Obengers Racing Nitto Tires target 2023 Endurance Challenge on fresh rubber

Most will agree that the true tire performance test is endurance racing. Because here delivering consistent peak performance, on varying conditions, over long sustained periods are key to victory. This is why Obengers Racing is putting its trust in Nitto Tires Philippines as they take on the Makabayan Cup Endurance Challenge together.

Running under the name Obengers Racing Nitto Tires, the team is entering their red-liveried #23 Toyota Vios touring car in all 3 events this 2023. Fittingly, the mix of 2, 4, 8, and 12 hour races enables them to showcase a number of Nitto tire compounds that are fit for different applications.

The first is the Nitto NT05 max performance tire that’s best suited for shorter 2-hour sprints. Sporting an aggressive 200 treadwear, it provides superior grip and precise handling on dry conditions. The NT05 also feature exceptional rigidity and stability needed for high stress applications. But longer stints on track better suit the Nitto NT555 G2 ultra high performance tire. This radial compound offers the best balance between grip and longevity needed for endurance racing, be it in the dry or wet.

Distributed by YHI Philippines Inc., Nitto prides itself in giving enthusiasts the tires and sizes no one else would, while having a perfectly designed tire for the application.

As for driving duties, Obengers Racing Nitto Tires’ lineup consists of Pao Agregado, Joaquin “Wakkeen” Garrido, and Thomas Raldorf.

Pao is an experienced drifter and touring car driver that has been known to be calm and cool behind the wheel while delivering consistently quick laps. He also serves as Team Manager and will surely have his hands full during the races as he juggles between roles. Wakeen, on the other hand, is the youngest and most potent driver of the 3. His motorsports journey began at a young age in karting before making the switch to touring cars in recent years. Most recently, he finished Sporting Class runner up in the 2022 Toyota Gazoo Racing Vios Cup, also with Obengers Racing.

Danish driver Thomas Raldorf is the newest addition to the team. Now based in Asia, he’s a multiple-time touring car champion and was the Thailand Super Series (TSS) Super Car GTC Champion in 2017. This, however, is not his first time racing in the Philippines. In case you missed it, Thomas also entered the Endurance Challenge last November and claimed class victory in the 4 Hour race.

“The team is very methodical and structured in how they operate, and for me that’s important. The friendliness in the pits and competitiveness on the track makes racing in the Philippines fun and enjoyable,” shared Thomas about his experience last year.

Together, the trio is making a 2023 title bid in the C3 Category, which begins this weekend. A total of 17 cars are expected to lineup on the grid this April 16 at the Batangas Racing Circuit (BRC) for the Kagitingan Cup season opener. Obengers Racing Nitto Tires have confirmed that it is entering both the 2 Hour race in the morning and the 4 Hour race in the afternoon.

Jay Delloso, YHI Philippines General Manager: “Nitto Tire is a beloved enthusiast brand and we believe that our high performance tires can support a team such as Obengers Racing into achieving the best results. Endurance racing pushes not only the driver to the limit but also the race car itself. And we at Nitto believe that our tires can withstand the toughest conditions brought about by endurance racing. We wish Obengers Racing all the best in this year’s racing season and we are with them all the way.”

Obengers Racing Nitto Tires is supported by Nitto Tires Philippines, Motul Philippines – Infiniteserv Int’l, Dynopro Philippines, and Toyota Balintawak Inc.

2022 champions honored at 27th AAP Annual Motorsport Awards

Hosted by the FIA’s national sporting authority, the Automobile Association Philippines (AAP) has now officially put a close the 2022 motorsport season as it recognizes the exemplary personalities of the past year. This is the 27th Annual Motorsport Awards where all the newly crowned champions (and everyone contributed to the sport) come to gather and celebrate another year in Philippine motorsports.

2022 saw the sport return to its full capacity since the pandemic, which proportionately grew the number of awards given out by the AAP. It was nice to welcome mainstay events like the National Slalom Series, Philippine Autocross Championship Series, and Philippine Rallycross Series back into the program. Meanwhile, the newcomers Radical Challenge Philippines and AAP E-Motorsports are good indicators that local motorsports is still growing.

