Resuello 2016 Golden Wheel Driver of Year
A RESURGENT run gave superbikes champion Raniel Resuello his first Golden Wheel Driver of the Year honor in one of the tightest races for the top individual plum in the 13th Golden Wheel Awards recently at Samsung Hall of SM Aura in Bonifacio Global City.
Resuello, riding a Ducati 1299 Panigale, dethroned two-time champion and fierce rival Dashi Watanabe to cop his second Pirelli Superbikes crown last year since winning his first in 2012.
That surprise feat allowed Resuello to slightly edge drag racing champion Martin Manalo, karting king Gabriel Tayao-Cabrera, Asian karting juniors winner Jacob Ang and Slalom champion and last year’s top driver Milo Rivera.
“I didn’t really expect this as all my fellow nominees did equally amazing feats,” said the 23-year-old Resuello.
The awards judging committee said it “strongly considered the impact” of Resuello’s achievement to the development of local racing.
Cabrera’s dominating performance earned him the Karter of the Year award, while Jacob also got recognition for emerging Asian Juniors champion.
Manalo captured the top drag racing citation for snapping the long title-winning streak of Jonathan Tiu, while Rivera made a strong case for another Golden Driver of the Year after winning his second straight Slalom crown.
Also feted with the Boy Ochoa Awards were karters Christopher Joaquin Garrido, Eduardo Coseteng Jr., Jacob Ang and Michael Jordan, while the Motorsports Achievement Awards went to drag racers John Ryzia and William “Bill” Hand.
Automobile Association Philippines chair Jose Armando “Mandy” Eduque got elevated into the Golden Wheel Hall of Fame, while AAP president Augusto “Gus” Lagman was the guest of honor.
Club awards were also given to the winners of local races, plaques of appreciation to sponsors and the media and journalism award to Jay Taruc and his show “Motorcycle Diaries.” Jasmine W. Payo
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