Patience, hard work pay off for Miranda

posted March 26, 2013 at 12:01 am
by  Ramon D. Boado
Daniel Miranda is cheered by supporters as he crosses the finish line of the 2013 Coca-Cola Karting Super Series at the Carmona Racetrack. Inset shows the champion karter with his parents Angelique and Martin. RAMON BOADO
TEEN karter Daniel Miranda has been used to attracting fans and supporters with his good looks. But on that memorable Sunday afternoon, he grabbed everyones attention using his God-given racing talent. After three years of toiling in the shadows of his more illustrious rivals, hours of practice and tons of hard work, 15-year-old Daniel of the Cebuana Lhuillier Racing Team notched his first-ever triumph as a senior karter in the centerpiece event of the 2013 Coca-Cola Karting Super Series at the Carmona Racetrack. It was sweet victory indeed for this looker of a teener, who if he continues his new-found winning spunk, can go tread the path of fellow racers ahead of him who mixed their talent with their good looks to sell a thousand goods as a marketing iconfrom gasoline, to fast cars and broadband service networks. But Daniel downplayed his recent success. I was just lucky, said kartingdoms newest toast in an exclusive interview with the Manila Standard. Lucky, or course, maybe an understatement, especially for a karter, who won the qualifying heat, the pre-final and the final races of the karting series in a dominant sweep that quickly installed Mirandas name alongside the circuits top guns. Indeed, Daniel is now one of the series top contenders, giving the likes of VJ Suba and brothers Milo and Estefano Rivera a run for their money. After all, he also nearly won the previous leg when he overtook reigning Karter of the Year Suba going into the final lap, only to yield the pole due to electrical problems in his karts engine. I just practice hard, added the soft-spoken Daniel, who according to his father Martin, trains almost 16 hours on weekends. Entering the event as a first-time senior karter, Miranda blended his superb skills perfectly with his driving consistency, impressive defensive strategy and the power of his new kart to surprise the crowd and the field, as he thwarted the top favorites and his more experienced rivals to capture both the ROK Senior and ROK overall crowns at stake. Even at the start, Daniel already signified his serious intention of running away with the much-coveted plum as he topped the time trials with 44.613 seconds, sweeping the qualifying, pre-final and final races. He finished more than six seconds ahead of runner-up Bobby Domingo of Formula E Racing and third placer Estefano Rivera of Tough Gear Racing, with CJ Tsui of Formula E Racing and lady karter Sacha Feliciano checking in fourth and fifth, respectively. Sports runs in the family Daniels uncle Jean Henri Lhuillier, brother of his mom Angelique, is the president of the Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines, and supports various disciplines such as tennis and basketball, among others. But Daniel inherited his need for speed from his father Martin, who used to be a karter and motocross rider in Cebu, and now, is into drag-racing. Daniel and his brother Enrique used to ride with me with their pocket bikes, but when I got really busy, I couldnt join and teach them anymore. And since its a dangerous sport, I decided to have them do karting instead, but it was Daniel, who picked it up at a competitive level, while his brother loves it just as a hobby, said Martin. Daniel used to race at the Kart Zone in Cebu, but soon enough, he got tired toying with the lean field. Its more competitive and challenging to race here (Manila), said Daniel, who is so serious of his racing career, that the family decided to have him enrolled at the Australian International School in Taguig, where he is now a third year high school student. Whats next for Daniel? He plans to join all legs of the Asian Karting Open Championships, not to mention take part in the CIK FIA Asia Pacific Championship in Suzuka, Japan this May. And now that he has gone over the hump, so to speak, Daniel is a marked karter in the succeeding legs of the karting series. Getting on top is the easy part, and staying there is the real challenge. But the battle is half won for Daniel, who has the full backing of his parents. You can give the kid the best equipment, but if yung bata, walang pulso, wala din. We dont have the super expensive karts from Italy. Our equipment now comes from a local distributor (Kart Plaza) and fortunately, it suits his driving style better. Sabi nila, its not the bow and arrow, but its the Indian, who uses them. Daniel is like that Indian, who now really knows what he wants in his kart, how it is tuned, etc. So kami na mga parents niya, we are encouraged talaga na tulungan siya because we can see his love and passion for the sport, said Martin.
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