What sticks out in this year’s list of awardees is the abundance of new and young talent, specifically the name of Iñigo Anton that appears on the list four times. Son of racing veteran Carlos Anton, the 18-year-old secured overall titles in the Toyota Gazoo Racing Vios Cup, Radical Challenge, and Philippine GT that also earned him the 2022 Driver of the Year Award for Circuit.

Miguel Quiñones also deserves a special mention for taking the Senior Class championships in both Rotax Max Challenge and Rok GP Cup, earning him the Driver of the Year Award for Karting two years in a row.

All-in-all the AAP gave out 46 accolades during the 27th AAP Annual Motorsport Awards. Here’s the complete list of ladies and gentlemen who received recognition.

2022 Driver of the Year Award Slalom | Estefano Rivera Karting | Al Miguel Quiñones Circuit | Carlos Iñigo Anton Rallycross | Peter Paul Santos Drifting | Pocholo Hizon

Marshal of the Year | Moderno Roldan Marshal of the Year – Slalom | Simeon Victoria

Toyota Gazoo Racing Vios Cup Super Sporting Class Champion | Carlos Iñigo Anton Sporting Class Champion | Royce Miguel Sarmiento Promotional Class Champion | Emmanuel Jason Lao

Philippine Grand Touring Championship GT200 Class Champion | Carlos Iñigo Anton GT150 Class Champion | Ian Davin Rosales GT100 Class Champion | Karol Collantes

Giti Formula V1 Challenge Pro Class Champion | Milo Rivera Am Class Champion | Michael Bryan Co

National Drifting Championship Pro Division Overall Class Champion | Pocholo Hizon

National Slalom Series Novice Class Champion | Paulino Polintan Jr Rear Wheel Class Champion | Joseph Ortega Front wheel Class Champion | Estefano Rivera Overall Class Champion | Estefano Rivera

Philippine Autocross Championship Series Novice Class Champion | Martina Sofia Muñoz Open Class Champion | Richard Gallardo Overall Class Champion | Richard Gallardo

AAP E-Motorsports Asia-Pacific Dirt Rally 2.0 Overall Class Champion | Matthew Spencer Ang

Philippine Rallycross Series Group 3 Overall Class Champion | Peter Paul Santos

Radical Challenge Philippines SR1 Cup Overall Class Champion | Carlos Iñigo Anton

ROTAX Max Challenge Philippines Junior Overall Class Champion | Bernardus Emmanuel Corpino Senior Overall Class Champion | Al Miguel Quiñones

ROK GP National Karting Series MiniROK Overall Class Champion | Mariano Axel Nocom Junior Overall Class Champion | Bernardus Emmanuel Corpino Senior Overall Class Champion | Al Miguel Quiñones

Plaque of Appreciation William John Riley Go Bianca Denise Bustamante Miguel Diaz Vincent Floirendo Batangas Racing Circuit Kart Plaza Manufacturing Corp Race Motorsports Club Philippine Autocross Championship Series Philippine Rallycross Series Tuason Racing School Radical Cars Philippines Backstage Events Inc Aeromed Ambulance Services

Special Awards AAP Hall of Fame | Juan “Johnny” Angeles Posthumous Award | Danilo “Danny” Santiago

Vincent Floirendo returns to TSS on 8th year racing an Audi R8 LMS GT3

May 2016. Shanghai International Circuit. Audi R8 LMS Cup. That was officially the very first time for Vincent Floirendo to take his #55 ENsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 out racing. Since then, this German-made machinery has racked up thousands of kilometers competing on some of the best circuits in the region, claiming several podium finishes and a number of race wins along the way. And now on it’s 8th year racing it’s taking another shot at the Thailand Super Series (TSS).

The Filipino driver has confirmed his return to the series’ top-tier Super GT3 class with his trusty Audi R8 LMS – the same car that took him to 4th overall in the Pro-Am Championship and 3 podium finishes last year. It’s also a chance for him to be reunited with ex-DTM and GT1 driver Markus Winkelhock who will share driving duties with Vincent in all 5 rounds.

