Bern Corpino shines on first outing in cars with win at 2023 TGR Vios Cup


It was an impressive touring car debut for the reigning ’22 Junior Karter of the Year, Bern Corpino. Not only did he notch a hefty points haul for Toyota Balintawak-Obengers Racing, but he also managed a race win during the opening round of the Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR) Vios Cup at the Clark International Speedway (CIS).

Bern’s big leap from karting to cars got off to a good start with the 15-year-old setting quick lap times during Free Practice. In Qualifying, he would manage P7 on the Sporting Class grid with a 2:28.081 best, which was decent for a newcomer who also happened to be one of the youngest drivers on the grid.

Driving the #91 red-and-white livered Toyota Vios OMR, he was determined to make a strong impression on his debut. A clean start saw him fight for position mid-pack and gain a spot in the opening lap. He then held onto P6 for the remainder of the 12-lap race where he finished.

His 6th place in Race 1 would later allow him to line up from pole in the reverse-grid of Race 2. With his experience on Friday, Bern also now had more confidence to put up a challenge at the front come Saturday morning. He made the most of his front row start and stayed in the lead for a number of laps. While his opponents eventually caught up to him by lap 3, Bern did not let up. He defended hard against a pack of more experienced Sporting Class drivers, but later had to concede and cross the line in 3rd. However, an earlier collision with a competitor earned him a slap on the wrist from the stewards that dropped the Obengers Racing standout to 4th.

Barely missing out on a podium in the previous outing, Bern was hungrier than ever for a win. The final race of the weekend saw him start from P3 on the grid, but got the holeshot to take the lead. From then on, he simply focused on setting fast, consistent laps to open up a gap. Although all his hard work was undone when the Safety Car was deployed and bunched up the pack, Bern would be able to hold onto his position and secure his first ever victory as the race ended under caution.

Bern now looks forward to the next leg of the 2023 TGR Vios Cup, happening on the 7th/8th of September, where he will continue his hunt for more podiums and race wins.

Bern Corpino: “Switching to cars is a big step up for me. The racing is way different than karting and my experience so far has been awesome! Transitioning to the TGR Vios Cup has been okay I would say. I definitely need to practice more. I had some challenges with how aggressive the racing can be and the overall feeling of the car, the heaviness, the acceleration, and the g-force. I couldn’t be more happier than I am now, such an amazing first race in cars and it ended in a high! I wanted to thank Lord God first for everything, to my loving parents, to Obengers Racing for trusting me to join the team, to coach Roland, team manager Pao, to the mechanics, and to our sponsors.”

Obengers Racing is sponsored by RL Automotive/Winterpine, Powerstroke BG, Toyota Financial Services, Spark Up, Commonwealth Insurance, People’s Insurance, Malayan Insurance, FH, Fedchem, Stronghold, Wallem, J. Lindenberg, Centro, and Standard insurance.

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