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12-year-old Bella Krabbe-Cañete bags win, double podium at Women's Drift Challenge in Indonesia

Filipina Bella Krabbe-Cañete, 12, made history as she took a victory and a runner up spot at the Women's Drift Challenge held in Banten, Indonesia, on her first attempt after graduating from karting.


Bella Krabbe-Cañete, Women's Drift Challenge
Photo credits: Bong Boado

The Philippine's might have found another female racing star: Bella Krabbe-Cañete, 12, made history as she took a victory and a runner up spot at the Women's Drift Challenge held in Banten, Indonesia, on her first attempt after graduating from karting.


The young racer started her motorsport journey aged 7 in karting and quickly moved up the ranks of local competitions: in 2021 she secured the Cadet Expert Championship and Cadet Karter of the Year titles.


With just a few years of karting under her belt, Krabbe-Cañete eyed a switch to race cars and has now taken up drifting - a widely popular discipline in Asia.

Four practice runs of experience in, she decided it was time to enter her first ever competition: she would make her debut at the J99 Maxx Drift Circuit in Banten, Indonesia, as part of the Indonesian Drift Series, in an all-women event.


Upon arrival at the Indonesian venue a week ahead of the event, Krabbe-Cañete had the opportunity to complete three days of practice, where she drove the right-steering, naturally aspirated powered BMW E36 car for the first time.


It was an all new experience - with a lot to take in for the 12-year-old drifter, who would have to learn the track, the format and all the procedures of such competitions.

While her focus was initially only on getting a clean run, Krabbe-Cañete drove flawlessly and turned heads by securing first place in the qualifying run. She therefore was one of the four drivers to advance into the semi-finals, as the top qualifier - and then proceeded to move up into the Finals.


With yet another brilliant drive, Bella delivered another spectacular performance and was awarded her first win in her first ever competition.


On Sunday, Bella was looking forward to a repeat - and she started off just as strongly, topping the qualifying and semi-finals once again. A change in weather conditions, though, saw a rain shower changing the game just ahead of the final.

With no prior experience of drifting in the rain, Krabbe-Cañete made a small mistake by touching a cone - which resulted in a 4 points deduction. Despite the penalty, she could still claim second place.


“I learned a lot from the weekend and met wonderful people", the driver commented after such a ground-breaking experience. "It was not just about drifting as I also learned about myself too", she added, thanking her family, coaches and team who made such a success possible.


The Filipina will now be aiming to continue the progression, with more opportunity to learn and improve at each outing.


Bella Krabbe-Cañete, Women's Drift Challenge
Photo credits: Bong Boado

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