“Learned a lot from Markus,” shared Vincent on his co-driver. “Very impressive driving style. Interestingly, he doesn’t have braking references on the race track. Everything is based on feel for him.”

This year’s calendar will see the TSS visit the Chang international Circuit on 3 occasions starting with the season opener on April 20/23. The famed Sepang International Circuit is also making a comeback, which the series will visit in August. But what Vincent is looking forward to the most are the ultra-exciting street circuit races, the Bangsaen Grand Prix and the Singapore Grand Prix support race, for obvious reasons.

2023 Thailand Super Series Race Calendar Round 1 | April 20-23 (Chang International Circuit) Round 2 | May 25-28 (Chang International Circuit) Round 3 | June 27-July 2 (Bangsaen Grand Prix) Round 4 | August 25-27 (Sepang International Circuit) Invitational | September 15-17 (Singapore Grand Prix) Round 5 | December 14-17 (Chang International Circuit)

Also worth noting is how his Audi R8 LMS GT3 has stayed competitive for this long. After a few outings in the Audi R8 LMS Cup in 2016/2017, Vincent took it racing in the 2018 GT Asia Series and shared the car with ex-Lotus F1 development driver Adderly Fong. The #55 machine then received its first EVO upgrade in 2019, which Vincent effectively used to win the Audi R8 LMS Cup Challenger Trophy that year. Unfortunately, both Vincent and his R8 LMS GT3 did not see action for 2 years because of the pandemic. But when it finally returned to the track in 2022, it came back with a bang sporting the latest EVO 2 update and a brand new Philippine flag-inspired livery for the Thailand Super Series.

Now that it’s back to its original red-white-and-silver livery, Vincent believes that the Audi R8 LMS GT3 will still prove to be an effective weapon for the next 3 years. This is a strong testament not only to its design and engineering, but also to the chassis’ longevity to withstand the rigorous demands of motorsports for so many years in active duty.

Vincent Floirendo: “Looking forward this season and perform better than 2022. The GT3 class will be interesting as there’ll be more entries in 2023 including a Mercedes AMG. We have a good team behind us through Absolute Racing and an excellent Pro driver with Markus, so I hope to have another great year racing in the Thailand Super Series.”

Ingo Matter, Team Director: “I am delighted to have Vicente and Markus back on the team. They had some good results last year, and I’m confident they will build on that in 2023. Vicente’s remarkable progress last season leaves us very confident for the season to come, while Markus’ unparalleled experience and race craft provide an invaluable asset to our team. The goal is to maximize every weekend and to go for the championship.”

[Photos courtesy of Audi Sport Asia]

Axel Nocom makes unplanned appearance at MiniRok PH, ends up finishing 1st

After taking the local MiniRok championships in ’20, ’21, and ’22, Axel Nocom now has his eyes set on a 4th consecutive title in 2023. And his campaign couldn’t have started any better than by winning the MiniRok XCS series’ opening event at the Carmona Race Track (CRT).

If truth be told, competing locally was not really part of the plan. The 11-year-old was supposed to make a serious title bid in Rok Cup Singapore. But when his win was taken away at the season opener, it also wiped out all his chances in the championship. This forced Axel to focus his efforts back home and barely had time to prepare for the first race of the season.

Having not completely given up on his regional races, the Mercedes Young Driver Academy Philippines karter came straight from the KF1 Karting Circuit in Singapore just in time for the local event last March 25/26. Axel would then immediately set the early pace by topping the Time Trials on Saturday and that’s despite having no prior practice runs leading up to the weekend.

It’s also worth mentioning that Axel has had no driving coach since 2020. Instead, he relies on giving proper feedback to former WSK international tuner Richard Peek who sets up his kart. Then there’s the impact of sim racing which greatly helped accelerate his development. It provided him an avenue to train and work on his race craft that’s not limited by time of day, location, and weather condition.

All these factors positively contribute to Axel’s performance on track, while saving on costly expenses spent on track rental, tires, fuel, and talent fees.

