Gabe Tayao, SEAOIL Racer and reigning Asian Karting Prince
 
 
As the first South East Asian Formula 4 Championship draws near, multi-awarded SEAOIL racer Gabe Tayao is steadily ramping up his training program. Formula 4 was created by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), the governing body for auto racing events such as Formula One and World Rally Championship, as a stepping stone for young racers who are transitioning from karting into single-seater racing.  2016 is the debut year of Formula 4 races around the world and Gabe is taking part in it.

Backed by major sponsors such as SEAOIL, the largest independent oil player in the Philippines, Tayao is set to become the country’s next bet in Formula single-seater racing.
 
Breaking records in Philippine motorsports history
 
Tayao started professional karting when he was 11 and in three years emerged to become the first junior driver to win the entire seven-leg series in the Overall Class in the Philippine ROK Cup. At the time, it was unheard of for a junior driver to top the ROK Overall Class, which included novice, junior, senior, and veteran drivers all competing for the top five spots.

His latest victory at the 2015 Asian Karting Open Championships at the Kartodriomo de Coloane Circuit in Macau, sealed his spot  as the reigning Asian Karting Prince.

Last year, Tayao became one of the youngest in Philippine motorsports history to be awarded Driver of the Year (Karting category) by the Automobile Association of the Philippines. Golden Wheel Awards also honored him with the title International Karter of the Year and Karter of the Year in March.
 
“A champion is made, not born”
 
Tayao’s rise in the motorsports world is not without challenges, however. When he was just starting out in karting, his only sponsor was his mother, whose entire life savings was wiped out in the first years of his racing career.

"In the early days, critics around me would say that I wasn't a consistent driver and that I would never become a champion.  But I believe that champions are not born; they are made from hard days of training and perseverance.  I believe that life is about risking something for a dream that nobody can see but you,” said Tayao.

After topping two highly-competitive race classes in 2013, where he left rivals behind the track by a massive 200 points after driving close to 180 laps with hardly any rest, people began to take notice of the rising track star.
 
From karting to Formula racing
 
It’s no secret that Tayao is being groomed for Formula 1, thus his enrolment in the Simraceway Formula 3 driver development at the Sonoma Raceway in California. He has completed Stage 1 of the program, which included operations of the Lola Simraceway Formula 3 car, acceleration, threshold braking, and downshifting exercises. Tayao’s solid, if not stellar, foundation in karting is evident in his performance during training; he broke the track’s existing record for Formula 3 cars in just his second open lap session.

The young racer is looking forward to Stage 2 and 3 of the Formula 3 program which will include a comprehensive study of Formula auto mechanics and advanced driving techniques.

“I am grateful to my sponsors like SEAOIL Philippines for making this dream come true and I look forward to learning more since 2016 will be an intensive training year for me,” said Tayao.