Future looks bright for Toyota Marilao-Obengers driver Dizon

Dizon (third from left)with team principal Cosco Oben and Toyota Marilao vice chair Gil Angeles, coach Roland Hermoso and teammates

Dizon (third from left)with team principal Cosco Oben and Toyota Marilao vice chair Gil Angeles, coach Roland Hermoso and teammates

Sixteen-year-old John Dizon has just been crowned this year’s Toyota Vios Cup Season 5 Sporting Class champion.

While this feat seemed so easy for the champion karter, he admits to have struggled with adjusting to touring cars throughout the three races.

“It’s not that easy for me because karts, unlike cars, have no suspension so there is a big difference in driving style. I first had to adjust my braking and turning technique,” relates Dizon, the 2017 Golden Wheel Awards Karter of the Year who drove for Toyota Marilao-Obengers.

In third place after the qualifying session of the final leg at the Clark International Speedway, Dizon pulled two dominant back-to-back victories in the race proper, allowing the Vios Cup first-timer to shoot up the driver’s standings and secure the championship by 5.5 points.

Unlike most multi-awarded Filipino racers, Dizon has no racing pedigree, and his first memory of being on a wheeled ride was when he was a toddler behind the wheel of a one-seater kiddie car her mother won in a raffle draw.

“I honed my skills not on actual roads but on video games. Since I was around 7 years old to 9 years old, I considered myself an expert at playing all the racing machines at Timezone (an international chain of family amusement arcade centers located in malls). I always competed with players older than me,” says Dizon.

When he decided to join the Vios Cup, he was taken under the wing of team coach Roland Hermoso, Edgen Dy-Liacco, and Steve Bicknell who owns the race car that he rode to championship.

“They are the ones who helped me to understand everything about driving the Vios, and what I have to do inside the track. Coach Roland is the one who taught me proper shifting and driving.”

Team Obengers principal Don Juan Miguel Cosco Oben says Dizon made a good account of himself despite being a newbie and the youngest in the team, delivering their first win in the said category.

“For five years now, the Obengers has kept its streak of winning overall podium finishes every year. Thanks to John, we finally bagged the Sporting Class.”

Oben credited the dedication and hardwork of Hermoso, Marc Soong, Paolo Agregado, Raymond Ronquillo, Elysse Menorca and the crew for a consistent performance, while acknowledging the support of sponsors People’s General Insurance, TMS Ship Agences, Inc., Stronghold Insurance, Speed Metal, COTS Freight, Cosco Phils. Shipping, Inc., Wallem Shipping, European Advance Technik Corp., Ads Detailing, Toyota Financial Services, East West Banking Corp., Fedchem Marketing, Standard Insurance, RL Automotive, Power Stroke, Commonwealth Insurance, Malayan Insurance Co. Inc., Centro Manufacturing, Corp., BDO and Autodeal.

Also winning for Team Obengers were Super Sporting Class drivers Keith Haw and Estefano Rivera (who claimed, third and fourth place overall, respectively) and Estefano Rivera.

Dizon, who is set to compete at the Asian Karting Open Championship in Macao on Dec. 9-10, can only look forward to next year’s edition of the Vios Cup.

Indeed, the future is bright for this rare racing genius. Remember, karting is the ultimate springboard for any future Formula One.

Some of the most famous and successful Formula One drivers in the world started out in karting. And Dizon, hopefully, is fast following their steps.

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