After taking the local MiniRok championships in ’20, ’21, and ’22, Axel Nocom now has his eyes set on a 4th consecutive title in 2023. And his campaign couldn’t have started any better than by winning the MiniRok XCS series’ opening event at the Carmona Race Track (CRT).
If truth be told, competing locally was not really part of the plan. The 11-year-old was supposed to make a serious title bid in Rok Cup Singapore. But when his win was taken away at the season opener, it also wiped out all his chances in the championship. This forced Axel to focus his efforts back home and barely had time to prepare for the first race of the season.
Having not completely given up on his regional races, the Mercedes Young Driver Academy Philippines karter came straight from the KF1 Karting Circuit in Singapore just in time for the local event last March 25/26. Axel would then immediately set the early pace by topping the Time Trials on Saturday and that’s despite having no prior practice runs leading up to the weekend.
It’s also worth mentioning that Axel has had no driving coach since 2020. Instead, he relies on giving proper feedback to former WSK international tuner Richard Peek who sets up his kart. Then there’s the impact of sim racing which greatly helped accelerate his development. It provided him an avenue to train and work on his race craft that’s not limited by time of day, location, and weather condition.
All these factors positively contribute to Axel’s performance on track, while saving on costly expenses spent on track rental, tires, fuel, and talent fees.
It was a near-perfect weekend for the reigning MiniRok champion. The only time he didn’t finish in 1st was during Heat 1 in Qualifying where he crossed the finish line behind teammate Kraige Berdos. But he was quickly back in front come Heat 2 and again in the all-important Finals where he took the chequered flag with a massive 11.319 secs lead.
Axel now leads the MiniRok XCS Expert Class standings by 10 points as the series heads to the Palawan International Circuit on April 29/30 for Round 2 out of 8 for the 2023 championship.
Axel Nocom is supported by Motul Infiniteserv International, Alaska Milk Corporation, and Recaro Philippines. For more info and the latest updates, follow the Axel Motorsports page on Facebook.
[Photos by Bong Boado]