Baguio pride survived a late charge by Jacob Ang during the final weekend of the 2021 Toyota Gazoo Racing Vios Cup and win the Sporting Class championship only on the very last race over the weekend.
Holding a 32 point lead over Ang going to the very last weekend, the scion of restaurateurs here handled the pressure well as he saw his lead evaporate in the heat of the Eagle Cement top man’s late charge.
From pole in the seventh race, the Team Obenger lead man dropped to 19th place but recovered to secure second place although his rival ate much of his lead. Ang repeated in the 8th race as Anton could only manage to place third setting up a winner take all finale.
In the ninth race, Ang started at pole and Anton at third and immediately zoomed ahead but the son of racing icon Carlos found a way to get past his rival at the corkscrew bend.
The last race was won by Anton’s teammate, Joaquin Garrido, and him securing the second post that was enough to beat Ang, who landed third, for the over-all title.
“I had to calm my nerves and completely focus and calculate every move I made. Jacob had a very fast pace and I knew that he had was it takes to battle it out with me for the championship. I couldn’t really be aggressive in my driving because I didn’t want to risk the championship. 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 2nd in the championship, while another Obenger’s racer, Julian Tang, clinched 3rd overall.
Anton, a multiple national racing champion, was favored to win the championship early on but he said it was not an easy ride. Anton won four of the nine races and finished on the podium in every race which was key to securing the title.
“It is so hard when everybody expects you to win a championship but my dad always told me to just focus on my race and not be pressured about the championship. He told me to bring my A game every race and to believe in myself. At the end, all his guidance is what kept me grounded and prepared for this championship. I dedicate my win to my dad, our awesome team and all our family and friends who never cease to show their support to me,” Anton said.
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 but 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, “ said Loy, known as one of the city’s finest shooters.