It was a near-perfect weekend for the reigning MiniRok champion. The only time he didn’t finish in 1st was during Heat 1 in Qualifying where he crossed the finish line behind teammate Kraige Berdos. But he was quickly back in front come Heat 2 and again in the all-important Finals where he took the chequered flag with a massive 11.319 secs lead.

Axel now leads the MiniRok XCS Expert Class standings by 10 points as the series heads to the Palawan International Circuit on April 29/30 for Round 2 out of 8 for the 2023 championship.

Axel Nocom is supported by Motul Infiniteserv International, Alaska Milk Corporation, and Recaro Philippines. For more info and the latest updates, follow the Axel Motorsports page on Facebook.

[Photos by Bong Boado]

Gearbox issue robs Daryl DeLeon of British Endurance podium at Silverstone GP

Whilst running 2nd in class, Daryl DeLeon Taylor and teammate Maurice Henry were looking good for a strong finish on their British Endurance Championship (BEC) debut. The new pairing were easily punching above their weight all weekend against a 20-car grid mostly made up of GT3 and GT4 machinery. That was until a technical problem dashed their hopes for a spot on the podium at the Silverstone GP 3 Hours.

This was Daryl’s first competitive outing in the #34 Audi S3 BTCC touring car after winning Team HARD. Racing’s driver scholarship last month. So it’s quite impressive how the 17-year-old managed to find so much speed in such little time, considering that the reigning Radical SR1 Cup UK champion has never driven anything like it before.

He and his teammate were able to gain a ton confidence behind the wheel as they clocked up valuable seat time during testing. It was also an opportunity for the team to further develop the car ahead of the 3-hour endurance. Their efforts translated well on track as they logged the 2nd fastest time in class and 6th overall during Practice.

Things got even better during Qualifying for the Filipino-British driver. Wrestling every second out a half wet-half dry Silverstone GP Circuit, Daryl put Team HARD. Racing’s entry on pole position in Class C out-running a Ferrari 458 Challenge and Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. This put the #34 entry 5th overall and starting from the 3rd row of the grid. However, anything can still happen in a 3-hour endurance.

Daryl was first in the driver’s seat when the lights turned green on Saturday afternoon. He managed to kept the class lead for a number of laps ’til the much faster Ferrari 458 Challenge eventually passed the #34 Audi. Maintaining P2 for the rest of his stint, he then handed over the car to Maurice for the first driver change who rejoined still in the same position. But after only 1/3 of the race distance completed, the gearbox began to overheat. There was nothing the team nor Maurice could do to save the ailing #34 Audi S3 BTCC as the problem proved to be terminal, forcing Team HARD. Racing into retirement.

Although it was a tough pill to swallow for everyone at Team HARD. Racing, Daryl and Maurice’s performance at the Silverstone GP 3 Hours showed a lot of promise. The team will be working hard to resolve the gearbox issue in time for the next event at the Brands Hatch Indy 2 Hours on the 22nd of April.

Daryl DeLeon Taylor: “The first round of the British Endurance Championship was a mega weekend well spent. Just being able to drive the Audi S3 BTCC touring car in mixed conditions at the home of British motorsport was an indescribable feeling. Me and my teammate had a lot of seat time and therefore we had developed a further understanding for the characteristics of this car. We were on our way towards a podium finish when the gearbox overheated forcing us to retire. Unfortunate way to end but a mega first race weekend with Team HARD Racing showing what we are capable of. I cannot wait for the next outing and I would just like to thank everyone in the team for their support. Let’s get it at the next one.”

Daryl DeLeon Taylor is supported by Train Maintenance Services (TMS).

For news and updates, Like the Daryl DeLeon Racing page on Facebook, follow @daryldeleon on Instagram, or visit daryltaylorracing.com.

Bern Corpino dominates Rok Cup PH season opener on Senior Class debut

Rok Cup Philippines’ new 2023 championship has barely even begun, yet Senior Class debutant Bern Corpino has quickly established himself as the man to beat this season. Driving for VS Motorsports, the 15-year-old delivered a stellar performance during the curtain raiser last 25th/26th of March at the Carmona Race Track (CRT) to win both rounds back-to-back.

