MIKE POTENCIANO - Amazing Filipinos
MIKE POTENCIANO

When we see Filipinos compete abroad, we feel a heightened sense of nationalism and pride. We forget all our political differences and financial problems, and we become united for our country. This doesn’t apply only to the major sports but even to our beloved motor sports!

Here are the latest Pinoy achievers in motor sports. May you all continue to make us proud and congratulations to you all!

Vincent Floirendo, winner of the Audi R8 LMS Cup

The long time international campaigner and banana magnate Vincent Floirendo made good in his return to the Audi R8 LMS Cup and won the inaugural Challenger Trophy in Zhuhai, China, just last weekend.

The Challenger Trophy class is where privateer drivers who are new to GT3 racing compete in the latest generation Audi R8 LMS GT3 car, which has about 500 hp engine mated to a six-speed, sequential transmission in rear-wheel drive form. They also qualify for points in the premiere Audi R8 LMS Cup championship.

It was a very lucky weekend for Floirendo as he won both the Challenger Trophy rounds three and four, and placed third overall in the Premier class in both races. The last round was a very wet race and he qualified in seventh place. He knew he had to stay cool since he had not raced in the wet for a long time and this proved to be the right strategy. He saw others spinning and going off the track, and that allowed him to rise to second place before being overtaken by the 2018 champion Andrew Haryanto.

He now has a commanding lead in the Challenger Trophy race since the series’ organizers launched it during the Zhuhai weekend. Floirendo is also gaining on the veterans with his strong podium finishes and will be a threat in the future. We will follow the progress of Enteng, as he is fondly called by his friends.

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William Go, winner of AKOC round one

The new sensation in karting is William Go from Cebu. The first time we wrote about Go was when he was only 10 years old and the only Filipino that went to the podium during the first round of the IAME Series Asia held at Clark on April 5. He won the Cadet Class in a hard fought race and just zoomed from there.

In his 11th birthday, Go won the ROK Cup Round 2 in Singapore on April 15 and then the Asian Karting Open Championship (AKOC) round one in China two weeks after. These wins were not easy and he is truly turning out to be the future of Philippine karting.

Go is well supported by his parents Wendell and Virna Go. We met them in Cebu last year and they are truly a great couple who love motor sports. They are well guided by one of my mentors in karting, multiple race champion Jody Coseteng, and he has brought them to international kart races that gave Go the exposure and skills to level up the young karter.

We hope their dreams come true to have Go in Formula One in the future!

Daniel Miranda, winner TCR Asia

We reported the great debut of 2017 Toyota Vios Cup Champion Daniel Miranda in the TCR Asia where he won the Asian Drivers Class and emerged second overall in the first round in Sepang, Malaysia, on April 6. The young Cebuano impressed much in that race that made Hyundai include him in their young driver development program.

When TCR Asia went to Zhuhai, China, for the second round, the Euroasia Motorsport Team driver had a good qualifying in fifth but blew his clutch in the first race. In the second race, Daniel took it easier on the start and fought all the way up to third overall and first again in the Asian Drivers class.

This proved that his first win was not a fluke and he is now in a good position to win the Asian Drivers championship. He is also up to fifth place in the overall championship and would have been up there if it weren’t for the DNF (did not finish) he got in the third round.

These are just some of the Filipinos currently waving our flag in the podiums of international racing. Let’s pray they continue to win and let us give our support by wishing them well. Mabuhay ang Filipino racers!

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