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Friday, June 21, 2024

Plotting the future champion’s career

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IT’S regular to see doting fathers fully supporting their children into sports —especially in motorsports—to keep them away from vices in their early teens. Although the expenses are really high, the sons or daughters of rich parents enjoy the luxury of driving, racing and competing in a controlled environment or at the racing track.

Such is the case of the father-and-son team of Carlos and Inigo Anton, both champion drivers in the local car racing scene whose formidable tandem has resulted in successful pursuit of their dreams and passion in car racing.

Carlos, the father, is a veteran racer who had already tasted success in his career and is now carefully and meticulously planning the own career of his son Inigo.

“Inigo had already shown his capabilities at his young age. Racing is my passion and I’ve seen a lot of potential in him. Inigo has got something special in him whenever he competes in the racetrack that just leave me in awe,” Carlos said at the sideline of the media conference for his Inigo late this week at the Manila Yacht Club before they leave for Malaysia where his son his competing for the first time in the last stages of the F4 South East Asia Series Championship at the Sepang International Circuit. Inigo will be racing under the BlackArts Racing of former F1 racer Alex Yoong.

Inigo is the “hot thing” these days in the local racing circuit, having won the 2022 Driver of the Year in circuit racing by the Automobile Association of the Philippines after his impressive victory in the 2022 Philippine Grand Touring Championships. His long list of winnings inside the track, and even in the virtual racing world (he was the first Filipino to compete in the Olympic Esports Week for Motorsports in Singappore), is impeccable to say the least.

The 19-year-old Inigo, who started racing at the young age of 8, was allowed by his school, University of Baguio, on a correspondence basis in order for him to compete. “I’ve seen new challenges in all my 12 years in racing which is mentally-exhausting and nerve-wracking team sport, not an individual one as many have thought. But I kept my focus and exposure, thanks to the all the support from my parents and sponsors,” said the Baguio-based Inigo, who always dropped by the Our Lady of Manaoag in Pangasinan along the way to his competition in Manila or nearby racing circuit.

Although inexperienced in handling a single-seater car, Carlos, and even his coach Alex Yoong, believes Inigo can easily transition into an F4 driver. “Inigo is one of the most talented drivers I’ve worked with. From gymkhana to representing the Philippines in e-sports to winning in real life circuit racing, I’m super excited to see if he can now succeed with single seaters in the futire. For now, it’s a big step with practically no testing except in the simulator so it will be a huge learning curve for him. We will go easy and focus on getting the experience this round and build for the future,” Yoong said.

For her part, Inigo’s mother and manager, Karen, said their family is really very proud of Inigo’s achievement. Inigo has been dreaming about driving formula cars since he was 6 years old and it’s finally happening. More than his accomplishments, we are very proud of his determination and unwavering spirit to reach his goals,” she said.

For Carlos, the father, said that they are not expecting an instant success. “This is his first time to drive in a single-seater car. That competition in Malaysia will serve as our guide towards our planning for the future of Inigo for next year and in the future.


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