There were high hopes for Bern after he dominated the Junior Category last year where he took both the Rok Cup and Rotax MAX titles on only his full year in karting. His pace during pre-season tests also showed a lot of promise, but never did he nor his team expect him to be this far ahead of the pack.

Things got off to a good start for Round 1 on Saturday. Bern easily topped both the Time Trial and Qualifying Heat 1 in the morning. However, his trouble-free run came to an abrupt halt when a technical problem caused him a DNF during Heat 2. While this effectively placed him down in P7 for the all-important Finals, it was of little concern for Bern as he himself knew that he had what it takes to get back to the front.

With his #19 OTK kart’s issues now resolved, Bern got his head down as soon as the lights turned green and immediately got to work. He was able to slot into P4 in the opening sequence of corners and gain another place soon after. Although it took him several laps to get around reigning Senior Class champion Miguel Quiñones for the P2 spot, taking the lead away from Danzel Waytan didn’t pose too much of a problem. Bern then used the remaining laps to pull a 3.346 secs gap ’til the chequered flag dropped to secure his first ever 1st place finish in the Senior Category.

Mirroring the previous day’s performance, Round 2 on Sunday was again an opportunity for the young karter to shine. He was practically unchallenged in all the runs from the Time Trial, Qualifying Heat 1, to Qualifying Heat 2. Saving the best for last, Bern truly showed his dominance in the Finals where he enjoyed a lights-to-flag victory. Unimpeded all the way to the chequered flag, he was able to finish with a 6.565 secs lead to conclude the near-perfect Senior Class debut weekend.

His strong of victories puts Bern on the top of the Senior Class standings and leads by 12 points. He’s now preparing for the next local kart event, the Rotax Max Challenge Philippines scheduled on the 29th/30th of April at the Palawan International Circuit.

Bern Corpino: “I definitely enjoyed the race weekend. It’s a really good start to the season in Seniors and I can’t wait for the next races. I want to thank my parents, Lord God, my team VS Racing, coach VJ Suba, mechanic Jomar Suba, the whole Suba family, and my sponsors for making all of these things happen.”

Bern Corpino is sponsored by Extra Joss. For more info and the latest updates, follow Bern Corpino Racing on Facebook.

[Photos by Bong Boado]

2023 AISIN Super Sprint off to a strong start with 50 drivers at the R33 Drift Track

After a long hiatus brought about by the pandemic, Super Sprint has finally returned to action in 2023 with a new partner AISIN Asia Pte Ltd. And what a much-awaited return it was with 50 drivers entering the first event of the season held last 19th of March at the R33 Drift Track in Pampanga.

The objective of the series has always been to provide a safe and fun environment for all types of races, be it beginners or pros. There are also four (4) major classes – Street, Street Modified, Super Street, and Prepped – to properly classify the type of machinery they are driving. All possible combination of drivers and cars then result in the final classes run in AISIN Super Sprint.

What the AISIN Super Sprint series prides itself with is the efficiency and safety of its events. Queues are fast-paced allowing participants to get in as many runs as possible throughout the day. The 13-turn course made for first round is also technical enough to be challenging, but with enough safety measures put in place for beginners.

Of all the competitors that day, Richard Gallardo would set the Overall Best Time of the Day with a blistering 41.719 secs run. It would also earn him 1st place in the Prepped Drivers class. Arnold Javier, on the other hand, topped the time sheets amongst the Intermediate Class drivers with his 45.535 secs best. Carlos Miguel Briones was the quickest amongst the Amateur Drivers with his 49.873 secs run, while Rienn Cherstel Santos stopped the clock at 62.048 secs to win the Street Class.

The next AISIN Super Sprint series event will take place on June 18, followed by August 3, and November 19. Venues to be announced soon. Drivers are earn points at each event wherein the championship leader per class are awarded at the end of the season.

