Meet racing’s Volkswagen King
HOW does one combine the love for racing and classic cars?
Volkswagen enthusiast Dexter Daquigan has found a way to integrate his passion for racing and love for classic cars.
“I’m a Volkswagen enthusiast,” confessed Dexter, who owns a huge collection of the famous German classic car. “I love to drive and go out of town with my Volkswagen Kombi Bus or beetle.”
Dexter’s love for Volkswagen is not confined to driving them on the long roads. He uses a Volkswagen beetle in classic racing because it’s always an underdog.
“They say it’s ‘kuba or a slow car.’ That’s why people are always amazed to see a beetle winning in a race. I’m so proud of my bug winning races.”
Everytime he sets out for a race, he always brings his Kombi van, which carries spare parts and other equipment needed for the race. It’s also where he sleeps and enjoys the classic aura of the 70s.
“It’s a van life for me. I do camping and at the same time i race,” said Dexter, who has Thekeygun as his moniker.
As a passionate racer, Dexter always wants to be a step ahead of his competitors--literally. If he wants it achieved in the finish line, he applies his winner’s mindset right in the preparation phase.
“I do things smartly and I go out there 101 percent ready. I’m always ahead of time. During weekend races, some competitors would arrive Saturday and most on Sunday. As for me, I come on Friday for practice and make sure everything with my car is okay,” he said.
Dexter also goes the extra mile of doing practices at the BRC in Batangas and Clark circuit during the off season, or in between racedays.
“Practice makes perfect and every time, you get to learn something new. It’s a new continuous learning,” said Dexter, who idolized racer Dante Silverio when he was young.
Dexter also emphasizes that racing is a team effort, too. It’s not just about the driver and his car. He is not bothered so much on the technical aspect as he relies on his trusted, veteran race mechanic Morris Miranda of Mohspeed.
“I have a very professional team, not only in skills but also in terms of time and work etiquette. My team makes sure that the car is always in top-top shape ahead of race day,” Dexter revealed.
Having a reliable team saves Dexter a lot of time when it comes to his job as electrical engineer of their family business, Delta Star Power Manufacturing and as a doting father to his only son Xedrei. Their family business, managed by his father, Engr. Reynaldo Daquigan, mainly supports his foray into racing.
And it’s turning out to be a sound endeavor.
Dexter is on the verge of bagging a back-to –back the Classic Aspirated Cup Series title. He just installed himself the virtual champion after topping 11 of the 12 races this year. Armed with a large margin over his closest rivals, all he has to do is go through the motions of finishing the final race on Nov. 7 the Clark circuit to seal the title.
Knowing Dexter’s winning attitude, though, he is still expected to go all out.
“I’m a born winner. As a professional and dedicated racer, I always give my all in every race. Racing is not just for fun, it’s more fun if you are winning. To be a racer you must have this fighting spirit of winning,” he said.
Dexter points to last year’s race as his most memorable stint on the racetrack during the 4th leg of his debut in the open class. Hotshot Daniel Castaneda dominated the first three legs, while Dexter took the challenge in the fourth and prevailed.
His confidence boosted, he later joined the Manila Sports Car Club’s Historic Race and bagged first place in GTS class, beating the veteran Lito Ignacio.
After those victories in 2014, “I know it’s going to be an easy race for me in 2015. I have the best mechanic and good people around me. That’s the main secret of my winning,” said Dexter,” a self-confessed Volkswagen fan.
When not racing, Dexter dabbles in wakeboarding. But oftentimes, you would see him cruising the highway with his Volkswagen kombi or 1967 beetle, which also emerged as the oldest to finish the 2015 Cannonball Run. “I really love doing road trips, that’s my main hobby.”
Dexter dreams of competing abroad in classic car races. But his life-changing mission is not about winning a horde of trophies.
“My goal as an accomplished motorsport athlete is to pass on the love for classic races to the next generation. Classic cars are now very few. This is our history. I hope that someday, owners of old cars will revive them and turn them into race cars.”
Whether on the race track, on the highway or at work, Dexter’s passion for classic cars will never waver.
Many years from now, expect him to be still at it—enjoying the driver’s seat in his well-loved Volkswagen cars.