Gabriella becomes 2nd female to triumph at Asian kart series

Gabriella becomes 2nd female to triumph at Asian kart series
Following her win, Gabriella Teo will move up to the Senior level.

SINGAPORE - WHEN Gabriella Teo crossed the Kartright Speedway finishing line on Sunday, she also sped straight into the record books.

By clinching the Junior crown at this year's Asian Karting Open Championships (Akoc), the Singaporean became just the second female to win an overall title in the series' 12-year history.

"That sounds pretty good," the 15-year-old quipped.

"And winning it on my dad's track made it all the more special."

A Grade 9 student at St Joseph's Institution International, Gabriella is the daughter of Kartright director Allan Teo.

The facility along Upper Jurong Road hosted the final two rounds of this year's series last weekend, the first time in 20 years that Singapore held an international karting race.

And the Republic's karters stepped up their game, with Nasri Naufal (Senior), Yap Kheng Weng (Masters) and Ong Kian Leong (Veteran) all sealing their respective overall titles.

"It is a clear indication that we can compete on the Asian stage," said Roland Chong, the Singapore Motor Sports Association's vice-president for karting.

"And Gabriella has done very well to become champion in what is a male-dominated sport."

Having gone into the weekend lying third in the 12-strong Junior standings, the teenager made the most of her familiarity with the tight and twisty 750m track to pip Gabriel Cabrera of the Philippines to the title by six points.

She thus joins Indonesia's 2008 Senior champion Alexandra Asmasoebrata as the only female drivers to have won an Akoc crown.

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