The 2023 AISIN Super Sprint Series is sponsored by AISIN Asia Pte Ltd., Toyota Manila Bay Corp., PartsPro, RunStop Ph, Aguila Autoglass, AutoPerformance Ph, Pegasus Autolamp, Fix Stop, Project Vector, Smart Fuels & Race, CleanShine Master, Walter Lights & Sounds, Fabrix Eco Filter Ph, Rider’s Aide, Brandaide Inc, and EdgeSport.

The AISIN brand is solely imported by Riken Motor Sales in the Philippines.

For more info and the latest updates, follow the Super Sprint page on Facebook.

[Photos courtesy of Late-Night Drive]

Axel Nocom bounces back from DQ to score podium in Rok Cup Singapore

3x local MiniROK champion Axel Nocom is going regional this year by contesting in the Rok Cup Singapore. But while the 2023 season got off to a rocky start (after he was stripped of his win), the 11-year-old quickly overcame adversity by delivering a podium finish last March 19/20 at the KF1 Karting Circuit.

It was only a month ago when Axel enjoyed what was supposed to be a dream MiniROK debut in Singapore. Dominant all weekend and winning the Finals, he was later disqualified after it was discovered that he was running an older-spec piston during scrutineering. The error was unintentional as the team was unaware of the rule changes and provided no performance gain. Though it was a tough pill to swallow, the team accepted the decision and switched their focus to the next event.

Running with 29R Racing Development (and a new legal piston fitted), he returned to the Lion City for Round 2 of the series and another shot at victory lane. It was also a great opportunity for Axel to catch up with his ERacing GP buddies such as brothers Yevan and Yevin David, Dillan Tan, Emiliano Cyrus, Keith Ryan, and Nicolas Stati who were with him on track that weekend. Axel has been racing with them in eSports since the start of the pandemic, but has never met them in person before.

The Mercedes Young Driver Development Philippines graduate was a consistent front runner in MiniROK during the practice sessions on Saturday. A near-perfect lap would allow then him to qualify on Pole Position on Sunday by a slim 0.026 secs margin. But with less than a second separating the Top 5 drivers, Axel knew that he had to keep his head down if he wanted that race win.

Some hub issues during the Heat and Pre-Finals prevented him from mounting a serious challenge to his rivals and only managed 3rd place. But the minor technical issues were resolved before the Finals and he could now go on full attack mode.

However, his woes didn’t end there. It rained right before the Finals, forcing the team to quickly switch to a wet weather setup and forcing Axel to compete with 0 wet weather racing experience on the KF1 Karting Circuit. But that didn’t deter the young Filipino karter from taking the lead early on. He would stay in P1 for 10 out of the 16 lap race, keeping 2 local champions at bay.

It would have been an easy win for Axel if it weren’t for some backmarkers who refused to let him go by. This lost him valuable time and more importantly track position as soon as his rivals caught up. Unable to regain the positions he had lost, Axel was forced to settle for 3rd place for a final spot on the podium.

Although it was not the results he would have wanted, Axel was still happy with the racing experience overall. Competing on an unfamiliar track, on difficult conditions, with different competitors is the type of challenge he truly loves. Meeting new friends and his sim racing buddies was definitely a big plus.

Axel Nocom is supported by Motul Infiniteserv International, Alaska Milk Corporation, and Recaro Philippines. For more info and the latest updates, follow the Axel Motorsports page on Facebook.

[Photos courtesy of Rok Cup Singapore]

DRQ Motorsports tap Japanese karting coach and engineer to boost 2023 title bid

With 5 championship titles under its belt, DRQ Motorsports has been a mainstay in the Philippine karting community’s winner’s circle over the last few years. But facing stiff competition in 2023, they’ve decided to reach out to a pair of motorsport legends to help them stay ahead. Joining their paddock this season are Takeharu Nakamori and Takehiko Kuchikata from Japan.

