Luis Gono makes local motorsports history anew by clinching the recently concluded GITI-Formula V1 Challenge. Representing Motul-Cleanfuel Racing Team, the 19-year old Gono traded paint with seasoned veterans with the likes of Tyson Sy of Team PartsPro. Gono garnered enough points to win the championship.
Majority of the drivers competing in the Formula V1 Challenge were either champions or competitors from other motor sports disciplines. The Formula V1 Challenge is a collaborative effort between the Tuason Racing School and West Racing Cars of Japan using the single-seater, lightweight VITA-01 open cockpit race cars. The race car is secured by a tubular steel frame chassis covered by a composite exterior shell.
According to event organizer JP Tuason, the series aims to provide the next step for racers who wants to compete in the global arena. “ Plans are in the pipeline to take the series in other Asean [Association of Southeast Asian] countries in the next couple of years,” stated Tuason.
FIA Drift competition
After a sterling performance and winning the top plum in the Formula V1 Challenge, Gono competed at the by-invitation only FIA Intercontinental Drifting Cup (IDC) held in Tokyo, Japan.
This annual motor sports event draws the best drift racers from around the globe as they gun for glory and square off to see who is the world’s No. 1 drfit racer. Held early this month, Gono competed with 30 other drivers from 17 different countries. Gono made history anew as the first Filipino driver to be invited to and represent the country’s colors.
Gono competed at the IDC driving the 500-bhp Motul Nissan 240SX, equipped with a Garrett GTX3076R turbo. The car was tuned in-house by Autoplus tuner Francisco “Pacho” Blanco.
“The feeling is both surreal and exciting because competing in an international drifting event has always been my dream even at an early age. I am happy that my uncles Raymond Go, David Feliciano, Atoy Llave and Jun Go were with me during the competition. Even my mom and my sister were there to lend support which was very inspiring and it really meant a lot to me,” stated the young hotshoe.
His stint at the IDC is a message to the international racing community that the Filipino can and has the talent to compete with the best of the best.
This rising star has achieved a lot at a very young age. Gono was the first Toyota Vios Cup Champion in 2014, a champion again in 2016 at the Judgement Day drift series and finished a strong fourth overall at the King of Nations Philippine leg early this year. His participation at the IDC added another feather in his cap.