Back-to-Back Runner-Up Finishes for Rookie Rafa Manuel Caceres in Philippines Karting Series Race


Fresh from his unexpected top three podium win in Palawan International Circuit, the rookie racer called "Speedy Toughie" Rafa Manuel Caceres of the Senior Class category surprised again spectators when he patiently stayed on the 5-man lead pack to keep within striking distance from the frontrunning veterans composed of International Racer Miguel Quiñones and pace-setter Gabriel Carag. Call it a strategy or pure luck, the rookie Rafa is now considered a "wild card" entry in the run-up to the 2022 Senior Karter of the Year Award having bagged a consecutive two 1st runner-up places in the National Rotax and ROK GP Karting Series.





Rafa who has benefited twice in several racing incidents (in Palawan and now in Clark, Pampanga) involving both arch-rival teammates Migs and Gab as they battle for the top podium finish is also expected by fans to finally land a strong 1st place podium in the next race to come to put more premium on his credibility and skills to challenge the Philippine Champions despite being a newbie.


In the time trial, Rafa managed to have the 4th fastest time among the Seniors, and in the qualifying session, he did the same thing finishing 4th for the final grid position.



In the finals, he coasted along with the leaders maintaining 4th place behind Miguel Quiñones, Gabriel Carag, and Jess Garcia, and in some laps, he seems to be falling behind the lead pack. A miscue of Jess Garcia near the foam barriers on the last remaining laps allowed Rafa to be in 3rd position. In the last lap, the battle for 1st resulted in a soft collision between the first two leading racers in the last turn; which again gave Rafa the needed push to overtake the defending champion to snatch 2nd place.



This back-to-back runner-up finish by Rafa mitigated the earlier DNF he suffered in the first round of the Rotax Max Challenge at Carmona Cavite, giving him a good chance to represent the Philippine team in International competitions such as in Portugal and Italy for the last quarter of the year.


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