MANILA, Philippines - Superbikes king Marvin Mangulabnan bested four other racing champions to capture the coveted Golden Wheel Driver of the Year plum in the annual Awards Night at the Samsung Hall of SM Aura in Fort Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City over the weekend.
The panel of judges, composed of top racing officials and media, cited Mangulabnan’s grit and determination that saw him rise from a series of setbacks to become a champion and an inspiration to the budding riders.
He beat fellow nominees karting champ Jerry Choi, Yokohama GT Driver of the Year Edwin Rodriguez, Drag Racing titlist Jonathan Tiu and back-to-back Slalom winner Milo Rivera for the sport’s highest individual award.
Mangulabnan was the second straight Superbikes champion to win the Golden Wheel Driver of the Year award after Raniel Resuello took the top plum last year, marking the first time in years that the crown was won back-to-back by champions from the same racing field.
In his victory speech, Mangulabnan thanked God and dedicated his victory to his father who supported him through the years.
Gracing the awards rites were Golden Wheel Foundation Inc. chairman Johnny Tan and this year’s Hall-of-Fame awardee Dennis Acdol.