MANILA, Philippines - Seaoil-DC-Kart Plaza karter Gabriel Tayao Cabrera held his ground against top caliber Indonesian rivals and finished fifth in the grand finals of the 2012 Asian Karting Open Championship at the Sentul International Circuit in West Java recently.
Cabrera, 12, bucked the odds to secure a podium finish, including mastering the track only two days before the race and competing against a tough grid composed of Indonesian champions.
“Some of the Indonesians were already racing in the European circuit in higher levels so it was an honor to compete against them. I’m happy with my performance,” said Cabrera, who drew solid support from a crack crew of veteran tuner Sonny Suba, Elson Carpio and Joesefilo Bariquit.
Cabrera’s skills and determination, however, impressed a lot of rivals and fans alike, particularly when his carburetor broke down in the last three laps and he went on to salvage fifth place.
“Gabe is a very good driver. It was very hard for me to overtake him,” said Indonesian Presley Martono, a multi-awarded international mini-ROK champion who is currently racing the European circuit in the upper KF3 class.
Cabrera’s Indonesia stint also primed himself up for a series of international races in 2013.