A 16-year-old Filipina kart racer is out to make more heads turn in the international circuit.
Bianca Bustamante, who’s been racing since she was five, will soon leave for France to join the FIA Girls on Track Rising Stars at the famous Circuit Paul Ricard track near Marseille.
She will be the only Asian among 14 female drivers in the senior category. It covers a three-day shootout on Oct. 21 to 23. The top eight junior and senior finishers will advance into separate training camps for karting and F4.
Then the top four in each group will get to attend the prestigious Ferrari Driver Academy. At stake in that camp is a slot in the International Karting season with full support from Ferrari.
“It’s a dream come true. I’ve worked really hard for this,” Bustamante told Tuesday’s online Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum.
Bustamante, who took up the sport because her father was into it, said she’s been preparing herself mentally and physically after being awarded the slot. As long as quarantine protocols allow, she trains at the Clark International Circuit.
“It’s a bit difficult (pandemic) but I’ve been preparing really hard. I’ve been training all my life,” said the young karter who dreams of being an F1 racer someday.
She is the reigning Philippine Driver of the Year in karting.
Joining Bustamante in the forum presented by San Miguel Corporation (SMC), MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is her Hong Kong-based manager, Daryl O’Young of Craft Bamboo Racing (CBR).
“Bianca has been preparing for this moment. This is a short program that’s why she has to prove herself quickly,” said Young, who’s been looking after Bustamante’s racing career as well as boosting her overall image.
“She’ll be a great ambassador for the sport. She’s humble and outgoing and has a lot of potential,” said O’Young, a champion kart racer himself, of Bustamante, a four-time winner in the China Grand Prix and three-time champion in the Macau GP.