Strong recovery drive rewards Ethan Ong with 2nd in Rok GP outing in Palawan


Ethan Ong enjoyed his very first podium of 2022 at the opening round of the Rok GP Super Karting Series. It came very much as a surprise after an earlier shunt put the Ethanworx Motorsports karter at the back of the grid for the Finals. But a strong recovery drive would allow the 13-year-old to land a memorable 2nd at the Palawan International Circuit.

This was the Junior karter’s first outing on the twisty 1.300 km track, which is admittedly a tough layout to master even for the most seasoned drivers. This forced Ethan to make the most out of the limited track time to improve on his pace. His progress was clearly evident in the time sheets and was lapping within half a second of the the front runners by the Time Trials.

Qualifying though didn’t go as planned and was actually short-lived. Starting from P3, he wouldn’t even complete a full lap after another karter collided with his #75 machine that sadly forced him into a DNF.

Relegated to last, Ethan had nothing to lose in the all-important Finals. His focus was simply to drive a clean race, gain as many positions as possible, and hope for the best results in the 13-lap race. Then it rained just before the start. As an ace of wet weather conditions, he was already up to P4 by the fourth lap and began to close the gap to the leaders. As the track started to dry up, his persistence eventually paid off as he slotted into 2nd on the final lap to secure a podium finish in the Junior Category.

There’s going to be a very short break for Ethan as he’ll be back racing on the 19th of June 2022 for Round 2 of the Rotax MAX Challenge Philippines at the Clark International Speedway – Kart Track.

Ethan Ong: “I was not expecting to finish on the podium after an incident in Qualifying which put me in last. Our strategy was just to drive clean and try to overtake as much as we can. The rain helped as I was able to gain places in the slippery conditions and it was really a surprise when they told me I was 2nd after the race. I would like to thank my coach Edgen for pushing me every training and my team for doing a great job in preparing my kart.”

Ethan Ong is sponsored by Auto Vault Speed Shop the distributor of Modesta Premium Glass Coatings and Autozkin Paint Protection, and Respol Philippines.

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[Photos by Bong Boado]