The Road to Suzuka for 2019 Formula V1 Champion Estefano Rivera

One of Formula V1’s main goals is to develop local drivers into Filipino Global Racing Champions and this season will see our champion Estefano Rivera of the Toyota Otis Obengers travel to Suzuka Circuit to challenge Japan’s best Formula V1 and Vita drivers!

While Rivera’s championship season is also his formula-racing debut, he had already claimed multiple titles to his name before moving to the highest tier of the Philippine motorsport ladder.

Starting in his early teens, Rivera showed great promise in karting and it peaked with a sweep of the major karting awards in 2012, he took AAP’s Karter of the Year, International Junior Karter of the Year, KF3 Champion, and the ROK Junior Champion crown.

Rivera moved up to the Vios Cup’s top Super Sporting class under Team Obengers and finished runner-up in 2016, and third in 2018. He also kept busy by making the National Slalom Championship his own with five titles to his name, often with his very own brother, Milo Rivera, as his fiercest competitor.

After moving up to Formula V1, Rivera never missed out on the podium all season, and impressively reeled off four straight race wins to chase down the championship.

ROUND 1 at Batangas Racing Circuit


A relatively slow start for the Obengers driver in Batangas as progressed up the podium spots over the weekend as the competitors on the grid sized each other up.
Race 1: 3rd
Race 2: 2nd
Race 3: 1st

ROUND 2 at Clark International Speedway


With Cleanfuel’s Ryo Yamada threatening to create a sizable points gap, Rivera defended against the Japanese driver’s tenacious efforts to win Race 5 and begin his streak. After exchanging the lead several times, Rivera showed how hungry he was for the title as he executed a gutsy pass once the rain started falling to clinch Race 6.
Race 4: 2nd
Race 5: 1st
Race 6: 1st

ROUND 3 at Clark International Speedway


With a single point separating him from the top in Round 3, Rivera produced a heart-stopping drive in the season highlight Race 8–which had Rivera and Yamada crossing the line side-by-side. That finish finally lifted him over his rival and assured a points win if he finished no less than second in Race 9. And the young driver did a professional job of taking the car home in the final race of the season!
Race 7: 1st
Race 8: 1st
Race 9: 2nd

Having proved himself against the best of the country and showing excellent skill in wheel-to-wheel racing, Rivera is definitely ready to level up once more and head to Suzuka this December 7!

The Giti-Formula V1 Challenge is presented by Phoenix Pulse Technology and Tuason Racing. Sponsored by Giti Tires Philippines, West Racing Cars, OMP, AEG Powertools, Phoenix Accelerate, Rota Wheels, Oakley, Eurasia, FamilyMart, and Don Papa Rhum.

Media partners: Autoindustriya, Autocar, Wheelsph, Jamesdeakin.com, C!Magazine, and ESPN 5

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