June 21, 2024

Filipino racing phenom Iñigo Anton of Obengers Racing team handled the pressure during the final weekend of the 2021 Toyota Gazoo Racing Vios Cup like a veteran on his way to winning the Sporting Class championship at the Clark International Speedway.

Anton, who came into the final leg with a healthy 32-point lead over Jacob Ang of Eagle Cement, slowly saw his lead dwindle after having to avoid an accident which saw him drop from pole in his class to 19th place in race seven. 

Anton has recovered to second place but Ang had taken a chunk off his lead since double points were up for grabs in the final leg.

In race eight, Ang finished on the top step and Anton came in third, forcing the championship to be decided on the ninth and last race of the season.

The Baguio racer had to finish in front of Ang who started from pole position.Ang has bolted out of the gates well and led to the first series of corners until Anton found a way past Ang at the corkscrew bend. 

Anton’s teammate, Joaquin Garrido, crossed the finish line first, and luckily the former was able to keep a slight gap ahead of Jacob to secure him the overall championship trophy on his debut season in circuit racing. 

“I had to calm my nerves and completely focus and calculate every move I made. I had to keep my pace and at the same time be conservative in my decisions and at the end, I could say that God guided me all the way to the finish line and we won it. I have the best team with me, Obengers racing, and it was a collective effort,” Anton said.

Ang finished second in the championship round while another Obenger’s racer, Julian Tang, clinched third overall.

The multiple national racing champion was favored to win the championship early on but he said it was not an easy ride. He won four of the nine races and finished on the podium in every race which was key to securing the title. 

Another winning Baguio boy car racer, Gerard Loy, was also favored to win in the championship for the Vios Cup Super Sporting Class.

Loy, who was leading in points, came into the final leg of the season ahead of Estefano Rivera. However, mechanical failures eventually robbed him off vital points for the double-points round. 

“I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to drive alongside good drivers this season. We had a good run even if we had major car troubles. We lost points for the last leg, thereby losing the championship, but we can still say we did our best. I hope we get to be able to run again next year. Thank you to Toyota Dagupan/La Union and the whole team,” Loy said. – Harley F. Palangchao