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Mercedes Young Driver Development Team led by Axel and Andretti wins in 2022 Rotax Max Challenge

Mercedes Driver Development Team headed by Mike Nocom and technically managed by International tuner Richard Peek fielded around 15 kid racers in the recent 2022 Rotax Max Challenge Philippines Series held at Carmona RaceTrack (CRT) in Cavite last April 10, 2022. This event is to kick-off the resurging Go-Kart Racing in the country which despite the advent of the pandemic has remained to be an exciting form of motorsport the youth has been watching out for. The Karting race for this year is bracketed into several categories that includes Formula Cadet Novice, Formula Cadet Expert, MiniROK, Rotax Max Junior, Rotax Max Senior, Rotax Max Master and there are other classes also under the Petron Motorsports Karting Academy (PMKA), which is featured in a separate article.

In the competition itself, reigning MiniROK karting and eSports Champion racer Axel Nocom and last-year Cadet Class runner-up Andretti Santos took turns in leading the race where the younger Andretti took pole position during the Time Trial in the mixed-grid of Clubrace Cadet, Cadet Novice, and Cadet Expert where both Axel and Andretti plays. In the Finals, after a fierce exchange of overtakes and maneuvers, Andretti Santos took 1st place finish ahead of his teammate Axel Nocom who settled for 2nd place. Andretti's older sister Akhina Santos (2021 Cadet Overall Champion) is supposed to race under the MiniRok class but due to lack of racer to compete with, the category was scrapped on raceday.

Mercedes Young Driver Development Team is the country's biggest karting team that focuses on kids being trained to race even at a young age of 7 years old. They have produced champion karters like 2020/2021 MiniROK Champion Axel Nocom and Overall Cadet class Champion Akhina Santos last year. This year 2022, with more racers under their tutelage, they are expected to dominate the series again.

Mercedes Young Driver Development Team and racers (Andretti and Akhina Santos) are supported by the following outfit:

AS Racing, Andretti Motorsport, Akhina Racing, Alesi Autosport, FCRC Fil-CHi Racing Community, Warehouse Kulit Kids, Markaz Builder, Inc., CK Home Builders, Dunkin Donut, Graphix Freak, DG Budget Hotel, RacersPh, Motul, JDC Formula Dream, Catmon Cooperative, DLD Autoparts Tacloban, Coolwater Resort and Spa Clark, FlameBridge Printing, Kart Plaza, Petron Motorsport Academy, Time Attack Manila, GrassCon Enterprise, Princess Sweets, Chef Enet Kitchen, 2 Wheels Nation, Miles Trading and Construction, Cars Unlimited Auto Sales, Fairview Auto Exchange, MJY Supreme Cars, Mark Young Racing, MRiguera Property Devt, and JM AutoSound

Here are the photos of the race under the Formula Cadet Expert:

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