Lucas Antoine Aldave brings home multiple trophies at 21st Golden Wheel Awards

11-year-old karter Lucas Antoine Aldave was one of the standouts at the 21st Golden Wheel Awards. An annual culmination ceremony for the past motorsports season, the young talent went home with his hands full that evening-receiving no less than 5 trophies for his achievements in 2023.

The highlight was securing the MiniRok Novice Class championship in the 2023 Petron Motorsports Super Karting Series. Lucas enjoyed a strong start to the season by winning the opening round at the Carmona Race Track, followed by 2nd at the Palawan International Circuit and another win at the Clark International Speedway Kart Track. However, he suffered a major blow in the points race after suffering a DNS in Round 4 that put him 40 points behind his closest rival Dayton Pastor. But the Mercedes Young Driver Development Philippines (YDDP) karter made up for the points deficit by scoring a hat trick winning the final 3 rounds in the season to win the Novice Class title by 27 points.

Aside from his MiniRok Novice trophy, Lucas was also recognized as the 2023 Formula Cadet Expert Champion which in turn earned him the 2023 Cadet Karter of the Year award. Then he received the 2023 Asian Karter of the Year trophy in the Cadet Expert Class for his performance in the Asian Karting Open Championship (AKOC). Lastly, the night ended with Lucas being presented with the prestigious 2023 Jose Ochoa Memorial Award.

The plethora of awards came as no surprise as the young karter shined throughout 2023. And with a fresh new season ahead, Lucas will be hoping to pick up from the successes last year and carve out an even greater campaign in 2024 in MiniRok Expert as well as participation in other regional events that’s still in the works.

Lucas Aldave: “I would like to thank the Golden Wheel Award Foundation for this award and for recognizing all the hard work that the teams and drivers put in during the season to compete and perform at their very best. I’m looking forward to enter MiniRok Expert this year and compete with some of the best karters as I aim to become the MiniRok Karter of the Year.”

Lucas Aldave is supported by Axel Motorsports Group, Mercedes Young Driver Development Philippines, Villa Soledad Beach Resort, Gemini Phils. Graphic Arts, PeekUp, Mayor Joy Belmonte, Vice Mayor Gian Sotto, and City Council of Quezon City, Alpinestars, AVA Law, and Century Pacific Food Inc

[Photos by Bong Boado]

Tuason Racing brings together Supercar Trackday and 1NZ Cup this weekend

With the promise of an ‘adrenaline-fueled extravaganza’ and an ‘unforgettable experience for motorsports aficionados and thrill-seekers alike’, Tuason Racing is bringing back it’s much awaited Raceday this weekend. It’ll feature the new 1NZ Unity Cup and a Supertrack Trackday together at the Clark International Speedway (CIS).

Open to both Novice and Expert drivers, the morning session will let enthusiasts rip around the track. Competitors will be released in 20 minute intervals to allow them to stretch the legs on their sports cars and supercars, with the goal of pushing the fastest time possible during the Time Attack event.

Meanwhile, the 1NZ Unity Cup will bring together Toyota Vios, Toyota Yaris, and Formula V1 race cars onto the same grid and race wheel-to-wheel. The day will host 2 races in the afternoon, which will be the curtain raiser for an exciting 2024 championship.

Tuason Racing Raceday is made possible through a joint collaboration with several motorsport industry partners. CERAMIC PRO brings their expertise in vehicle ceramic coating and film. I & I Automotive Modification, on the other hand, shares their commitment to excellence and passion for automotive craftsmanship. And lastly, TONCARS who is known for providing high end and quality cars to its customers.

“First of all, I would like to thank Toncars, Ceramic Pro, and I & I Automotive Modification for joining us to make this day unforgettable. To celebrate a special day with people in the same industry, doing the sports we love truly makes me believe that we’ve come a long way from where we started. Words can not express how grateful I am to be where we are today,” shared JP Tuason, President of Tuason Racing.

