Bern Corpino dominates Rok Cup PH season opener on Senior Class debut


Rok Cup Philippines’ new 2023 championship has barely even begun, yet Senior Class debutant Bern Corpino has quickly established himself as the man to beat this season. Driving for VS Motorsports, the 15-year-old delivered a stellar performance during the curtain raiser last 25th/26th of March at the Carmona Race Track (CRT) to win both rounds back-to-back.

There were high hopes for Bern after he dominated the Junior Category last year where he took both the Rok Cup and Rotax MAX titles on only his full year in karting. His pace during pre-season tests also showed a lot of promise, but never did he nor his team expect him to be this far ahead of the pack.

Things got off to a good start for Round 1 on Saturday. Bern easily topped both the Time Trial and Qualifying Heat 1 in the morning. However, his trouble-free run came to an abrupt halt when a technical problem caused him a DNF during Heat 2. While this effectively placed him down in P7 for the all-important Finals, it was of little concern for Bern as he himself knew that he had what it takes to get back to the front.

With his #19 OTK kart’s issues now resolved, Bern got his head down as soon as the lights turned green and immediately got to work. He was able to slot into P4 in the opening sequence of corners and gain another place soon after. Although it took him several laps to get around reigning Senior Class champion Miguel Quiñones for the P2 spot, taking the lead away from Danzel Waytan didn’t pose too much of a problem. Bern then used the remaining laps to pull a 3.346 secs gap ’til the chequered flag dropped to secure his first ever 1st place finish in the Senior Category.

Mirroring the previous day’s performance, Round 2 on Sunday was again an opportunity for the young karter to shine. He was practically unchallenged in all the runs from the Time Trial, Qualifying Heat 1, to Qualifying Heat 2. Saving the best for last, Bern truly showed his dominance in the Finals where he enjoyed a lights-to-flag victory. Unimpeded all the way to the chequered flag, he was able to finish with a 6.565 secs lead to conclude the near-perfect Senior Class debut weekend.

His strong of victories puts Bern on the top of the Senior Class standings and leads by 12 points. He’s now preparing for the next local kart event, the Rotax Max Challenge Philippines scheduled on the 29th/30th of April at the Palawan International Circuit.

Bern Corpino: “I definitely enjoyed the race weekend. It’s a really good start to the season in Seniors and I can’t wait for the next races. I want to thank my parents, Lord God, my team VS Racing, coach VJ Suba, mechanic Jomar Suba, the whole Suba family, and my sponsors for making all of these things happen.”

Bern Corpino is sponsored by Extra Joss. For more info and the latest updates, follow Bern Corpino Racing on Facebook.

[Photos by Bong Boado]