the track caused by soil thrown on the track by a Formula Toyota car earlier. "I was running really hot on his tail and decided to take a different line and suddenly had my why wheels spinning from the soil on the track. It was not long before I found myself stuck on the curb," said Marave.
Marave's retirement meant an easy cruise for Goddard to take the checkered flag. This also meant a second place finish finish for Richard Joson in the International Class, who backed-off from the tail Hermoso. "When I saw Pepon (Marave) get stuck on the curb, I decided to back-off a bit rather than risk a retirement myself," said Joson.
As Goddard coasted to finish, followed by Pastor (2nd), Silverio (3rd), Hermoso (4th), Joson (5th), Potenciano (6th), Tuason (7th) Marave (8 laps).
Final classification for the International Class: Mark Goddard - Castrol Ambi Pur Team Goddard (1st), Richard Joson - DENSO-JF3 Racing (2nd), Pepon Marave - Shell Casino Filipino FILA Team Tom's (3rd); Promotional Class: Enzo Pastor - Casino Filipino Fujtsu Ten Team Tom's Petron (1st), Jojo Silverio - Castrol Casino Filipino Team Goddard (2nd), Roland Hermoso - Petron Speedtech Asia (3rd).
The race was not the only hightlight of the day, a ceremonial parade with a marching band, the introduction of the drivers, balloons, fireworks, the Addict Mobile girls, and a flyby of the Addict Mobile helicopter to top it off. Visibly delighted was Addict Mobile's Boy Martirez, who was also guest of honor at the festive Batangas Racing Circuit for the Addict Formula 3 Grand Prix thanks to the Asian Formula Three Corporation and Times International. The event was supported by Addict Mobile, Yokohama, DENSO Iridium Power, Regional Container Lines, Fila, Samsung, Red Horse Beer, AutoIndustriya.com, Car Finder, The Philippine Daily Inquirer, and The Manila Bulletin.