These partnerships reflect Tuason Racing’s commitment to excellence, innovation, and pushing the boundaries of motorsport. By collaborating with industry leaders, Tuason Racing aims to elevate the motorsport experience for enthusiasts in the country and inspire the next generation of racing champions. Not only that, the collaboration will not only be for the celebration of speed and skill but also a platform for giving back to the community. The contributions from sponsors and partners will be donated to Mabuhay Deseret Foundation. These funds will directly support the foundation’s initiatives in providing assistance to children in need of operation for their disabilities.

The 1NZ Unity Cup and Formula V1 Challenge is powered by GT Radial. In partnership with our sponsors’ brand Unioil, Ravenol, OMP, Oasis Home, Fasa, Anessa, PIAA, Toptul, DynoPro, On Shoes, Brembo, Rota, West Racing Cars, and Imprint Customs. Together with our media partners C! Magazine, Philippine Daily Inquirer, AutoIndustriya.com, Autocar Philippines, Time Attack Manila, AutoDeal, and Skramble Media.

Golden Wheel Awards recognizes Ryan Sy as 2023 Junior Karter of the Year

Presented annually by the Golden Wheel Awards Foundation, the “Junior Karter of the Year” is a perpetual trophy given to a young individual for his (or her) achievements in the Junior karting category over the past season. Reaching farther strides in his skill and experience last 2023 was 13-year-old Ryan Sy, who was the recipient of the esteemed award.

The Junior Karter of the Year trophy was a culmination of Ryan’s growth both as a karter and as an individual at a young age. After all, his 2023 season boasts Junior Overall Championships in the Rok GP Cup Philippines and Rotax Max Challenge Philippines.

Ryan was dominant in both series. He swept through 5 out of the 6 rounds in the Rok GP Cup, with only an unfortunate DNF in Round 5 holding him back from a perfect run. However, he was pushed beyond his limits in the Rotax Max Challenge. After a strong start to the season with a 1st and 3rd place finishes, Ryan suffered a slight setback midway through the season with a 6th in Round 3. But the Formula E Racing Management karter bounced back in a big way to nab 3rd in the succeeding event followed by back-to-back wins to secure the 2023 title.

With his championship victories, Ryan was then invited to compete in the ROK Cup Superfinal at Lonato, Italy and the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals in Bahrain later in the year. There, he went up against some of the best karters in the world with entry lists reaching up to the hundreds, allowing him to gain valuable experience.

Adding to this, the 13-year-old karter also entered the Asian Karting Open Championship (AKOC) in 2023. He secured a 1st and 2nd during the season opener at Macau and another pair of podiums during the next event held at the Clark International Speedway Kart Track.

Ryan is looking forward to an even bigger 2024 campaign as he prepares to make his plans known in the coming weeks.

Ryan Sy: ”After all the setbacks and hardships in the 2023 season, I still pushed through to win the Rok GP Cup Philippines and Rotax Max Challenge Philippines. Receiving the Junior Karter of the Year trophy at the Golden Wheel Awards makes it all worth the effort and makes me feel ecstatic. My achievements prove to myself that if I have the determination and confidence to achieve my goals and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my parents, coach Elson, and all my friends. ”

Ryan Sy is supported by Formula E Racing Management in collaboration with PCRC, Motul Philippine Distributor – Infiniteserv Int’l, BELL, Domuschola International School, Max888, and Wraptech. For more info and updates, Like the Ryan Sy Racing page on Facebook and follow @ryan_sy_racing on Instagram.

[Photos by Matt Romualdez Photography]

130+ drivers face-off at ENEOS Super Sprint 2024 season opener in Parklinks

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Kicking off the 2024 season with a bang, the ENEOS Super Sprint Series has drawn 130+ drivers last 4th of February making its first event of the year a success. Newbies, amateurs, and pro drivers like raced against the stopwatch at Parklinks by Ayala Land and Eton Properties in Quezon City, which showcased a day full of precision driving and competitive spirit.

