Teenage kart racer Juha Turalba and drag racing champion Jonathan Tiu bagged the highest recognition at the recent Golden Wheel Awards.
Turalba is this year's Golden Wheel International Motorsports Driver of the year after for landing the top spot at the senior division of the 2008 Asian Karting Open Championships. The 15-year old ended first runner-up at the ROK and the Formula 125 of the 2008 Shell Super Karting Series.
The Golden Wheel National Driver of the Year Award went to Jonathan Tiu, the overall champion in the eight-leg San Mig Coffee National Drag Racing Championship and the four-round PAGCOR Philippine Drag Racing Championship.
Tiu is the fastest on a quarter-mile track with a record of 9.223 seconds clocked in at the Clark International Speedway early this month.
Other motor sports personalities who earned recognition at the recent Golden Wheel Awards include Jaime Barcal for the underbone category, Maico Greg Buncio for superbikes, Kenneth Rubio San Andres for motocross, Jean Stefano Marcelo for karting, Carlo and Chadwick Garcia for rally, Ivan Isada for rallycross, and Felix Perez for grand touring.
The Golden Wheel body likewise recognized Edmundo "Dante" Silverio as the Hall of Fame awardee of the year.
Silverio's career in motor sports went on high gear when he won a double victory in 1972 races - the Greenhills Grand Prix and the Royal Rally of Champions. He then proceeded to other prestigious races like the Macao Grand Prix, the Singapore Grand Prix and the Malaysian Circuit.
Silverio continued to record victories in various international rallies until 1985, when the oil crisis hit motor sports in the Philippines.
"There have been many trying times during my time in motor sports. But through all that, I endured because, to me, it was my way of being patriotic, to pay tribute to my country," Silverio said as he received the Golden Wheel award.
The Golden Wheel Award is an annual affair where proponents of Philippine motor sports led by Batangas Racing Circuit president Johnny Tan distinguish and acknowledge the best sports men in the automotive industry.