It is not easy keeping your promise in motor racing but that is exactly what Ben and Sam Grimes did at Clark International Speedway in the Philippines today.
The local lads, who grew up racing on the circuit, said they would try their best for one of them to be on the podium for all the races in the second event of this season’s FIA Formula 4 Southeast Asia (F4 SEA) Championship fuelled by PETRON Corporation.
True to their word, they had a win and a second place finish between them but they also had one did not finish each.
Older brother Ben, 19, created history when he became the first Filipino to win a race in the F4 SEA Championship when he won the opening race of the weekend.
Sam, 17, didn’t finish the first race as he spun out halfway into the first lap.
As a result, he started from the back of the grid for the second but remarkably, ended up second with a storming run up the grid.
He won a second trophy as the best rookie finisher in the second race.
Ben, who led from the start in the second race, made an error on the second last corner of the seventh lap to crash into the wall at 100kmph.
It left him shaken but unbowed ahead of tomorrow’s big day.
“I’m thankful to escape without injuries. Physically I’m shaken up but emotionally I’m prepared for the next four races tomorrow,” said Ben.
“I was on a high after the first race. To create history by becoming the first Filipino to win a F4 SEA race is simply amazing.
“Daniel (Cao) was pushing me all the way and at one stage I thought he had overtaken me as he was no longer in my rear view mirror.
“I managed to close the door to close out the win but in the second race, lost concentrate for a split second while defending my position.
“I could have had two victories but I’m happy to have escaped unscathed.”
In Race 1 Grimes was on pole position, the first time in his career he has achieved such exulted status.
He took advantage of it and never let off to claim the win in 25:07.065s with Cao second and Thailand’s Kane Shepherd third.
In the second race, Cao’s aggressive driving forced Ben into making the crucial mistake for the Chinese driver to claim his fourth win of the season.
He had won three races in the season opener in Malaysia on Sept 29-Oct 1.
Sam, meanwhile, slowly but steadily climbed the pecking order in the second race, picking off Ireland’s Luke Thompson and Thailand’s Shivin Sirinarinthon in the first lap.
He moved to fifth on the third lap and was engaged in an intense three-way battle with Shepherd and Malaysia’s Adam Khalid before moving into third place after the fifth lap.
In front, Ben and Cao were too far ahead and after Ben’s unfortunate accident, Cao cruised home in 25:10.832 seconds with Sam second and Shepherd third.
Cao said: “I’m so happy to get another win and a second place. I had a good outing in Sepang and these results will help me in the overall standings.”
1. Ben Grimes (Phi) 25:07.065s
2. Daniel Cao (Chn) 25:08.265s
3. Kane Shepherd (Tha) 25:22.380s
4. Adam Khalid (Mas) 25:24.318s
5. Timothy Teo (Mas) 25:40.148s
6. Shivin Sirinarinthon (Tha) 25:43.230s
7. Luke Thompson (Irl) 25:43.622s
8. Sam Grimes (Phi) DNF
1. Daniel Cao (Chn) 25:10.832s
2. Sam Grimes (Phi) 25:19.971s
3. Kane Shepherd (Tha) 25:24.309s
4. Adam Khalid (Mas) 25;32.443s
5. Timothy Yeo (Mas) 25:34.222s
6. Luke Thompson (Irl) 25:34.698s
7. Shivin Sirinarinthon (Tha) 25:51.648s
8. Ben Grimes (Phi) DNF