Organized by Gmet Events in partnership with Japanese oil company ENEOS, best known for its reliable and high quality lubricants, the event kicked off with blistering times from some of the quickest drivers on the list, setting the tone for an action-packed day ahead.

The track layout for the season opener proved to be a true test of the drivers’ abilities. It featured a combination of twists and turns that demanded careful navigation and quick hands. Still, with safety in mind, the course was forgiving enough to account for driver error as well as emerging talents.

One of the standout performers of the day in the Street Class was Jan Sulit who maneuvered through the course with finesse, setting a blistering pace with a 59.374 secs run. Coming out on top among the Prepped Class drivers, and narrowly besting his own father was Iñigo Anton in a Mazda MX-5 RF, with the day’s best 51.562 secs.

Amateur Class driver Irwin Viray brought home top honors with a 57.645 secs run, while in the Intermediate drivers it was Chad Lazaro who came out on top with a 56.652 secs run.

The camaraderie among participants was one of the best highlights of every Super Sprint event, where drivers and teams exchanged insights. This sense of community is a hallmark of the ENEOS Super Sprint series, fostering a culture of sportsmanship and mutual respect among competitors.

Aside from the intense on-track action, the event also featured displays by PartsPro.Ph and ENEOS Philippines allowing motoring enthusiasts to check out the latest the brands have to offer.

The day concluded with an awarding ceremony to honor the top performers as the sun set on Parklinks.

The success of the first round of the ENEOS Super Sprint series not only showcased the talents of the drivers but also highlighted the event’s ability to captivate audiences and bring together automotive enthusiasts. With this spectacular start, the stage is set for an exhilarating season filled with intense competition, remarkable skill displays, and unforgettable moments with the next event scheduled on the 17th of March.

ENEOS Super Sprint is co-presented by ENEOS Philippines with sponsors PartsPro, Toyota Manila Bay, Runstop PH, Aguila Auto Glass, Autoperformance PH, Pegasus Autolamp, Fixstop Auto Service, Project Vector, CleanShine Master, Walter Sounds and Lights, Fabrix Eco Filter PH, SONAX, Lifeplus EMS, Little Trees, Rider’s Aide, PIAA, and Eqube Events Management, with support from Grupo Toyota, IRIE Productions, and Reap Sight. Media partners include C! Magazine, Time Attack Manila, Motoring Today, and Carbon Media.

For more info and the latest updates, follow the Super Sprint page on Facebook.

Zach David wraps up FRMEC season 4th in championship with podium at Dubai

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Maintaining his strong momentum from Yas Marina, Zachary ‘Zach’ David delivered one of his best performances all season during the 2024 Formula Regional Middle East Championship certified by FIA (FRMEC) finale over the weekend. The Malta-licensed Filipino driver went on to deliver 2nd place and a pair of point-scoring finishes at the Dubai Autodrome to conclude the championship 4th Overall.

Zach was on pace straightaway during Testing and Free Practice. This translated well into Qualifying where he ended the 2 sessions in P4 and P6, respectively giving him a good shot at a strong result.

Lining up on the second row of the grid, Zach slingshotted off the line in Race 1 and immediately made his move to nab P2 on the run to the first corner. He then slotted behind teammate Tuukka Taponen and gave chase for 16 laps. The pair would open up a sizable gap to the rest of the field to eventually cross the finish line in formation, giving his team a 1-2 finish and earning Zach his second P2 finish in FRMEC.

A reverse grid for Race 2 placed Zach in P9. Unfortunately, it was not the best start but Zach managed to hold position on the opening lap before the Safety Car was called out. He went on attack mode after the restart and found his way up several places in the chaos. As several cars tangled, the lone Filipino driver on the grid concluded the race in a strong 6th.

Zach went on an all-out attack in final race of the weekend on the final round of the season, but so did everyone else. Starting from P6, he found a way past 2 cars on the opening lap and tucked into P4. In the end, Zach took the chequered flag in 4th place to wrap up his debut season.

