All roads led to the Clark International Speedway (CIS) on 31 August as car enthusiasts, car club members, members of the media and of course the celebrities took to the track for the third leg of the Toyota Vios Racing Festival.
Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) again disproved the myth that you need to break the bank to go circuit racing as it invited the general public to attend their grassroots sporting event and experience “waku-doki,” short of “waku waky doki doki” a Japanese phrase that means the adrenaline rush you feel from a “heart-pumping excitement.”
“The Vios Racing Festival is the continuation of the Vios Cup which started six years ago,” Elijah Sue C. Marcial, head of TMP marketing services department stated. “Our objective is to promote motor sports in the country. Previously, we only have the circuit challenge, but this year, we changed it to Vios Racing Festival because we also changed the format by adding another component — the Vios Autocross Challenge.”
Marcial explained the autocross challenge involves obstacle courses that participants must hurdle. This also allows ordinary people, or newbie drivers to participate in the festival.
Despite the rain, more than 50 racers did not stop from taking part of the action by participating in the different classes. Here, participating teams relentlessly sped through the track of the CIS.
Claiming two first place victories at the circuit challenge celebrity class is Troy Montero who, unfortunately, had to drop out of race 6 after a surprising crash with sporting class racer John Dizon, right after crossing the finish line in race 5. With this, trailing Daniel Matsunaga took the top spot of the celebrity class for Race 6.
Aside from Montero, celebrity racer Chie Filomeno also slid off-track due to aquaplaning, causing her to not finish the final race. Both celebrities were quickly brought to the hospital for checkups and were cleared to be back at the venue in time for the awarding ceremonies.
“No matter what happens, I still find myself coming back to this sport. The adrenaline rush it gives me is out of this world,” Filomeno said in an Instagram post she wrote after the race.
“Despite the outside damage, the driver’s area was totally untouched. We also have a roll cage, race suit and helmet and most especially the HANS (head and neck) device to keep us safe,” explained Montero on his own Instagram account.
In the circuit challenge’s sporting class, Red Diwa of JBT Racing — Toyota Isabela won race 4 and Eggy Ong of JBT Racing — Toyota San Fernando managed to keep the first place title in both races 5 and 6.
In the promotional class, it was Julian Tang of Toyota Otis Obengers who led in race 4 while one of the only two female racers in this class, Elysse Menorca of Toyota North EDSA Obenger won races 5 and 6.
During last weekend’s Autocross event, Carlos Inigo Anton won the car club category, AutoIndustriya’s Jose Luis Altoveros led the media category, while Jules Aquino took the top spot in the social media personality category.
“On behalf of Toyota Motor Philippines, I would like to express my deepest appreciation to our customers and fans who have dedicated time and effort to witness our Vios motorsports events,” TMP president Satoru Suzuki said during the race’s opening ceremonies attended by the race participants and spectators.
TMP has been organizing Vios motorsport events in the country for six years now. For this season, TMP added the autocross challenge to the event, transforming the annual Vios Cup into a more inclusive and accessible Vios Racing Festival.
The next and final leg of the Vios Racing Festival is scheduled on 09 November, still at the Clark international Speedway. The final races will determine the overall winners of this season’s Circuit and Autocross competitions. The Vios Racing Festival is supported by TMP’s partners and sponsors Bridgestone, Petron, Motul, Rota, Brembo, Denso, AVT, 3M, OMP and Tuason Racing.