WINNERS. Kartzone Cebu Racing Team poses with their trophies after their successful stint at the Petron Blaze 100 ROK Cup in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan held on April 27-28, 2024. Upper row, from left: Team manager Tonyo Carcel, Gian Pimentel, Trooper Ngo, Ashton Binghay, Aeden Binghay, Jiggy Javier and coach William Go. Bottom row, from left: Jayden Javier and Percy Yongco. Not in the photo are Izak Zambo and coach Jess Garcia. /
WINNERS. Kartzone Cebu Racing Team poses with their trophies after their successful stint at the Petron Blaze 100 ROK Cup in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan held on April 27-28, 2024. Upper row, from left: Team manager Tonyo Carcel, Gian Pimentel, Trooper Ngo, Ashton Binghay, Aeden Binghay, Jiggy Javier and coach William Go. Bottom row, from left: Jayden Javier and Percy Yongco. Not in the photo are Izak Zambo and coach Jess Garcia. / LQ3

Kartzone Cebu rules Palawan ROK Cup

KARTZONE Cebu Racing Team had a successful stint at the recently concluded 2024 Petron Blaze 100 ROK Cup in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. The races were held at the Palawan International Circuit on April 27-28, 2024.

The team’s lineup consisted of Ashton Binghay, Jiggy Javier, Trooper Ngo, Gian Pimentel, Aeden Binghay, Jayden Javier, Percy Yongco and Izak Zambo. The delegation was led by team manager Tonyo Carcel, and coaches William Go and Jess Garcia.

Senior / Overall category

Ashton Binghay, 14, won the T4 Intermediate Senior Category (nine laps), winning first place with a time of 10:10.476. He logged an average speed of 68.995 kilometers per hour. Ashton attributes his success on the track to his coaches’ guidance.

“It was because of my coaches and teammates that I was able to get first place,” said Ashton. Coming in second was teammate Jiggy Javier, 14, clocking in at 10:10.603. Both drivers also claimed first and second place, respectively for the Overall Category.

Ngo, 14, rounded up the list of winners from their team in the said category, placing sixth with a time of 10:40.269. Ngo figured in an accident during a race when he overtook a competing driver whose kart eventually rode Ngo’s kart, placing approximately 150 kilos of weight on his back, Carcel emphasized. Ngo was rushed to the hospital but was ableto return.

“I saw how much [the team] believed in me. I didn’t want to let them down,” said Ngo. He detailed how he didn’t have his best performance in previous races and was determined to be better. “I thought if I could just fight through it and carry on, I thought I could win.”

Junior, Novice category

Pimentel, 14, placed first in the T4 Intermediate Junior Category (nine laps) with a total time of 10:24.560. “It felt really great,” said Pimentel about the big win, recalling that the race was close. “I just thought of defending against my opponent until the last lap,” said Pimentel.

Joining Pimentel for sixth place was Aeden Binghay, 11, with a time of 10:46.990. Aeden was the youngest in his class.

Jayden Javier, 10, was victorious in the T4 Cadet Novice Category (nine laps), finishing first with a total time of 10:38.721. Jayden has been with the team for less than a year and has already participated in seven races, three of which were national events. The recent race in Palawan was his debut first-place finish in national events. “It felt good. The hard work paid off.”

Yongco, 10, followed in fourth place (10:51.901) and Zambo took seventh (10:57.692). Zambo, who is eight years old, is currently the youngest driver on the team.

Academy, future races

Kartzone Cebu Racing Team currently has a roster of 10 drivers and is open to accepting more applications. According to Carcel, the young racers practice almost every weekend, making time for both their passion for the track and academic pursuits.

“Some of them even come after school to practice,” said Go, one of the country’s accomplished racers who is one of only two Asians who are part of the Ferrari Driving Academy Scouting World Finals. “We try to make them see that it’s not about winning races. It’s about improving every race and that, by the end of the year, they can win. It’s more of a process rather than winning every single time,” Go reiterated.

The group is planning to hold its Academy by the end of May, with plans to join races outside Cebu, more specifically in Carmona (June and October), Clark (July and August), Spain (September) and Macau (December).

“With constant guidance, reminders and coaching, I’m sure these kids will do better than what they are doing now,” said Carcel. “It’s all about being patient and disciplined, preparing yourself to win the race by the last lap.”

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