With a 2nd place and two point-scoring finishes at the Dubai Autodrome, Zach David concludes the 2024 Formula Regional Middle East Championship 4th in both the Overall Driver’s and Rookie Cup Standings to earn him 10 Super License points. Impressively, he finished behind two Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA) drivers and a McLaren Formula E Team reserve. Also in the top 10 mix were several FIA F3 drivers.

His team R-ace GP also bagged the Team’s Championship with the combined efforts of David and his teammates. The Filipino driver now shifts his focus preparing for the upcoming 2024 Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine (FRECA) that kicks off at Hockenheimring in May.

Zach David: “A very successful campaign to start 2024, finishing with 4 podium finishes and 4th in the Overall Championship gives us plenty to look forward to for the European campaign. A strong last 2 rounds consistently being up there meant we jumped up from 11th in the standings, after a difficult rounds 2 and 3, to 4th at the end of it all. Quite pleased with the end result, but with some missed opportunities and potential for more, we can shift all our focus to iron those little things out in time for the FRECA season.”

Zach David is sponsored by Ceramic Pro, KAVACA / ION PPF, Stilo Helmets, Attard Baldacchino, Exoshield and Ceramic Pro Express, with support from Pet One Petfood, FB Hout, Everpower, Green Amenities, JG Summit Olefins Corporation, Ravenol Philippines, AutoPlus Sports, Time Attack Manila, ISR, Keys School Manila, 3CX, Petron Corporation, and Malta Motorsports Federation.

For more info and the latest updates, follow ZachdavidRacing on Facebook, @zachdavidracing on Instagram, @zachdavid.racing on TikTok, and @zachdavidracing on YouTube.

[Photos courtesy of Dutch Photo Agency]

Philippine Department of Tourism is backing a GR Yaris Rally 2 in the WRC

It was about a year ago when we broke the news that there was a Filipino driver competing in the World Rally Championship (WRC). Now, we’ve learned that our very own Department of Tourism (DOT) has jumped on the rally bandwagon with a ‘Love The Philippines’ liveried Toyota GR Yaris Rally 2 racing the stages in WRC2.

The rainbow-colored GR Yaris Rally 2 is entered by the PH.Ph WRC Team and serves to promote the DOT’s ‘Love The Philippines’ campaign across some of the most iconic rally stages in the world. It’s run by Teo Martín Motorsport with Spanish driver Jan Solans at the wheel with fellow countryman Rodrigo San Juan in charge of pace notes. If the name rings a bell, that’s because Rodrigo also served as co-driver for Filipino WRC2 driver Miguel Diaz in 2023.

Jan, on the other hand, is a 26-year-old driver with about a decade’s worth of rally experience under his belt. His most notable achievement is winning the Junior World Rally Championship in 2019 in a Ford Fiesta R2.

With a brand new machinery underneath them, their first official outing was at Rally Monte-Carlo a few weeks ago where the pair finished in a Top 3 position in class. But the ‘Love The Philippines’ livery didn’t make its debut until Rally Sweden.

While promoting the Philippine’s tourism brand as the premier holiday destination in Southeast Asia, Jan and Rodrigo enjoyed a successful run in the extremely fast and demanding snow stages of this historic event. Electrical issues prevented the PH.Ph WRC Team entry from completing a stage on Friday evening, but the pair quickly recovered and went on to win SS11 and SS13 on Saturday demonstrating their ability to adapt to the demanding Scandinavian conditions.

After 18 stages and 4 days of competition, Jan and Rodrigo would complete Rally Sweden in 8th place while showcasing the Philippines’ Department of Tourism sponsorship.

This, however, is not simply a one-off outing for the ‘Love The Philippines’ Toyota GR Yaris Rally 2. Their 2024 calendar consists of 6 events in Europe (Monte-Carlo, Sweden, Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Czech Republic/Germany) and 1 more in South America (Chile) where Jan and Rodrigo will continue to carry the Philippines’ DOT livery.

