ALL ROADS LEAD HOME

Louis Vuit­ton’s spring col­lec­tion re­calls the sear­ing plains of Africa and the pun­klit­tered streets of Lon­don.

Esquire (Philippines) - - CONTENTS - PHO­TO­GRAPHS BY PAOL O PINEDA ST Y LINGBY CLIF­FORD OLANDAY SHOOT DI­REC­TION PAUL VILLARIBA

NEED FOR SPEED

“Near Ani­lao, there are some drives that I like. The roads are quite twisted and wind­ing, but they’re pretty cool, be­cause you can drive right next to the beach,” says Mar­lon Stockinger.

Ser­pen­tine paths like the ones up in Batan­gas can trans­port the Swiss-Filipino racer to his fa­vorite roads in Europe—not as smooth, per­haps, but scenic. Iron­i­cally, in Manila he finds him­self flying more of­ten than sit­ting behind a wheel. You can’t help but imag­ine how un­bear­able turn­ing a corner must be for Stockinger, a man on the move, trained to race the cir­cuit—on the edge and one hair­pin turn closer to the verge—where you could lose con­trol of a car or a com­po­nent breaks or some­one makes a mis­take.

He isn’t the first Filipino to win a For­mula race in Europe for noth­ing, and it’s his sharp men­tal fo­cus that en­ables him to con­cen­trate on a sin­gle task. He’s able to switch that on and off like a light. For ag­i­tated driv­ers, he ex­tends a tip: “Keep your cool. Lis­ten to opera mu­sic if you’re re­ally stressed.”

Stockinger’s life was in the pub­lic eye long be­fore he got in­volved with Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach. He’s been driv­ing ever since his fa­ther took him kart­ing when he was nine, and when asked about the most mem­o­rable mo­ment of his ca­reer, he says, “It’s when I drove the For­mula One car here in the Philip­pines, sim­ply be­cause we were able to bring the pin­na­cle of motorsport here, and we were able to show that there was a Filipino in For­mula One. That was a unique mo­ment for me, and a first for the country.”

He’s grate­ful for the scru­tiny if it can lead more peo­ple to learn about his sport. “What I’d like to see in the Philip­pines is more sup­port go­ing to­ward that, maybe from the govern­ment and pri­vate sec­tors, for younger rac­ing driv­ers—even driv­ers like my­self who are es­tab­lished.”

There’s a lot of work off the track, which also comes nat­u­rally to him. “It’s more about learn­ing how to lose as much as try­ing to win. You start to learn that be­yond what you do in the race car, there are a lot of things that some­times aren’t in your con­trol,” he says. It’s a fine bal­ance, let­ting go and stay­ing fo­cused all at once, but the best ones al­ways come through.

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