Long-time Gran Turismo sim racer and overall champion of the real-life 2019 European Touring Car Championship Philippines, Patrick Heese of Team Radical Ph claimed top honors in the first Mazda Miata Touring Car Night race series held last June 13th with the support of media partner Inquirer Mobility.
Taking one first place and two second place finishes in three successive live Gran Turismo Sport races in three different race tracks, Heese was able to earn a total of 26 championship points to take the lead over Miata Touring Car Night runner-up and project engineer Michael Sicat, and third placer and game designer by profession, Ralph Adrian Miguel. A total of 24 sim racers qualified for the event with the top 14 drivers starting on the final live races held at the Tokyo Expressway, Red Bull Ring, and the Tsukuba Circuit racetracks.
Banking on his real-life racing experience, as well as his expertise in sim racing with the Gran Turismo, Assetto Corsa, rFactor2 and iRacing gaming titles, Heese was able to consistently race up into the top 2 of the Japanese races. The 36-year old finally took his maiden win in the second race of the night at the Red Bull Ring after a daring lunge at the Schlossgold corner against John Alonzo in lap 7 of the Austrian race.
Noel Romero of Kotsekotsehan, the streaming host of the live online races, took pride in the dedication of the Gran Turismo Ph members in making the event a success. “I’m happy that our drivers are excited to share their hobby over their personal Facebook pages, showing their joys and simple victories with family and friends,” says Romero. He adds, “The Miata Touring Car Night race event is the first time we tried a new streaming system and our team is looking forward to hosting future events for the enjoyment of online racers. We would like to thank Sim Racing PH and Inquirer Mobility for extending our reach to more GTPH drivers.”
The Gran Turismo Philippines Mazda Miata Touring Car Night showcases a one-make race featuring the Roadster Touring Car in Gran Turismo Sport. While all cars have the same technical specifications, individual tuning has been allowed to give each driver the opportunity to set-up his car according to his driving style. Each car’s livery has been custom designed by the driver to be readily identifiable during the race. The drivers ran in three successive 10-lap races with reverse grids based on the order of finish in the preceding races making up the starting lineups in the second and third rounds. Championship points are earned according to each driver’s finishing order: the 1st placer receives 10 points; the 2nd placer 8 points the 3rd placer 6 points; the 4th placer 5 points; the 5th placer 4 points; 6th placer 3 points; 7th placer 2 points and the 8th places earns 1 point.
GTPH will be conducting another live Gran Turismo Sport race event on June 27, 2020 using three open-wheel cars across three different racetracks. This is in anticipation of the second season of the GTPHSF19 League which is based on the Super Formula Series in Japan. The open-wheel event will be a seven-race series spread over three months. It is slated to start on July 18, 2020.
Online racers who wish to know more about the various races organized by GTPH may visit and join the group’s Facebook account or watch their previous events posted at the Gran Turismo Ph Facebook Community Page.
Motoring and motorsports are two of Mikko’s greatest passions. Combining more than twenty years of professional automotive photography and videography experience with years of touring car racing competition, and a deep understanding of the car industry, from both the manufacturers’ and consumers’ points of view, have given him a unique and insightful perspective in the motoring beat.