Follow the ‘Love The Philippines’ Toyota GR Yaris Rally 2 as it takes on the stages of Rally Portugal on the 9th/12th of May.

Filipino-Irish driver Jason Smyth aiming to make his mark in Formula Ford

Around 10,000 km away halfway around the world, you might be surprised to find a young driver racing the Philippine flag all the way in Ireland. If you do chance upon him on track, that’s Jason Smyth from Kildare who dreams of becoming a professional racing driver some day. And he plans to get there starting by making his mark racing a Formula Ford this 2024.

Jason inherited his passion for motorsport from his dad Neville. The native Irishman raced in Formula Ford himself more than 20 years ago and achieved success to some degree. Jason witnessed his old man win the Irish Formula Ford Championship multiple times and the Leinster Trophy in ’05. Making his last full season count, Neville went on to secure victories at the Formula Ford Festival, Martin Donnelly Trophy, Bert Ray Trophy, and Irish Formula Ford Championship in 2010.

10-year-old Jason Smyth at Brands Hatch with his dad’s Formula Ford.

But if truth be told, Neville also inherited his passion for motorsport from his own father (Jason’s granddad) who raced saloon cars in the ’70s and ’80s, thus making Jason a 3rd generation racing driver.

Meanwhile, his Filipino roots come from his mom Maria who moved to Ireland in the early 2000’s to work as a nurse. Jason himself has been to the Philippines on numerous occasions and is proud of his heritage. That’s why his new helmet features a Philippine flag on top.

Smyth family vacation photo with dad Neville, mom Maria, and a young Jason.

While this year will technically be his first full season in Formula Ford, in reality Jason got his start in motorsports at a much younger age. He was gifted a cadet kart when he was only 7 years old and entered a handful of races. However, his motorsports career was put on hold as he shifted his focus on playing football and basketball in school competitively. But now that’s finally out of the way.

Jason went back racing last year and it was as if he had never left. “Because I started so late in 2023, I was only able to do 4 out of the 8 rounds in the Northern Ireland Formula Ford Championship,” he recalled. “I finished 4th in the standings, which was pretty good for doing only half the season.”

The 18-year-old also did a few other events along the way including the Martin Donnelly Trophy at Kirkistown and Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch where he was consistently fighting for the lead. His most memorable race to date was the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone where he picked up his first ever win in a Heat.

After his ‘warm up’ in 2023, Jason is preparing himself for bigger things for the upcoming season. He has signed full-time with Team DOLAN from the UK and confirmed his entry season into the Northern Ireland Formula Ford Championship. The Filipino-Irish driver also has plans to gain enter the Martin Donnelly Trophy, Formula Ford Festival, and Walter Hayes Trophy in the hunt for a win and follow in his dad’s footsteps.

“My objective is to win them all. I know that’s a high objective, but I believe that I can do it,” he commented.

Jason Smyth with his grandfather on his first day racing in June 2023.

Back-to-back podiums for Zach David during FRMEC weekend at Yas Marina

Zachary ‘Zach’ David delivered his best result to date in the 2024 Formula Regional Middle East Championship certified by FIA (FRMEC) when the series visited the Yas Marina Circuit for Round 4. The Malta-licensed Filipino driver went on to qualify in P2 and delivered a pair of 3rd place finishes last February 9/10.

Driving the #20 R-ace GP entry, Zach was amongst the front-runners in testing and even set the fastest time in Free Practice. He carried this pace into Qualifying and only missed out on pole by 0.137 secs during the first session and ended up P3 in the second outing.

With a good setup and full confidence, Zach began his charge in Race 1 on Friday afternoon. The 16-year-old moved up a spot at the start and slotted into P4. But with 29 closely-packed drivers sharing a 5.282 km track, overtaking proved to be difficult. Zach later decided to side with caution to ensure he made it to the finish with 4th place intact.

