Determination pays off for Lucas Aldave after surprise Cadet win at Macau


Racing on an unfamiliar track, in tricky conditions, and unable to keep up with the fastest Cadet driver all weekend, it’s safe to say that 11-year-old Lucas Aldave was not in high spirits heading into the Finals. But never did it cross his mind to give up. With his unrelenting determination, he kept his head down for the whole 12-lap race and went on to score a surprise win at the Macau Asia Karting Festival x Asian Karting Open Championship.

Lucas arrived early at the Coloane Karting Track in Macau to get as much seat time as possible. This was his first-ever event on the 1.200 km circuit after all. He was quickest out of all the Cadet Class entries on Thursday, but things went south from there.

Though still one of the quickest, Lucas didn’t quite have the pace to match the quickest karter in Cadets. Whatever he tired – different lines, braking points, or kart set up – he was being left behind on the straights, which amounted to a massive 1.105 sec deficit per lap and was only good enough for 3rd during the Time Trials.

The Mercedes Young Driver Development Philippines karter pushed as hard as he could in Heat 1. He momentarily had a good battle for P2 spot before chasing the race lead after he disposed off the other driver. However, it already was too little too late and settled for 2nd.

Lucas managed to find more speed by Heat 2 and could now take the fight to the leader. It was just unfortunate that his #609 kart spun in the slippery conditions and took a lot of time to rejoin the track. He was down to P7 when he recovered and had to work hard in order to regain all the places that he had lost. Going all out to the chequered flag, Lucas moved up a place in almost every lap and got back up to 2nd. But a post-race penalty later dropped him to 6th due to damage his kart sustained during his earlier off and took a toll on his confidence.

After his string of near misses, Lucas was feeling a bit down ahead of the Finals. It was only sheer determination that forced him to push that weekend one last time. The weather also upped the stakes and forced the team to change sprocket and to wet tires on his kart to suit the condition. Lucas started in P2 and immediately challenged for the lead, eventually making his move on lap 2 to take P1 spot. Meanwhile, the other karters behind him struggled in the slippery conditions allowing Lucas to comfortably pull away. Although he came under pressure in the closing stages, he held position and secured 1st place across the line in both Cadet Overall and Cadet Expert, finishing ahead of his Mercedes Young Driver Development Philippines teammate Matthew Garvilles in 2nd.

Lucas was still in disbelief as he arrived at parc fermé. After struggling for pace all weekend, it was a dream come true to win in the Finals and stand on the top spot of the podium at Macau.

Lucas Aldave is proudly supported by Mayor Joy Belmonte, Villa Soledad Beach Resort, Petron Corporation, Mercedes Young Driver Development Philippines, Motul Infiniteserv Int’l, Alaska, Gemini Phils. Graphic Arts Corp., Dunkin Donuts, Etiqa, and NET25.

[Photos by Bong Boado]