Darryl and Leon prove age is no barrier

Manila, September 2, 2012 : They belong to two extreme ends of the age scale, with 40 years between them. One is a promising cadet finding his feet in the world of karting; and the other, a veteran racer who has been there and done that in an illustrious karting career.

But Kartmaster Drakar Racing Team’s Darryl Wenas, 11, and Leon Khoo, 51, share a feat at Round 3 of the Asian Karting Open Championship (AKOC) on Sunday – they both earned a coveted place on the podium after yet another wet and wild race at the Carmona Racing Circuit in Metro Manila.

Let’s start with the young gun, Darryl. The Indonesian kid won the Cadet Mini-Rok category with a time of 15:32.834 and clocked 57.647 for his best lap. This was Darryl’s second podium finish in three rounds of AKOC action, after finishing second in July’s Round 1 in Macau.

And his victory is all thanks to? Black coffee.

“My performances were poor in the beginning,” said Darryl. “Everything went wrong for me until I had some black coffee. And Bingo! Everything started to click for me and I did much better in the Final.

“But I shouldn’t have put myself in that situation in the first place. One thing I learnt is I need to listen more to the technical crew and my mechanic to bring out the best in my performances.”

Khoo, who came in second in the Veterans race in Manila, did not need caffeine for his push up the podium in his first AKOC race of the season. The driver, who clocked a time of 20:42.158 behind winner Wong Kang Tong of Hong Kong, was hoping for rain.

“My pre-final drive was good, but the Final did not go too well,” said rain-master Khoo, who came in third in Round 2 of the Singapore Karting Championship at Marina Bay last month. “I believe I can perform better in the rain but not in semi-wet conditions.

While Darryl and Khoo enjoyed the sweet taste of success in Manila, their Kartmaster Drakar teammates in the junior category, Jon Lee, 13, finished 6th and Santos Bala, 15, were doing very well during the pre-final and final race until one of his tyre came off, placing him in 9th position. In the Senior category, Opai Naufal came in 10th.

The Kartmaster Drakar drivers, though, are hell-bent on making amends in Round 3 of the SKC later this month.

“Every race, we learn,” said Opai. “And after every race, we look to work harder and improve further for the next race.”

Maybe, like Darryl, a cup of black coffee will do the trick.

Photos of the race can be found here.

All photos by Jet Rabe. Copyright and property of Kartmaster Drakar Racing Team.