Chaos in the opening stages of Race 2 gave Zach an opportunity to promote himself up the standings. Lining up P7 on the grid, he immediately gained a place before the first Safety Car period. As the lead drivers got crossed up during the restart, Zach found himself in P4 and made a brave move in the closing stages to earn a spot on the podium and take the chequered flag in 3rd.

Now starting from the second row of the grid, Zach stayed close to the leaders and held position. However, he had to defend his position from a hard charging Mari Boya of Pinnacle Motorsport after the Safety Car restart. Despite running on older tires, the lone Filipino driver on the grid was able to keep the Spaniard at bay and secure another 3rd place at the finish.

A stellar weekend at Yas Marina has allowed Zach David to climb to 7th in the Overall Driver’s Standings and 4th in the Rookie Cup. There’s only one round left in the 2024 Formula Regional Middle East Championship, giving David one last shot at making his mark in the series on the 16th to 18th of February at the Dubai Autodrome.

Zach David: “Overall a much better weekend than the last. Made the most of all three races and now look to do the same next week for the final round at Dubai.”

Zach David is sponsored by Ceramic Pro, KAVACA / ION PPF, Stilo Helmets, Attard Baldacchino, Exoshield and Ceramic Pro Express, with support from Pet One Petfood, FB Hout, Everpower, Green Amenities, JG Summit Olefins Corporation, Ravenol Philippines, AutoPlus Sports, Time Attack Manila, ISR, Keys School Manila, 3CX, Petron Corporation, and Malta Motorsports Federation.

For more info and the latest updates, follow ZachdavidRacing on Facebook, @zachdavidracing on Instagram, @zachdavid.racing on TikTok, and @zachdavidracing on YouTube.

[Photos courtesy of Dutch Photo Agency]

Zach David endures tough FRegional Middle East weekend at Dubai

It was a weekend to forget for Zachary ‘Zach’ David when the Formula Regional Middle East Championship certified by FIA (FRMEC) visited the Dubai Autodrome for Round 3 of the 2024 calendar. Technical woes and a bit of bad luck riddled the Malta-licensed Filipino driver and robbed him of what could have been point-scoring finishes.

Running the full 5.390 km GP circuit, Zach was able to gradually close the gap to the front-running drivers over each test session. However, with such a competitive 28-car grid, being off pole position by less than a second meant that he ended up P13 in the first Qualifying and P15 in the succeeding session.

Zach knew that there was work to be done in Race 1 on Saturday. Starting from the seventh row on the grid, he made a clean getaway and held position on the opening lap. An opportunity would open up on lap 3 where a clean move promoted him to P12. But with all the drivers so evenly matched, overtaking proved to be difficult. Zach later managed to pass one more car in the closing stages and had his eyes set on a Top 10 finish. It was just unfortunate that he ran out of laps and settled for 11th place across the finish.

Race 2 should have given the 16-year-old a sure shot into the points if it weren’t for an engine issue on his #20 R-ace GP entry. Down on power, he was unable to fight and defend for the entirety of the 16-lap race and wound up in 15th place.

The lone Filipino driver on the grid had one final shot to secure a solid result on Sunday with hopes of concluding the weekend on a high note. A quick start off the line in Race 3 allowed Zach to move up several places and fight his way into P10 by lap 3. His charge to the front, however, was cut short when several cars got into a fight and led to a crash.

Despite the unfavorable results, Zach David remains focused on his 2024 campaign in the Formula Regional Middle East Championship. He’s currently 12th in the Overall Driver’s Standings and 6th in the Rookie Cup as the championship heads back to the Yas Marina Circuit for Round 4 with the races taking place on the 9th to 11th of February.

Zach David: “Missed a little bit of pace this weekend which affected the whole of Round 3. We’ll look into it and come back stronger for the 4th round as we head back to Yas Marina in a couple days time.”

