Sixteen-year-old Corry Pangelinan hopes to deliver under pressure as competition in the Marianas Racing Association Point Race Season starts this Sunday at the CowTown Raceway Park.
Pangelinan will enter the season-opening of the seven-leg series as the heavy favorite in the Novice Class, having dominated the division during the MRA Practice Heat Series held in November until early this month.
“I admit there is pressure, but I will try not to be bothered by that. I will stay focused, keep on doing the things that have worked on my way and hopefully continue getting those wins,” said the Marianas High School student.
“My approach for this weekend’s race is like how I started in this sport five or six months ago—pretend that I am alone at the track, racing against myself and do my best not to crash out there,” Pangelinan said.
The MHS sophomore won every Novice Class race that MRA held last year and also competed in a couple of events for Expert Open Class.
In the Novice Class, he raced against Gino Dela Cruz, Kier Agda, Byron Castro, Sus Santos, Thomas Reyes, Arthur Jebehn, Vince Torres, and Keoni and Ens Macaranas. In the Expert Open, Pangelinan had the privilege of going up against Cuki and Shane Alvarez, who consistently figured in the Top 2 of the elite division.
“I like racing with the adult and experienced riders because these races present a challenge to me. They test my skills and motivate me to keep working hard during practice sessions and the actual races,” Pangelinan said.
The San Vicente resident attributed his impressive showing in the MRA races to consistent training and his father, Glenn, who inspired him to try the sport.
“We train three to four times a week and four to five hours per session,” said Pangelinan, who was into cross country and track running and once played interscholastic soccer before riding a dirt bike and following in the footsteps of his dad. The older Pangelinan participates in Veteran Class events.
Meanwhile, races in this weekend’s season-opening will start at 10am with riders competing in two heats in their respective classes. Besides the Novice and Expert Open divisions, MRA will have morning and afternoon heats in the Peewee (1 and 2) Minis (1 and 2), Mini ATV (4 wheelers), Power Puff (all girls), Veterans (40 and over), and Big Boy ATV. Points will be awarded to riders based on their finish in each heat.
Points in the seven-leg season will be compiled to determine the Top 3 riders in each class. MRA will award the No. 1, 2, and 3 plates to the ATV and dirt bike riders at the end of the season, which will be on July 25. The five other legs of MRA’s inaugural season are slated for Feb. 28, March 28, April 25, May 30, and June 27.