A promising 16-year-old Filipina is making waves in the international kart racing circuit.
Bianca Bustamante has become the brightest prospect of the Philippines in the karting scene after earning a spot in the International Automobile Federation (FIA) Girls on Track Rising Stars program in France.
Bustamante is set to be the only Asian in the senior category of the program, which allows 14 of kart racing's budding talents to showcase their skills in a three-day shootout runs from October 21 to 23.
"It's a dream come true. I've worked really hard for this," Bustamante, who has been exposed to the thrill of racing since she was five years old, said the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday.
Each of the top eight drivers in the junior and senior categories will be able to attend the two-day FIA training camps for karting and Formula 4 racing.
The top four finishers from each training camp will then get to train under the supervision of Ferrari. The training camp will run for a week in Fiorano, Italy, where the winner will receive a scholarship to the prestigious Ferrari Driving Academy.
With a lot at stake in the coming months, Bustamante would be the first to admit the difficulty of the situation. Still, she remains upbeat, owing to the fact that she has been putting in the work ever since she was young.
"It's a bit difficult," bared Bustamante, the recipient of the Philippines Driver of the Year award for three years (2018-2020) who has had a hard time preparing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"But I've been preparing really hard. I've been training all my life."
Ohmer Bautista is a sports journalist who has covered local and international sporting events in the Philippines. The views expressed are his own.
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