11-year-old Yuan Gavin Bugayong continues to make headway in Cadet Novice after another stellar performance when the Asian Karting Open Championship (AKOC) and Petron Motorsports Karting Academy Super Karting Series shared a race weekend. Driving for DRIFT MOTOR Racing Team, he secured a number of wins and podium finishes despite the tricky conditions at the Clark International Speedway Kart Track.
The entire event was soaked through and through with non-stop rain drenching all but a few sessions. Not only did it cause engines to flood with water and bog down, but also hampered driver visibility and overall grip on the already tricky circuit. Yuan was an early victim when he tried to evade a stricken kart during Warm Up and collided with the barriers in the process.
While it may have caused minor damage on his #07 kart, Yuan’s confidence was unshaken. He was 5th fastest overall during Qualifying Practice and was the 2nd amongst the novice drivers, which gave good indication of what’s to come from the young karter. Yuan made steady progress in the succeeding Heats, finishing 1st, 6th, and 3rd respectively in Cadet Novice which was good enough for P3 spot in class during the Finals.
The team, however, admits that Yuan’s kart setup was a still hit-or-miss and was far from his best time in Clark. Although they had an option to change the engine, DRIFT MOTOR Racing Team ultimately decided against it as it was a gamble in itself. This left all the heavy lifting Yuan who had to rely solely on his skill (and some luck) to get him to the podium.
Blessed with dry weather, Round 3 of the Petron Motorsports Karting Academy Super Karting Series got the green light on Sunday morning. Yuan managed to get a clean getaway and immediately slotted into P2 by the first corner. An Expert Class driver would later find a way past Yuan halfway through the 9-lap race, placing the DRIFT MOTOR Racing Team karter in 3rd Overall which he maintained all the way to the chequered flag. His clean masterclass drive would also earn him 1st both in Formula Cadet Novice and the Petron Cadet Clubrace.
The battle for the lead really heated up in Round 4 with 6 drivers vying for the top spot. Yuan was in the thick of it and swapped places at almost every lap. He even held that lead for a brief moment during an incident-filled 13-lap race before slotting into P2 spot overall where he would later cross the finish line. It was just unfortunate that all his efforts was undone after he was slapped with a 5 secs penalty for a dropped bumper that saw him officially finish 5th overall and 2nd in the Formula Cadet Novice and the Petron Cadet Clubrace.
Yuan also got retribution for his misfortunes in AKOC Macau where he suffered an engine problem in the Finals. He would be classified 3rd in the Cadet Novice Class Finals, earning him €1,795 in prize money for an entry to the Tillotson T4 Nations Cup that’s taking place from the 21st to 24th of September at the Lucas Guerrero International Kart Track in Valencia, Spain.
Yuan Bugayong is supported by AmsOil Philippines, Motolite Quick Delivery, SEC Motosupply, DRIFT XAUST, K&N Filters Philippines, RaceChip Philippines, and Mercedes Young Driver Development Philippines.
[Photos by Bong Boado]