Nakamori-san is a renowned karter with over 25 years of experience. He has a fine collection of silverware from all his race wins and championships that are too many to mention. From the IAME Series, ROK Cup, and Rotax Max Challenge be it in his home country of Japan, Asia, Europe, USA, or World Finals, he has won them all be it in one category or another. With his distinct blonde-dyed hair, he was even a regular in the local paddock with a brief stint competing in the Philippines back in ’16 and ’17.

He has taken on the role to coach DRQ Motorsports and its roster of karters in 2023. His knowledge will prove vital to improve the team’s race craft this season.

Kuchikata-san, on the other hand, is another kart legend in his own right. Though also a karter himself, he’s better known for his skillset as a kart engineer (or as he humbly calls himself a ‘kart mechanic’). His expertise in kart setup has made champions across the globe, making him a vital commodity to top teams. Kuchikata-san has over 20 years experience as a ‘kart mechanic’ and was even recognized for his contributions to the Philippine motorsports community during the 2019 Golden Wheel Awards in 2019.

Together, Nakamori-san and Kuchikata-san hope to make champions out of the DRQ Motorsports’ roster of karters. All eyes are also on the team’s Junior Class karter Arion Crosby who are working very closely with the two.

“After a few coaching sessions, I felt that Arion has improved a lot and will be faster from now on. But I think he still needs experience especially in overseas races. I saw his talent and my goal for him is to be Philippine champion,” shared Takeharu Nakamori about Arion.

“My impression is that DRQ Motorsports will be a strong team this year. I hope to use all my experience to help them get good results during the races and make DRQ Motorsports a professional team,” he added.

13-year-old Arion Crosby first got into karting way back in ’16 when his family was still based in America, but stepped away from the sport up until they moved back to the Philippines over a year ago. That’s when he linked up with DRQ Motorsports and entered the season finale of the Rotax Max Challenge held at the Carmona Race Track where he scored a 2nd place finish in the Finals.

He will racing alongside teammate Paco Samson in the Junior Category of both the Rotax Max Challenge and Rok GP Cup in the Philippines. Other karters in DRQ Motorsports’ stable in 2023 are Miguel Abaño, lady karters Alex Santos and Shaniah Quiñones, and ’22 Golden Wheel Awards Driver of the Year Miguel Quiñones.

[Photos by Bong Boado and RacersPh]

SPOTV NOW will let you watch MotoGP for FREE* on livestream

Sports entertainment platform SPOTV NOW is kicking off the 2023 MotoGP season with a special treat. Offering a two week free trial, viewers in Southeast Asia can now watch the opening two races on their streaming app.

Users just have to sign up on the SPOTV NOW app anytime between the 22nd of March and 4th of April 2023 to enjoy the free livestreaming service. This is enough to for the Portugese GP season opener happening on the 26th of March followed by the Argentinian GP on the 2nd of April. As an added bonus, the free trial period also covers the Sao Paulo ePrix in case you’re also into Formula E. 2023 will be the biggest season in MotoGP World Championship history with 21 races held in 18 different countries. Not to mention the addition of the Sprint Races at every GP. This also marks the 75th edition of the Motorcycle World Championship and its 1000th Grand Prix at Le Mans in May.

Aside from MotoGP’s race coverage, the SPOTV will also be on-the-ground in Portugal to bring additional content such as behind the scenes and daily highlight clips, Facebook onsite Live sessions at the paddock and fan zones, and exclusive rider interviews.

SPOTV NOW is available in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore on Google Play Store and App Store. Meanwhile, SPOTV channels are also available in the Philippines on Cignal TV and Skycable.

*Free trial will commence for two weeks from date of sign up (e.g. sign up is on 4 April, free trial will be from 4 – 17 April. )

Motul x Ceramic Pro Bambino Kart Class give 5-year-olds an early entry into motorsports

With the goal of giving young aspirants an early entry into motorsports, the Motul x Ceramic Pro Bambino Kart Class is breaking new ground this year as it offers karters as young as 5 years old the chance to go racing. It’s designed to be safe, cost-effective, and fun, while allowing driver talent to shine.

