After a season long of superb performances, Yuan Bugayong has now won the Formula Cadet Novice class in 2023. He accumulated so many points that mathematically, the 11-year-old could have actually missed the season finale at the Carmona Race Track (CRT) last November 4/5 and still take home the championship.
Fresh off competing in the T4 Nations Cup in Spain, Yuan and DRIFT Motor Racing Team was in high spirits heading to the last event of 2023. He kicked off the proceedings on Saturday by setting the fastest lap during Time Trials and was even quicker than the Expert class drivers.
This momentum would carry onto the next morning as Yuan went toe-to-toe with his teammate Franco Patawaran during Heat 1 of Qualifying. The pair were inseparable throughout the 6-lap race and crossed the finish line just 0.035 secs apart with Patawaran taking the win.
Yuan’s closest-rival Matthew Garvilles joined the fray in Heat 2, making it a 3-way fight all the way to the end. Matthew managed to open up a small gap to secure 1st with Yuan in 2nd and Franco in 3rd. With the release of the Consolidated Heat standings, Yuan found himself starting from 2nd on the grid for the all-important Finals.
Capping off the season on a high, Yuan was pushed to his limits in the Finals as the top 4 drivers all consistently lapped within the 1 min 8 secs range. All this opponents stepped up and gave a tough fight for one last time this season. Yuan had to strategically find openings to overtake, eventually forcing his way to 2nd in a photo finish against Marcus Young and teammate Franco with only 0.070 separating the 3 karters.
Yuan’s 2nd place finish at the season finale was more than enough for him to claim the Formula Cadet Novice title, earning him the 2023 Rookie Karter of the Year crown. It was truly a significant achievement for such a young racer who only had 8 month’s of racing experience prior and win 5 out of the 8 rounds in the 2023 calendar.
With his quick development, Yuan is looking to jump full time to MiniRok next year and mount a serious attack on the 2024 championship title.
Opened in 2022, DRIFT MOTOR Speedway in Taytay, Rizal provided Yuan a proper venue to hone and develop his talent in karting. He would join (and win) the monthly races hosted by his family’s indoor electric kart venue before making the big jump to Cadets. With the skills he picked up at DRIFT MOTOR Speedway, it allowed Yuan to excel in his very first year in competitive racing.
DRIFT MOTOR Speedway is now planning to open additional branches at Ayala Malls Manila Bay in early 2024 and a new location down south later that year.
Yuan Bugayong is supported by AmsOil Philippines, Motolite Quick Delivery, SEC Motosupply, DRIFT XAUST, K&N Filters Philippines, RaceChip Philippines, Tiger Garage, C Diamond Aluminum & Supply, and Mercedes Young Driver Development Philippines.