Mangulabnan clinches Driver of Year Award
Superbikes champion Marvin Mangulabnan beat four other contenders in a very tight vote and clinched the Driver of the Year award during the 14th Golden Wheel Awards Night on Saturday at Samsung Hall of SM Aura in Bonifacio Global City.
Top motor racing officials and members of the media, voting as the panel of judges, held an unprecedented second balloting to finally pick the winner from among Mangulabnan and four other season champions—Jonathan Tiu of drag racing, Jerry Choi of karting, Milo Rivera of slalom and Edwin Rodriguez of grand touring.
In the end, the panel gave weight to Mangulabnan’s inspiring perseverance in the face of a career-threatening injury and mechanical problems. In ruling his sport after three years of futility, he became the second successive Superbikes rider, after last year’s winner Raniel Resuello, to bag Golden Wheel’s top award.
Mangulabnan and all the other season champions received their awards during the gala night from Golden Wheel Foundation Inc. chair Johnny Tan, Hall of Fame awardee Dennis Acdol and former rally champion Armando “Mandy” Eduque of the Automobile Association Philippines (AAP).
Achievement awards went to Rivera, Carlos Anton, Mario Borbon Jr., and Eane Jaye Sobretodo, who also received the Maico Buncio Foundation Award. John Dizon, Jarred Kim and Khazart Romoff were the recipients of the Boy Ochoa Award.
The other major awardees were season winners John Emerson Inguito (scooters), Masato Fernando (underbone), Cesar Daquil (4×4 offroad), Glenn Aguilar (motocross), John Dizon (junior karting) and Dexter Daquigan (classic cars).