Before this series came along, kids need to be at least 7 years of age to be able to get in any sort of karting program. Such is the case with Petron Motorsports Karting Academy, while the minimum age required to race is even higher at 8 in MiniROK. That’s the gap the Motul x Ceramic Pro Bambino Kart Class is trying to bridge with its newly-launched category for 2023. Because here, competitors can be as young as 4 (as long as they’re turning 5 within the calendar year) up to 7 years old to enter, for as long as they meet the minimum height requirement of 4 feet (122 cm).

The series utilizes ‘Bambino-sized’ Micro karts from OTK, fitted with identical 2HP Comer C50 engines. To keep costs low, competitors need not to buy their own equipment and only need to pay a minimal P4,500 fee to practice. Made possible by Axel Motorsports, that covers the kart and engine rental for a day with free coaching courtesy of former WSK international tuner Richard Peek.

Note that track fee is to paid separately direct to the track.

Those who want their kids to compete in the Motul x Ceramic Pro Bambino Kart Class can then sign up for their first race this 26th of March (Sunday) at the Carmona Race Track (CRT). The 2-day weekend costs P15,000 and pays for the 1-day practice, race entry fee, kart and engine rental, fuel, and tires.

What’s good about the Bambino Class is that, unlike other higher categories in karting, it relies less on kart setup and more on driver skill. This makes it the perfect entry level training ground for very young drivers who have very little to no racing experience, allowing them to grasp the basic driving concepts needed in racing. And while motorsports is very competitive in nature, the Motul x Ceramic Pro Bambino Kart Class stresses that its goal is make the sport fun.

Sharing the same race weekend as the Petron Blaze 100 Super Karting Series, the very first event will kick off on the 25th/26th of March at the Carmona Race Track (CRT) with succeeding races yet to be announced. As with other categories, drivers earn points based on finishing order with an overall champion awarded at the end of the year.

Organized by Axel Motorsports, the Motul x Ceramic Pro Bambino Kart Class is supported by Motul Infiniteserv International, Ceramic Pro, and Alpinestars.

For more info on how to join, please contact the Axel Motorsports page on Facebook.

Aboitiz opens the ‘Satellite’ at LIMA as the future of the hybrid work office

Through lessons learned from the hybrid work setup adopted during the pandemic, the Aboitiz Group is literally thinking outside the box well beyond the walls of the traditional office space. Their solution is something they call the ‘spreadquarter’ model that decentralizes the traditional headquarter hub to more spread out locations (spread+quarter, get it?). And their newest facility called the ‘Satellite’ just opened recently to be enjoyed by all Aboitiz team members in the country.

Located at the LIMA Central Business District in Lipa-Malvar, Batangas, the Spread is accessible to various Aboitiz business units. It can hold over 100 team members at any given time, in a co-working space model.

“We felt team members needed more freedom to choose how they work and more options on where they could work,” said Aboitiz Group President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sabin Aboitiz.

“A central physical office space is becoming less required to do good work. Inevitably, our corporate center will be in the cloud; it will be everywhere. And this is in line with our pivot to put more of our systems in the cloud so they can be accessed remotely with ease,” he added.

LIMA is an 800-hectare mixed-use economic zone developed by Aboitiz InfraCapital. It’s widely recognized and awarded for leadership in industrial-anchored mixed-use development, as well as sustainable industrial development.

As part of the Aboitiz Group’s Great Transformation initiative, Aboitiz InfraCapital is committed to sustainable and smart developments. Aboitiz team members working out of the Satellite at LIMA experience this first-hand. LIMA features a fleet of pollution-free electric mini buses for its inter-estate shuttle service, alongside improved public spaces and greenscapes.

This is the second spreadquarter facility opened to Aboitiz team members. The UnionBank Innovation Campus in San Pedro, Laguna was the first launched in September 2022.

Another program supported by the Aboitiz Group’s ‘Great Transformation’ is Miguel Diaz’s entry in WRC2. The group believes that its values to put innovation at the forefront of its growth strategy, bolstered by motivated and curious team members, are closely mirrored by Miguel’s endeavors in rally racing, making him the perfect platform to promote the brand’s awareness on the rally stages.