Zach David is sponsored by Ceramic Pro, KAVACA / ION PPF, Stilo Helmets, Attard Baldacchino, Exoshield and Ceramic Pro Express, with support from Pet One Petfood, FB Hout, Everpower, Green Amenities, JG Summit Olefins Corporation, Ravenol Philippines, AutoPlus Sports, Time Attack Manila, ISR, Keys School Manila, 3CX, Petron Corporation, and Malta Motorsports Federation.

For more info and the latest updates, follow ZachdavidRacing on Facebook, @zachdavidracing on Instagram, @zachdavid.racing on TikTok, and @zachdavidracing on YouTube.

[Photos courtesy of Matt Romualdez Photography]

Hiyu Yamakoshi makes mid-season F4 UAE return with Pinnacle Motorsport

Pinnacle Motorsport has announced that a 3rd driver will be joining their ranks in the Formula 4 UAE Championship (F4 UAE). Hiyu Yamakoshi is scheduled to enter mid-season for Round 4 and 5 of the 2024 season in February.

This will be Yamakoshi’s second time driving for the Motorsport Ireland-licensed team. He entered 2 rounds in F4 UAE last yea and finished in a best-placed 7th at Kuwait Motor Town. Then moving to Europe, he competed in a full season in the French F4 Championship where he scored 5 podiums and ended up 5th in the standings. Yamakoshi also joined 5 events in Spanish F4 during the 2023 calendar.

He officially marks his F4 UAE return in Round 4 this coming February 9/11 at the Yas Marina Circuit before heading to the season ender at the Dubai Autodrome a week after. Yamakoshi will be racing alongside teammates Kai Daryanani from India and Yuhao Fu from China who have a full season program with Pinnacle Motorsport.

Hiyu Yamakoshi: “I’m really happy to be returning to the team I started my F4 journey with last year! I hope to get some good results for the team and myself in this year’s final 2 races!”

John O’Hara, Pinnacle Motorsport Team Director: “I’d like to welcome Hiyu back to Pinnacle Motorsport. We had good results in F4 UAE last year and now that he’s back with a lot more single-seater experience, we’re looking forward to seeing him fight at the front.”

Accompanying Pinnacle Motorsport on their Formula 4 UAE Championship campaign are partners Motorsport Ireland and KC Motorgroup Ltd.

Axel Nocom finishes on the RMC Asia Festival podium for the Philippines

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Fighting in a strong 23 kart grid, Axel Nocom made an impressive start to his 2024 campaign by delivering a podium finish in the Mini Max category of the Rotax Max Challenge (RMC) Asia Festival. And he was the lone entry from the Philippines to so at the regional event held at the Sepang International Karting Circuit (SIKC).

Understanding the challenges of competing at such a high level, the Mercedes Young Driver Development Philippines (YDDP) karter headed to Malaysia a week early to compete in the opening round of the RMC Asia Trophy. This would give Axel enough time to learn the unfamiliar 1.247 km track, practice on a new Parolin chassis, and run Mojo tires to find his footing against such a competitive field.

The 11-year-old had a rough start in the RMC Asia Trophy as he found himself near the tail end of the field during the Qualifying Heats. But with gradual improvements, Axel was able to finish 6th in the Pre Finals and maintained momentum to score a podium in the Finals with 4th across the line.

There were many lessons Axel picked up on during his first weekend in Malaysia. He shared that the tire degradation, racing lines, and braking points on such a high grip track were all different from what he was used to locally.

Using these learnings, Axel would make a big splash in the RMC Asia Festival held a week after. He was on pace right from the get go and delivered an impressive performance during Heat 1 of Qualifying. Starting from P4, he took the lead on the opening lap and began to pull away. However, Itto Ida from Japan gradually reeled him in and the pair made contact as they fought for position on the very last lap. Although this relegated Axel to 5th across the finish line, it was a good showing of the Filipino karter’s speed.

Driving for Double R Motorsports (DRM), he maintained this momentum into Heat 2 where he ended up 4th, allowing him to start from P3 in the Pre Final.

