When I saw the news from my social media site that the son of my very good protégé and multi-titled champion Carlos Anton, Iñigo Anton, win the Front Wheel Drive class of the National Slalom Championship last September, I knew the time has come for the younger generation to take over.
Then this was followed by the news of the 2nd generation of Alberto racers, TJ and Troy, winning the top 2 places in the wet Philippine Motorcycle Superbike Racing final round last October. This just sealed the issue and yes the time has come! Let’s see how these 3 kids have become the new stars in their respective disciplines.
It’s in the genes
What is common in the Anton and & Alberto families are their passion for racing! One family is in 2 wheels and the other in 4. Both 1st generation racers where champions in their own fields and they were both supported by their better halves and the whole family.
Carlos Anton started in slaloms where we discovered him. Upon wearing our MP Turbo colors, Carlos took his Karting, Rallycross, Formula Toyota, National Production Car, Philippine National Touring Car, National Hillclimb and many more championships that I cannot remember. He is also the co-winner of the Asian Gymkhana last year with Milo Rivera.
Toti Alberto had started in Motocross and took several championships along the way before his Superbike career. With Toti’s Access Plus, the Ducati and KTM brands all made it big in the country by his marketing efforts through racing. His best rider was multi-time Motocross National Champion and living legend Glenn Aguilar who also became a Superbike Champion under Toti’s tutelage.
Carlos has the lovely Karen Anton supporting him even during their teen aged years. When they got married, Karen even had the chance to outshine Carlos in the MRRS in Italy by topping the international field of drivers in race cars!
With Toti’s case, Joy Cua Alberto was always right beside him and would provide the support vital to win races. She would always cater to Toti’s needs, including the upcoming boys that were serious bout Motocross. Both Karen and Joy thus completed the package for the future champions to come of age!
The 3 kids all had supportive parents that didn’t hinder their love for racing. The parents also knew what was best for their kids and knew how they could rise up in this very competitive and cutthroat world.
Iñigo Anton is the first offspring and was only 8 years old when he started racing. Being based in Baguio, the Antons had not much access to a kart track so Carlos got Iñigo in a car. He could barely touch the pedals and he even had to put Iñigo on his lap to teach him!
Iñigo then went to karting and had a fantastic time winning the Novice Cadet class in 2015 and then the Cadet Karter of the Year in 2016. He even went to his first international event, the Asian Karting Championships, and took the fight against young regional drivers like him.
He was already being touted as the fastest 12 year old by the local magazines when he set the record in the Tarlac Circuit Hill on his Honda Civic. He backed this up by setting the overall fastest lap winner.
The young Albertos had great motocross pedigrees with their cadet bikes. Since they started walking, Toti and Joy would already have the kids on bikes. Their natural progression to motorbikes was like a duck to water!
With a lot of parents frowning on getting their children on motorbikes, especially at a very young age, this was never a problem for them. I remember when we had our Ultimate Offroad Speedfest Championships back in 2005, TJ would be on his small cadet bike and struggle around those big jumps made for bigger bikes. He would eventually catch up with the bigger riders in their combined class and pass them!
Needles to say, both TJ and Troy took several National championships in all the classes they joined and now they have found another discipline, road racing, to showcase their talents.
It’s not yet over
Iñigo has wrapped up the Novice National Championship this year with 2 more races to go. He is making Philippine Motorsport history as being the youngest driver to win it ever at 13 years old! He was invited by the Asian Gymkhana organizers in Taiwan to accompany his dad Carlos and Milo on October 29, 2017 to do an exhibition run to determine if he can join in the future.
TJ Alberto is now 20 and has represented the country in the Campionato Italiano Velocita (CIV) in Italy this year. Even with his international races, he was still able to take the Intermediate Class in the 2017 Philippine Superbike Championships and missed the overall award by only a few points.
16 year old Troy Alberto qualified 3rd and caught up to his brother in the end to take 2nd in the last PSR race. Troy just started racing last year and had even impressed his brother and parents by posting better times in the last few races. Troy took 3rd overall in the Intermediate Class in the end and both will be gunning for the title next year with their Ducati Panigale 1199R.
The best thing about writing about these kids is how I was able to see them grow up to be champions in the premiere classes. I am truly blessed and it’s not yet over as they have just started! I hope that I will be able to bring attention to other deserving champions in the future. Mabuhay and Godspeed to all!