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Behind a Champion Racer is a Mother

The world of high-speed races has become an integral part of the Anton family’s life

Photographs courtesy of Karen Anton | Karen Anton (right) with her son, rising motorsports star Iñigo Anton, share a loving and supportive relationship.

As engines roar and tires squeal, a prodigy emerges from the pack, a rising star in the world of Philippine motorsports — Iñigo Anton. At the heart of his incredible journey, supporting him every lap of the way, is his mother, Karen Anton. As we celebrate Mother’s Day, we take a moment to delve into the life of this remarkable woman, the force behind one of the Philippines’ fastest motorsport stars.

Growing up, Iñigo was automatically surrounded by the world of racing, having been subjected to the adventures of his father, veteran race and rally driver Carlos Anton. Despite their initial reservations about steering their son toward the sport, Karen and Carlos couldn’t deny the budding racer in Iñigo. The “broom-broom” sounds of his childhood gave way to the roaring engines of his passion.

As Iñigo shifted gears from a playful interest to a serious pursuit, Karen navigated the journey with a balance of support and motherly caution. Steering him towards mental, spiritual and physical fitness, she ensured he was always race-ready and safe.

Looking back, Karen recalls a turning point in Inigo’s career, a moment that left her in awe. At eight, Iñigo outpaced several adult racers, securing his place among the top hundred. This victory, followed shortly by a third-place win, was a testament to his innate talent and tenacity, the fuel that propels him forward in the world of racing.

The world of high-speed races has become an integral part of the Anton family’s life. From school to the race tracks, Iñigo has grown up balancing academics and athletics, excelling in both arenas. Now a college freshman at a university that supports student-athletes, Iñigo continues to shine, his mother’s unwavering support his beacon.

Karen’s role as a racing mom involves more than just cheering from the sidelines. She ensures Iñigo ‘s physical health is on track, balances his diet, and maintains his fitness regimen. On race days, their pre-race ritual is a moment of quiet reflection, a shared prayer for safety. And despite her light-hearted reminders for Iñigo to “not go too fast,” she knows her son will always push for his best on the tracks.

Racing, a sport known for its astronomical costs, has been a journey made smoother by the support from sponsors and teams. They see in Iñigo the same potential of a promising bright future that Karen and Carlos see.

Karen recalls telling Iñigo when he was just 11 that he can’t reach F1.

“He burst into tears and said ‘Mom, you’re crushing my dream!’ As he got older, he learned about the realities of racing in Formula cars and how outrageously expensive it is,” she says.

Both parents guide Iñigo in his races and make sure he takes in every opportunity to learn so that he’s ready when the opportunity to drive a Formula 1 car comes.

Despite the pressure and stress that comes with a high-profile career like Iñigo’s, Karen finds solace in her son’s resilience. He’s a racer who doesn’t crack under pressure, and who handles victories and losses with equal grace.

Mother and son share a sweet moment during last year’s Vios Cup races.

This mother’s proudest moment as a racing mom isn’t tied to a trophy or a title; it’s seeing Iñigo’s humility amidst his achievements.

In Karen’s eyes, the racing world has shaped Iñigo, teaching him the value of hard work, perseverance and faith. Her advice to other parents embarking on a similar journey is anchored in unwavering support and proper mentorship.

Victories are a family celebration, marked with enjoyable buffet meals, while losses are learning opportunities.

In times of disappointment, they allow Iñigo space to process his feelings, then debrief and learn from the experience.

“Debriefing is vital so he can have a positive outlook moving forward. We always remind him that a loss is not the end of things but an opportunity to learn and push even harder,” says Karen.

Iñigo’s racing career has not only brought their family closer but also created a lifetime of shared experiences and resilience.

Beyond the race track, Karen’s hopes for her sons are rooted in values. As she navigates life in the fast lane, she stands as a beacon of strength and support, a testament to the power of motherhood.

For Karen, racing isn’t just about the thrill of the chase; it’s also about the invaluable life lessons it imparts. It has provided a unique canvas for the Anton family to experience an array of emotions, work together as a team, and build memories that will last a lifetime. Karen and Carlos are not just parents; they are teammates, cheerleaders and mentors for their sons.

In the face of the challenges that come with a career as demanding as professional racing, Karen has proven to be a steadfast source of encouragement and wisdom. The values she has instilled in Iñigo are not only about racing but also about life. She has nurtured a champion, not only on the tracks but also in life.

The motorsports mom with Iñigo and his trophies in 2017. To the left is veteran race-and-rally driver dad, Carlos Anton.

With many victories under his belt, Karen and Carlos never let Iñigo forget the importance of humility and gratitude. They have taught him to appreciate the support of those around him, including the sponsors and teams that have helped him pursue his racing dreams.

The race track has been more than just a venue for speed for the Anton family. They have used racing as a tool to cultivate not just skills and talent, but values and character, making it a venue for growth, bonding and shared dreams.

As the world watches Iñigo Anton accelerate into a bright future, one thing remains constant — the unwavering support of a mother, Karen Anton, whose love fuels his journey. Her story is a testament to all mothers worldwide, reminding us that behind every great talent, there is a mother’s love and dedication that guides, nurtures and inspires.

As we celebrate Mother’s Day, we pay our tributes to women like Karen Anton who navigate the high-speed world of racing with grace, dignity, and a strong passion for their children. Their strength, resilience, and unwavering faith are the unseen forces that steer their children toward their dreams.

Today, we salute the mothers at the heart of the racing world, who keep their families’ engines running smoothly, no matter how challenging the race may be.





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