A SHORT HISTORY ON FILIPINO MOTORSPORTS
Today, Motorsport has not just become the best car down to its parts; it has also become a competition with colorful characters.
Motorsports are among the most-watched sport, with races happening worldwide, with some of the best drivers competing.
Though it is not quite as popular here in the Philippines, There are still many racing events in the country. Nonetheless, let us take a closer look and see our rich Filipino Motorsports history.
Early Days (the 1950s-1970s)
The high ambitions of Talented Filipino drivers paved the way for establishing motorsports as part of the Philippine map. Notable drivers include Arsenio Laurel and Francis Ventura. Ventura is known as the father of Filipino motorsport and the founder of Cam Wreckers, a group of car enthusiasts who joins competitive races in their time. A skilled driver, he won a good number of local and international races.
Laurel, aside from being the son of former President Jose P. Laurel, is a professional kart and drag racer. His most outstanding racing achievements were at the Macau Grand Prix, which he won using his classic Lotus 22.
These drivers helped jumpstart interest in Filipino Motorsports.
These years are a tough time for Filipino motorsports, but there are worth celebrating as well. Arthur Tuason, Boy Eusebio, and Kiko de La Rama raced against the popular Toyota Celicas in circuit racing and a few rally events.
Angelo Barretto and Jovy Marcelo are some of the notable drivers during the 90s too. Barretto was known for his excellent touring car performances in Europe, while Marcelo was one of the most successful young drivers in the country.
Early 2000s marked the golden years of motorsports in the Philippines with racers having a complete career ladder up to Formula 3.
The rebirth of grassroots motorsports program also took place with Tuason Racing’s efforts, such as Toyota Vios Cup.
We also witnessed the emergence of many young drivers and an increasing number of motorsport events. Female drivers like Gaby Dela Merced and Michelle Bumgarner did not just break the norm in racing; they also achieved racing accolades here and abroad.
The touring car scene was also buzzing with Paolo Lofamia and Enzo Pastor.
And a popular name we are all familiar with is Marlon Stockinger. He was an Asian Karting Champion and continues to race in both formula and touring events.
Despite many setbacks, Filipino racing can still find ways to shine and grow, paving the way for the next generation of racers and more motorsports events in the coming years.