It was a tough 10-lap chase on Sunday during the Pre Final with 5 karters locked in a battle for P2. After getting past Itto Ida, Axel then came under attack with Jenson Chalk from the UK and John Han from HK breathing down his rear bumper. He was en route for a P3 finish ’til Han managed to sneak past on the final lap putting him in 4th place just 0.334 secs behind.

Axel gave it one last shot in the all-important Finals. Dropping down to P6 at the start, he moved up to P5 a few laps later and gave chase to Chalk and Peerapongpan Sutumno of Thailand as the trio battled for P3. They were nose-to-tail for the most part of the 12-lap race and opened up a 2 secs gap to the rest of the field. All equally matched, not one karter could find a way past and took the chequered flag in formation with Axel in P5. But a post-race disqualification for Chalk promoted the Filipino to 4th, concluding a challenging 2-week stint in Malaysia.

Axel felt that he was able to fulfill what he set out to do as he expressed, “The best part was racing versus a lot of other drivers who are all within a second of each other. That’s what made it worth the trip.”

Bouncing off of a tough weekend where his skills were put to the test against a different playing field, Axel looks to join more competitions outside of the country as the year progresses—with the goal of returning to the Tillotson Cup in Spain in mind while seeking training in South Garda Karting, Italy.

Axel Nocom is supported by the Mercedes Young Driver Academy Philippines, Recaro Philippines, Burlington, Alaska Milk Corporation, DG Budget Hotel, Ceramic Pro, and Pregame Motorsport Merchandise.

For more info and the latest updates, follow the Axel Motorsports page on Facebook.

[Photos by Bong Boado and RMC Asia]

Miguel Quiñones named ’23 SEAOIL Radical Challenge Ph Rookie of the Year

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After a stellar debut season that saw him round out the podium on a regular basis, Miguel Quiñones was named as the 2023 SEAOIL Radical Challenge Philippines Rookie of the Year. He also went on to secure the Vice Champion title finishing 2nd in the standings behind Iñigo Anton.

The trophies were presented during the Awards Night Ceremony last 30th of November held at the Mansions Sports Bar & Lounge in Makati City. Miguel received both accolades with much enjoyment and gratitude to those who have been behind him since the start of his motorsports journey.

To say the least, Miguel saw his first season racing a Radical SR1 to be “challenging,” as he recalls what it was like driving a race car with real downforce. Nevertheless, he took these challenges to heart and did his best to drive with focus and precision.

This was shown early on as Miguel made a splash in his debut—highlighted by his 3rd place finish during Race 2 of the season opener back in July. His adjustments towards the new machinery was accomplished early as Miguel detailed, “As touring cars are front-wheel drive, go-karts and Radical SR1’s are both rear-wheel drive—the similarities can come with the engine and the machine’s size.”

The former Karter of the Year awardee delivered a couple more podium finishes across the season to propel him up the championship ladder even further. Miguel then drove to a couple of 2nd place finishes during the season ender, which allowed him to conclude the year as Vice Champion and earn the Rookie of the Year title in tow.

Reminiscing on a triumphant debut season, Miguel shares his biggest factors that helped him throughout the season. “Practicing and figuring out the best possible ways to make our car as fast as it can,” he confidently said.

As he brings home some hardware from his first season in the SEAOIL Radical Challenge Philippines, Miguel extends his gratitude to the organizers expressing, “Thanks to them for spearheading an amazing series especially since the Radical Challenge series is still brand new in the Philippines and also for their dedication to help and make things enjoyable for everyone.” He also thanked his team DRQ Motorsports for their dedication to make the car as fast as possible, allowing him to become as fast as he could be, as well as to his manager and team owner, and parents, Oro and Maria Quiñones, for their unbelievable support.

Miguel Quiñones is sponsored by RZQ The Aesthetic Surgery Clinic, RZQ Aesthetic Medicine Institute, Derma Medica, and Wuerth Philippines.